• Tuesday Jun 30, 2015

    U.S., Germany to test strengths in FWWC semifinals

    Hope Solo (pictured) has been outstanding for the USA in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    MONTREAL -- For the seventh consecutive time, the United States has reached the FIFA Women's World Cup semifinals.

    While that is an unprecedented achievement, the Americans are looking for more – a first world championship in 16 years and third overall.

    They will take an important step towards that objective with a victory over two-time champion Germany in Tuesday's final-four encounter at the Stade Olympique. The winner will meet either Japan or England in the final on Sunday in Vancouver.

    "It's just going to be a great matchup," U.S. defender Ali Krieger said. "This is what this tournament's all about. This is why we train our entire lives and what we train our entire lives for. These are the moments and we're all so excited to play."

    The game will put the classic “good offense vs. good defense” theory to test. The Americans have tallied only seven goals and surrendered only one, boasting a current 423-minute shutout streak. The Germans have scored a tournament-best 20 goals, while allowing three.

    The next task at hand will not be any easier, but we are among the best four teams in the world," said Germany head coach Silvia Neid. "It makes us feel good and maybe there is some more life in us."

    semifinal also will feature a rare confrontation of the world's two best women's goalkeepers -- the USA's Hope Solo and Germany's Nadine Angerer.

    In five previous match-ups between them, Solo is undefeated with a 3W-2D-0L record.

    "With Nadine, she's a gamer," commented U.S. forward Alex Morgan, who plays with Angerer on the Portland Thorns of the National Women's Soccer League. "It's going to be interesting knowing her strengths and weaknesses. This next game is probably going be biggest challenge for both keepers."

    The USA will be bolstered by the return of midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, who were forced to sit out the 1-0 quarterfinal win over China due to yellow-card suspensions.

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