The Philadelphia Union may not play today, but there is American soccer on tonight that should interest you. The United States Women's National Team are playing in a FIFA World Cup Final, and it's against the team that defeated them in the 2011 World Cup Final: Japan.
Despite often being at the global forefront in much of women's sports, the United States did not enter this tournament as a consensus favorite. That honor belonged to Germany, who got a tough draw in the knockout round with dark horse Sweden in the Round of 16 and other consensus favorite France in the quarter-final, before losing to the United States in last Tuesday's semi-final.
Many USWNT fans have been critical of manager Jill Ellis's roster selection and tactics in the lead-up and throughout the tournament, but Ellis has adjusted quite well, benching a declining Abby Wambach and inserting Morgan Brien in the midfield, allowing Carli Lloyd to move forward more where both have flourished.
Though they won the World Cup four years ago, not many would have predicted Japan would be in the Final due to the decline of their once stars. But thanks to a fortunate group stage draw of Cameroon, Switzerland, and Ecuador and a fortunate knockout round path of Netherlands, Australia, and England, the Japanese are yet to face an opponent as challenging as the United States. Worrying for Japan though is they have never appeared flat-out dominant against lesser opposition, though you could levy that charge against the U.S. as well. But unlike Japan, the United States has faced and defeated a superior opposition, while Japan needed the fortunate break of the World Cup's most tragic own goal ever to squeak by England.
Kickoff: 7:00 PM ET
Venue: BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Television and commentators: FOX - JP Dellacamera, Cat Whitehill, and Tony DiCicco, Reporter: Jenny Taft
Online streaming: FOX Soccer 2Go
- Carli Lloyd is a resident of of Delran Township in Burlington County, New Jersey.
- Lori Chalupny, Lauren Holiday, and Amy Rodriguez once played for the Philadelphia Independence of the now-defunct WPS.
- Starting midfielder Lauren Holiday married former Philadelphia 76er Jrue Holiday in 2013.
- Starting central defender and quickly rising star Julie Johnston is currently dating Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz.