After last night, we need a good, successful match without all the drama. Enter the USA National team, going for gold against the Japanese. Is it too much to hope that this game ends well in regulation? Is it too much to ask that the US doesn't wait until the last possible second to win? I don't know. I do know that this will be a good solid game, without the shenanigans of the Canadians. No Tancredi face stomp, or tackle football. Just straight up beautiful soccer. The Japanese played the French aggressively in their previous match. It was a departure for them to stay up and open, rather than dropping back to protect their lead. I believe that they were making a statement with that match. They are there to win, they have learned their lesson well. They scored early in that match, yet continued to play as if they needed more. It was a fantastic match to watch, and would have been the match of the day in my opinion, if the USA vs Canada hadn't occurred.
The US Women are coming off of a emotional, physical win over Canada. The last second heroics by Sounders Women player Alex Morgan kept the match from going to PK's, but it was drama all the way. The end to end, hard charging game is sure to have an influence on the lineup for today's match. I expect Shannon Boxx to get into this game, to relieve Carli Lloyd, and to hold the ball up in the middle so that the pace of the game is more controlled. We should also see the more attacking Kelley O’Hara in. Coach Pia Sundhage has a lot of choices, based upon the style of play that she wants to go with. We won our last game against Japan this year, and have played them a few times since the World Cup. They are not unfamiliar anymore.
Buckle your seat belts, we should be in for a heck of a ride.
Just got the starting XI: Solo: LePeilbet, Rampone (c), Beuhler, O'Hara; Rapinoe, Boxx, Lloyd, Heath; Morgan Wambach.
And Japan: Fukumoto; Kinga, Kumagai, Iwashimizu, Sameshima; Miyama, Sakaguchi, Sawa, Kawasumi; Ohno, Ogimi