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Women's World Cup Semifinals: USA vs. France Preview, Prediction

Can the United States women's soccer team really continue the storybook tournament? In what may go down as the best goal in American soccer history, striker Abby Wambach tied the game at 2-2 with Brazil in extra time Monday. Wambach and the No. 1 ranked US women aren't wanting to get back in that situation Wednesday, but they will still be playing as they've reached the semifinals of the World Cup. Up next for the American women is France, FIFA's 7th ranked team.

The game is slated for a 12:00 p.m. EST start in Moenchengladbach, Germany on ESPN with coverage beginning at 11:30 a.m. Both teams have had successful runs in the World Cup tournament to date. France enters Wednesday's game looking to capitalize on the media-darling Americans, who have been the talk of soccer since topping Brazil 5-3 in penalty kicks on Monday to advance to the semifinals.

US goal keeper Hope Solo said her team isn't about to overlook the French women in their game. 

"I feel like our country is behind us, and that now the whole world is watching us, because people realize we've been playing some really good football," she said. "France have one of the best attacks in the world. They've also got some very physically imposing players. We're certainly not going to underestimate them."

Solo will have to continue to play extremely well for her team to advance to their first World Cup final since 1999. Both the United States and France won their quarterfinal matchups in penalty kicks, which could be another possibility Wednesday. If that's the case, the United States will have the advantage with Solo, who is the best goal keeper in the world.

Wambach, the best striker on the American team that has a wealth of talent, said her team isn't worried about coming out flat. Even after a very physically demanding win over Brazil and the reaction this team has dealt with after the win, Wambach and her team are looking to start all over again.

“Losing is not an option,” she said. “We want to win this thing, and France is standing in our way right now. We have what it takes. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.”

The United States will have to shore up its defense against the French and continue to play a physical style of play. France, much like Brazil, is very fluid on the pitch. So far, the Americans have proven even as a very old team in Wold Cup standards that they can keep up. Stability on their backline (defensive players) and conditioning will both be key. The US is very physical and France's coach has some issues with how his team will be able to handle the bigger club.

“It’s true we’ve had one additional day of rest," French coach Bruno Bini said. “I think it’s quite fair because the American team is in better shape.”

USA vs. France Odds

USA: -120
France: +300
Draw: +240
Total: OVER 2.5 (EVEN), UNDER 2.5 (-130)


Pick: I'm taking the United States to beat France in regulation time. The Americans are a much bigger, more physical team and have to control the emotional high in this game. France will be hard-pressed to get a tally past Solo and I'll take the USA to win, 2-0.


Comments: What are your thoughts on the game?


Journalist living in West Michigan. Inaugural "Who's The Man" contest winner at Heading into fourth year NFL (no preseason): 266-192 (58.4%), +76.37 units Career at Pregame (All Sports... Read more

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