USA and Japan have reached the final of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, a game that they will contest on Sunday, July 17. and ahead of the match both teams would be looking to have their best players fit and ready for the big game. In this article, I take a look at the best possible eleven USA could field against Japan.
The US team for the world cup is as follows: Hope Solo, Nicole Barnhart, Jillian Loyden, Heather Mitts, Christie Rampone, Becky Sauerbrunn, AmyLe Peilbet, Ali Krieger, Stephanie Cox, Rachel Buehler, Kelley O’Hara, Shannon Boxx, Heather O’Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, Lori Lindsey, Tobin Heath, Amy Roriguez, Lauren Cheney, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach.
While Solo, Barnhart and Loyden are keepers, Mitts, Rampone, Sauerbrunn, Le Peilbet, Krieger, Cox and Buehler are defenders, O’Hara, Boxx, O’Reilly, Lloyd, Rapinoe, Lindsey and Heath are midfielders, and Roriguez, Cheney, Morgan and Wambach are forwards.
In comparison with the Japanese, USA have an older team, on average, and several players are close to 30 years or above. Skipper Rampone is the oldest at 36, and also the most capped with 240 internationals to her name. Star striker Wambach boasts 162 caps and a magnificent goal tally of 121. There are several other players with more than a 100 caps, and experience is an area in which there’s no competition between the two sides, with USA winning by a fair distance.
In their first group match, against DPR Korea, USA had the following players in their starting eleven: Solo, Rampone, Le Peilbet, Boxx, Rodrguez, Reilly, Lloyd, Krieger, Cheney, Buehler and Wambach. In their next match against Colombia, coach Pia Sundhage effected one change, bringing in Lindsey in place of Boxx. The third group match against Sweden saw the exit of Lindsey and the induction of Rapinoe, in her place. USA won the first two matches and lost the third.
In the quarter-finals with Brazil, USA went back to their original eleven, used in the first group game. Buehler was sent off during the game with a red card, and against France in the semi-finals, Sauerbrunn came in, as Buehler’s replacement, with the other 10 players remaining unchanged.
And I would like to stay with that eleven, in the final against Japan. While the midfield is an area of concern for the US, the defence has been resolute, and the forwards have delivered when it mattered. These are the best players they have, for what they are worth. And these players have helped them to the final, having tackled teams of the calibre of Brazil and France, en route.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.