After watching the United States Women's National Team (USWNT) emerge victorious in Sunday's thrilling quarterfinal match against Brazil, you could be forgiven for suspecting that the football gods would actually descend upon Dresden and deliver the Women's World Cup Trophy to the Yanks.
Nevertheless, the USWNT is still two victories away from capturing their first Women's World Cup victory in 12 years and now faces an exceptionally technically and tactically gifted France Women's National Team in today's semifinal.
While the French are organized much differently than their Brazilian counterparts, they present a constant scoring threat and should prove to be more than worthy opponents for Coach Pia Sundhage and her inspired crew.
Hoping that this this contest will not cause as many heart palpitations as the quarterfinal match, here are five keys to an American victory.
Against Brazil, the United States defense faced two clearly identifiable nuisances in Marta and Cristiane. Unbelievably talented, both playmakers could collect deep in midfield and simply dribble through the opposing team's entire defense before lining up a decent shot.
In order to combat their talismanic influence, the US defense swarmed them every time they touched the ball.
However, France Coach Bruno Bini fields a much more organized front line which features three attacking players situated behind lethal hitwoman Marie-Laure Delie.
With Gaëtane Thiney, Camille Abily, and Louisa Necib all versatile enough to fill any of the offensive roles, the French have several players who can both create and finish opportunities.
Therefore, instead of flocking toward particular players, the United States defenders must remain organized and disciplined. Overcommitment to a particular player (or area of the field) could open up passing lanes for the French to exploit.
While sensational veteran Christie Rampone will undoubtedly continue to dominate in central defense, the French will likely target the inexperienced Becky Sauerbrunn, who is replacing the suspended Rachel Buehler.
Clearly the best goalkeeper in the tournament, Hope Solo will need to continue her run of good form in order to ensure an American victory.
However, unlike most other opponents several French players including Abily, Thiney, and central midfielder Élise Bussaglia are willing and able to launch accurate blasts from well outside the box.
Solo's mere presence should dissuade the French from attempting overly ambitious efforts and pressure the French attackers into suspecting that they will only score from the clearest of opportunities.
Nevertheless, the USWNT has conceded penalties in each of the last two games, so the French will certainly attempt to exploit defensive clumsiness. With this thought in mind, Solo may perhaps once again be called upon to deliver a hugely important penalty save.
While France's attacking four are exceptional, the back four appear quite vulnerable. Specifically, wingbacks Laure Lepailleur and Sonia Bompastor often move forward in attack, leaving acres of open space on the flanks.
Therefore, wingers Heather O'Reilly and Laura Cheney should have plenty of space in which to operate.
By moving quickly down the wings, O'Reilly, Cheney, and eventually Megan Rapinoe should be able to draw the central defenders out of position and open up space in the box for the persistently dangerous Abby Wambach.
However, O'Reilly and Cheney must take on a much more active role than they did against Brazil and continue to feed Wambach with a healthy supply of dangerous crosses.
While Abby Wambach found herself tightly marked by the physically imposing Brazilian defender Aline for most of Sunday's contest, she should have a much easier time against the French.
Beyond exposing themselves through their over-aggressive backs, the French have been unable to identify a successful pairing in the central defense.
Instead, their center halves often appear confused during both open play and set pieces and have thus conceded a number of goals from aerial strikes. According to ESPN broadcaster Ian Darke, the French are exceptionally, "vulnerable to diagonal balls in the air."
Remind you of anything?
As long as Wambach remains persistent, she should have her fair share of chances. Perhaps she will score a bit earlier this time around...
In France's final group stage match against Germany, keeper Berangere Sapowicz earned herself a red card for a clumsy challenge which ultimately resulted in a converted penalty.
Backup keeper Celine Deville was not horrible throughout the remainder of the contest nor against England in the quarterfinals, but she let failed to even touch a long-range effort from Jill Scott which dropped in right over her head.
Also, she failed to stop a single shot in the ensuing shootout as two England players simply failed to direct their shots on target.
Though Sapowicz represents an upgrade over Deville, she is certainly error-prone. The more shots the United States can generate, the more likely they are to force a poor mistake.
While I expect this to be a hotly contested, high-scoring game, I think the United States is riding a tidal wave of emotion from Sunday's game and will ultimately prove too talented and too balanced for a French side that suffers from too many defensive deficiencies at the moment.
United States: 4 France: 2