The United States Women’s National team rolls on in its quest to repeat as winners of the Women’s World Cup with a matchup against England in the semifinals in Lyon, France, as reported by Bleacher Report. A victory would send either team into the tournament’s final on Sunday where they will face off against either the Netherlands or Sweden, with the loser relegated to Saturday’s third-place playoff. If the United States manages to pull off a victory over England, it would become the first team the reach the Women’s World Cup final three consecutive times.
United States manager Jill Ellis will have a difficult decision to make when it comes to team selection for this match, in particular with her midfield. Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Samantha Mewis and Julie Ertz have all proven their worth so far this tournament, but in Ellis’ preferred formation one is likely to start the game on the bench. While this is the best possible problem a team could have, it doesn’t take away from the pressure Ellis will be under to make the correct decision.
So far, the team has been regularly rotated from game to game due to rest, injuries, risk of suspension, and matchup reasons. Since their opening match against Thailand, where the perceived best team on paper was played, that same 11 has yet to make an appearance. It was close against France, with only Sam Mewis getting the start over Lindsey Horan. If results are anything to go by, it hasn’t been a problem for the American women.
The United States hasn’t had much to worry about on the pitch so far in the tournament, conceding only two goals and never trailing en route to the semifinal. Those goals came against two European opponents, albeit off of an out-of-character mistake against Spain and in the final stages of their quarterfinal against France that the United States was firmly in control of. The American women have currently won 11 consecutive matches and are on a 13-match unbeaten streak, with it’s most impressive so far coming against hosts France. Billed as the true final of the tournament, the United States put on a disciplined display against a team considered the second favorite of the tournament, with the 2-0 victory flattering the losers.
England, on the other hand, needed some sluggish group stage performances to get their tournament form going. While they struggled against teams they were clearly a level above in their group, the English women flipped a switch in the knockout stages, rushing out to a 2-0 lead in the first half against Cameroon and ending the competition before it descended into chaos, then dominating a solid Norwegian side, winning 3-0 with an overwhelming attack. England hasn’t conceded a goal since their opening match and currently held opponents 371 minutes scoreless.
With Ellen White and her three-match scoring streak in attack and a defense shored up by one of the finest defenders in the world in Lucy Bronze, England will be out to prove that this tournament isn’t a simple coronation for the United States.
Date: Tuesday, July 2
Time: 9 p.m. local, 8 p.m. BST, 3 p.m. ET
TV Info: Fox (U.S.), BBC One (UK)