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Discussion in 'Women's International' started by Ikari, Oct 3, 2003.
Figured I'd get the topic started early.
USWNT will likely play 4-4-2 against Germany.
Here is the probable line up.
That lineup is a virtual certainty.
This will be the USA's toughest match of the tournament.
The Germans are good.
There is no assurance of a USA win.
The USA will have to step it up from what it did against Norway.
The defense can stay the same, but the midfield play must improve. The USA must control the ball more and make better passes from midfield.
There are revenge factors. The USA came back twice to eliminate Germany in 1999. The German men's team eliminated the USA in 2002.
Ultimately I think it will come down to what the USA has and Germany does not. Abby Wambach.
If Wambach can repeat her Norway performance, or perhaps even take it up a notch (and I think she can), we may be privileged to witness that most fascinating and rare sports phenomenon: the emergence of a superstar at the highest level of the sport.
This game has the potential to be a classic. The USA can win it if they play up to their capability.
Germany will give the US a run for their money with the player of the tournament thus far -- Prinz. The Germans have good skill and physically they will not be intimidated by the US. This will be the first real test for the US defensively -- should be a good match!
Germany scares me.
Germany is a well-oiled machine--powerful, efficient...and plenty scary.
My hope is that their keeper is no Nordby. The last time we played Germany--Sept. 9, 2001--Rottenberg had a bad game. I recall JP asking Akers (who was doing the commentating) something about our probing for her weaknesses and Akers replied--and I'm paraphrasing--"That's the name of the game." We found her weaknesses that match (USA winning 4-1). Let's hope she still has them.
I was actually holding off so that folks that had taped the games could watch without having the result pre-announced, but ...
The German lineup was something like this against Russia: Can anyone say how they match-up against the US.
-Stegemann -- Minnert -- Hingst ---- Gottschlich
Lingor ---- Garefrekes---- Wiegmann (C)
------Mueller ---- Prinz ----Meinert
The one factor that concerns me most about Germany is their team speed, which makes their already-potent offense especially dangerous. The U.S. has only a few players in the starting XI whom I would characterize as fast enough to defend the German attack -- Pearce, Sobrero, Lilly, and Hamm (when she tracks back). Thankfully, the U.S. back line's organization has been stellar thus far but sometimes even the best team defense isn't enough to stop pace (in addition to the Germans' excellent size and skill).
Scoring garbage goals against futbol traffic cones and punching bags does not qualify one as "player of the tournament".
Germany has not been tested since the Canada match. They have given up goals to Russia (without their leading scorer), Argentina, and Canada. None of these are not known for their scoring prowess at the international level.
Germany can take some confidence from their match with Canada. They effected a solid comeback against the makeshift Canadian defense. OTOH, they should worry about the lapses in their own defense.
The USA has played well against all four opponents including FIFA's #2, #5, and #7 teams. They have allowed but one goal in the four games.
This match will be decided in the midfield. If one team can deny the other's ability to create attacks from the midfield, they will have an advantage. The USA was able to shut down Sweden and Norway in the midfield and won the aerial battle when those teams resorted to lobbing in long passes. Granted, neither team had a target like Princess Birgit, but then Germany hasn't faced Big Bird and Wombat.
Germany's offense is what worries me. They make great passes, can dribble well, and generally have a great ground game. Its been awhile since the US has faced anything like that passing attack.
However, yes the German defense disappears at times. I think that neither side will be shut-out in this match. The last time these teams met in the WWC-99, the score was 3-2.
I think this time around the US defense steps up with a 2-1 win...
Prinz reminds me of Wambach in a way. However, Prinz is better skilled and has more speed.
A key will be fitness. The US team has had some tough matches and fatigue could be an issue at this point in the tourney especially with the more senior players Hamm and Foudy, etc.
You must not have seen the first goal against Sweden. Those moves would have made Rivaldo proud.
I think in general Wambach is a little overrated. Heck she plays upfront on the best team in the world! She has scored goals, but her main asset is her physical size and not skill.
Disagree. It's apples and oranges -- Prinz and Wambach are completely different players. Prinz plays like a smaller forward who just happens to be 5-foot-10. Her skill set is much more similar to Mia Hamm's, and based on the WUSA matches I've watched she has no idea how to use her height and strength. Wambach, on the other hand, looks and plays like a true target forward. Both are clinical finishers, however.
