The top teams in the world face off, as the United States takes on Germany at 4:00pm in Montreal, with a chance to earn their third World Cup title on the line.
The United States come into this match off perhaps their most complete performance of this World Cup. Despite losing Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe to Yellow Card accumulation suspensions, the United States attack came out strong against a young Chinese side looking to spoil the US run. Carli Lloyd once again lived up to her reputation for big game heroics, giving the United States the game winner in the 52nd minute in her 200th appearance for her nation.
While the offense showed some signs of life, the defense of the United States has been the key component to their success. Since allowing a goal to Lisa De Vanna of Australia in the 27th minute of their opener on June 8, the United States have since gone 423 minutes without allowing a goal, with the play of newcomer Julie Johnston being a major bright spot for the United States.
The United States will need more stellar play out of their defense, as Germany boasts the tournament's top two goalscorers in Celia Sasic (6 goals) and Anja Mittag (5 goals) and several other attacking options in their relentless press toward goal. In the attack, the US will need to rely on the speed of Alex Morgan and others to pin the Germans back and control the flow of the match, as the French did for much of their Quarterfinal match, especially in the early stages of the match,
The top ranked Germans have had an easily run in this World Cup, until they ran into a, inspired France side that controlled much of their match, with Germany needing a late penalty conversion, then penalty kicks to advance to the semifinals.
The Germans have been an offensive power throughout this tournament, going for the kill early then running their opponents into the ground in three of their five matches, led by the attacking prowess of Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag, while Nadine Angerer has had little to do in most matches, but saw her save totals nearly doubled from the Group stage against France.
While the German attack has been a powerhouse, they have yet to face a defense with the quality of the United States and struggled to find the back of the net against Norway and France, the other top teams they have faced in the tournament. They need to conserve their energy for later in the match when the United States typically break away from their opponents, especially after playing 120 minutes last Friday and potentially losing late-game catalyst Marozsan to injury, though her status is unknown at this point.
While Germany is currently the top team in the world, the United States own the series, with a record of 18-4-7 and are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings at 6-0-5, though Germany was victorious in their last World Cup meeting, a 3-0 win in Portland and the then PGE Park during the 2003 World Cup, whileUnited States won their previous World Cup meetings 5-2 in 1991 and 3-2 in 1999.
The United States and Germany last met in 2013, a 3-3 draw in Offenbach, Germany, that saw Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan each find the back of the net.