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Just a reminder to turn on your TV for the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup taking place Thursday morning (September 27). The United States Women’s National Team will be looking to book a spot in the finals against the defending champions from Germany. Also, good for the viewing public is that this match will not be in the wee hours of the morning. Instead it will be kicking off at 8 a.m. eastern time on ESPN2. While I don’t usually advocate waking up early, these games will be worth the sacrificed sleep.

Germany’s 3-0 dispatching of Norway wasn’t too surprising. The Germans have been dominant during the tournament and running roughshod over even experienced foes. But the United States and Brazil could be the tournament’s best game to date. The U.S. was impressive in its 3-0 quarterfinal win over England and has rebounded from its sluggish first game against North Korea with three straight wins. In Abby Wambach, who scored the goal of the tournament against Sweden, the U.S. has an unstoppable force up front. With a nose for goal, Wambach boasts a higher scoring rate (.81 goals per game) than Mia Hamm, who holds the record for international goals. The Red, White and Blue’s midfield hasn’t exactly inspired confidence, but the deployment of Shannon Boxx and Leslie Osborne in a dual defensive midfield formation has played dividends. The defense and goalkeeping of Hope Solo has been above average (even though Coach Greg Ryan will be starting Brianna Scurry, who is unbeaten against the Brazilians) and will help keep the U.S. in any game.

In Brazil, the U.S. faces a side that is playing some of the prettiest soccer of the tournament. Some have declared 21-year-old Marta as not just the best player in the tournament, but in the world. The Samba Queens know how to play attacking soccer and will test the United States’ defense, especially in midfield.

But unlike the U.S., Brazil is still searching for that defining tournament triumph to reach the pinnacle of women’s soccer. The U.S. has, and is still at the top. The U.S. knows how to win these types of games and that’s what it will ultimately come down to.

So as you prepare for your day Thursday morning, flip on the TV and catch what should be a great game. It will be worth being a little late to work for.


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