I admire Wambach's tenacity, but she seems more like a thug than a soccer player...
Wambach is too tall, Millbrett can't get out of her shadow.....
Is that what you think when she blows past defenders who are supposed to be faster than her, outdribbles them, puts the ball around them and gets there first, one-touches volleys on goal and finds teammates open on passes as well?
This game is troubling. From what the announcers have said, the US only has two goals from the run of play. Germany looked more sophisticated in their passing game, although at the time I got to see the game, I am quite sure Russia had given up all hope. I think the US will have to play high pressure defending tactics against Germany. It is too bad one of their top defenders did an ACL in the WWC.
I wonder if Pearce will get found out in this match. I think the other three defenders are very strong for the US. Pearce, and Foudy give away the ball too often. I hope Foudy can get her legs back. Some of the US players looked totally tanked against Norway towards the middle of te 2nd half.
The US may rely on athleticism to get them through, but we really need some more play making ability from someone on the team.
I also wonder why April waited so long to bring Boxx, and to a lesser degree Bivens into the fold? What if Shannon and the teenager..think it's O'Reily??, can't remember her name, had been healthy. I am not sure April would have included Wambach in the team. I think we are very fortunate that Boxx and Wagner are on the team.
Additionally, I also fear the US may have put too much into the rivalry of Norway. I hope they didn't see that match as the most difficult one. The US needs to stay focused, as this semi final will probably be the most difficult match they will play.
Hope it's a great game with the US winning by a goal, but I am unsure. Often the games you look foward to are a letdown. Heck, we might even see pk's to decide this one!
Re: Oh, well
Sorry about that, just a bit anxious for the game.
I'd say this was more true if put the other way round. Without questioning Germany's quality in the least, they've had very soft tournament so far.
I have a feeling they won't be letting Scurry way off her line this time if that happens.
Any team that can have a player like Pohlers coming off the bench is a team that can score. I want to see Meinert do well in this game. The matchups upfront will be key.
If they use the same starting formation, the following is what I know of the German team and how things might match-up.
Rottenberg--Good gk, but can be inconsistent.
Stegemann--5'6", good ball skills and faster than heck. When she turns on the wheels, she's gone.
Minnert--5'6", great ball skills and a booming kicking, that I'll go out on a limb here and say is as powerful as Shannon Mac's. Isn't their fastest player but she'll never quit. Great in the air.
Hingst--5'5", don't know as much about her.
Lingor--5'4" Fast, consistent player. decent ball skills.
Garefrekes--5'9" Fast, good aerial skills. Great height to have at midfield. Good passing and looks.
Wiegman--5'5" Good at directing traffic (as is Minnert). Don't know much more about her, sorry.
Mueller--5'3" Not flashy but good skills. Seems to take the setup position for Prinz and Meinert.
Prinz--5'9" Lets just keep it short and say she's simply amazing to watch, and while she doesn't tend to use her size as much as Wambach, she does know how to do so.
Meinert--5'5" Simply Maren.. Great ball skills, fast, brilliant passes and presence. Always seems to know where everyone else is at.
All in all, their midfield stacks up pretty well against ours and they have height in that position. Forwards--Prinz and Meinert together can be downright deadly. They have good depth and skill on their bench and can be explosive. In run of play, if we can keep up speed wise on defense, we should be fine...but that could be a big if. On set pieces it will really come down to us containing Prinz, Minnert and Garefrekes (and you can never count out Meinert). In the air and on the ground--Minnert seems to be their go to girl on set pieces. They also have 2 good subs in Wunderlich and Odebrecht. The later of two hasn't gotten a ton of play this tournament but I wouldn't be surprised to see her in if for no other reason than she would give them another midfielder over the 5'7" mark. Offensively, I would expect to see Stegemann marking Hamm. She definetly has the speed to keep up with her and is good enough on the ball to give Mia trouble. Also I wouldn't be surprised to see Gottschlich start. Which gives them a defender thats a tad over 5'8". With Jones out for Germany I'm not certain they can contain Wambach...if anyone on D has a chance of doing so its Minnert, who played with her on the Freedom.