Kickoff is in a little under a half of an hour, so what better time to do a preview?
France has played well against all opponents and is very clutch. A win over Norway despite an own goal and an extra time goal to knock out Brazil bode well for them. Wendie Renard, the scorer of the own goal, has played outstanding defense since then and Amandine Henry, Eugenie Le Sommer, and Valerie Gauvin have led the skilled offense. They should do well against a young, error-prone defense that reared its ugly head during the Spain game. If they can keep the pressure on Alyssa Naeher, and avoid dumb penalties like the two PKs Spain gave up, Sarah Bouhaddi should be able to keep the Americans from scoring too many goals.
USA is obviously the favorites to win the World Cup, and why wouldn’t they be? The champions in 2015 have never been eliminated before the semi-finals, and despite losing Abby Wambach and Hope Solo, have still been able to keep things going. Megan Rapinoe has scored 3 goals in limited opportunities, Julie Ertz is probably one of the best defensive midfielders in the game, and Alex Morgan has five goals, all of which in one game in a 13-0 clobbering of Thailand. USA ought to be able to win this game, but they need to avoid screw-ups from young players. They also need to be able to get on the end of long crosses. Morgan missed far too many of those. If Rose Lavelle and Tobin Heath can get into the box and Naeher avoids passing to the other team, USA can get this win.
USA’s talent is just too much for the host nation, who go down in a 2-0 loss with goals scored by Morgan and Lavelle.