USA and Germany In Women’s World Cup Soccer Superpower Showdown Tonight
By Giles Malone // June 30, 2015
GAME SET FOR 7 P.M. ON FOX
MONTREAL, CANADA – If you enjoy a supercharged, tense, Battle Star Galactica-style sports showdown, then don’t miss the Women’s World Cup semi-final soccer game tonight between the USA and Germany.
Both teams have won the World Cup twice and both know what it takes to make it to the final and win. The #2 ranked USA has really not been tested in the World Cup thus far, but in tonight’s battle royal, the #1 ranked Germans will do lots of testing.
It will take a 100% effort and high level performance from all of the USA’s players if they are to conquer the indomitable Germans, who always seem to play to their max when the chips are down.
The German men won last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, embarrassing the host nation Brazil in a semi-final slaughter 7-1. That game set an all time Twitter record with 35.6 million Tweets during the shocking match, which rocked the Brazilian nation to it’s core. For those doing the math, that’s 6,440 Tweets every second during 90 plus minutes of play.
That was an encounter, where the individual quality of Germany fused together to overcome a Brazil team, whose soccer pedigree seemed to collectively disappear.
Can the German women produce a similar exhibition tonight and dispatch their rival Americans?
USA’s English Coach Under Fire
Jill Ellis, the U.S women’s head coach has come under considerable fire in the tournament thus far as the team has lacked fluidity and scoring, but in their last win over China, things looked a bit better. In that encounter, Ellis was forced to make several important changes due to player suspensions.
That team looked better with improved energy and flow. The conundrum now for Ellis is, does she bring back her highly talented Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, who did not play against China due to suspension or does she go with the team that overcame the Chinese?
This soccer fan says that she must bring back in her big guns and sit the others in reserve, as the USA will need all the talent they possess to overcome the Germans.
Should Wambach Start?
And then there is the towering presence of the USA’s Abby Wambach, a previously prolific USA scorer, playing in her final World Cup, who has not yet found her true scoring boots in this tournament. Wambach desperately wants to lift the world cup trophy for the first time but Ellis will probably start with the more mobile Rodriguez.
How Good Is Germany?
In the most eagerly awaited game of this World Cup so far, last week Germany was outplayed by #3 ranked France and were down 0-1 with just 7 minutes remaining. But in true, never-say-die German style, the tournament’s top scorer, Celia Sasic converted a penalty for Germany to send the game into a shootout.
Perhaps the world’s best goalkeeper, Germany’s 36 year-old Nadine Angerer, who is playing in her last World Cup, then performed heroics in their French shootout, taking her team to the semi-final versus the USA.
Of course, the USA will argue that their brick-wall of a goalkeeper, the stunning Hope Solo, may be the difference tonight in this soccer showdown.
The freakishly dynamic and beautiful Solo has not spoken with reporters since her brief comments after the opener versus Australia. Just before that match, the press had reported details about the assault case she faced, due to an altercation she had with her nephew and half-sister in Washington state last June. The judge dismissed the case earlier this year.
Brevard’s Ashlyn Harris is on the team roster for tonight’s game against Germany and if Hope Solo is unable to play for any reason, Harris could be thrust into the spotlight to defend the net for America. One of three goalkeepers in the USA squad, Harris is also a member of the Space Coast Sports Hall Of Fame.
Stock up on your favorite refreshments for tonight’s match and buckle in – it could be a real nail biter.
Patriotic Prediction: Defensive battle, but USA wins on penalties in a shootout – Solo blows up the Battlestar.