FIFA U-20 WWC: Are the American Back Line and Midfield Strong and Fit Enough to Hold Off the Germans?

Unstoppable? Yes.
The Nigerians gave the U.S. defense a run for their money today. During their semifinal match, the Super Falcons caught the American defense looking fragile and undisciplined quite a few times, but just couldn't capitalize (this may have something to do with the serious amount of dancing they do in the tunnel prematch, but no, okay, I can't prove that). I'm also going to go out on a limb here and accuse the U.S. midfield of really lacking any sort of creativity, playing, for the most part, fairly uninspired. The team as a whole played better today, but they didn't exactly look like world champs, even though they put away some fierce competition in Nigeria.

Coach Meinert should come
to the U.S. now, thanks.
Now, we have the Germans, a side that figuratively pulled down the pants of a super-stacked Japanese side in front of their home crowd and spanked them a little (or a lot). They're a side that plays with confidence and composure. They can connect in the midfield. The have two powerhouses up top with Marozsan and Lotzen (the U.S. has a tiny one in Maya Hayes). They have a defense and goalkeeper that have yet to concede a goal. They have Maren Meinert (who I think should come and coach the U.S. senior squad--am I alone here?). And, just to dip the table a little more in favor of the German side, nearly all squad members play in the Frauen Bundesliga, which, I'm going to say it right now, is far more competitive and demanding physically and mentally than any U.S. college division.

So, here's what I'm thinking: In the final game on Saturday, the U.S. won't be able to keep pace. The Germans will be too fast and disciplined to stop. I can't decide if the Germans will score four or five goals, but I'm thinking the U.S. will be left holding a goose egg at the end of full time.

Reminder! This is coming from someone who predicted Canada to go far in the tournament. A grain of salt, my friends. A grain of salt.

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