The United States will be looking to retain their 2015 title at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, but first they will have to overcome England in the last four and beat either the Netherlands or Sweden in the final.
Semi-final matches begin on Tuesday, July 2, with the U.S. and the Lionesses up first. It's a tough match to call, but the holders have more firepower and can overcome an England team reliant on the goals of Ellen White.
Wednesday's last-four tie will see the Netherlands face a Sweden side keen to repeat their semi-final heroics.
Sweden stunned Germany 2-1 on Saturday but will find it hard to do the same against a powerful Dutch squad led by the goals of Vivianne Miedema and Lieke Martens.
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- Tuesday, July 2: England 1-3 USA
- Wednesday, July 3: Netherlands 2-1 Sweden
- Sunday, July 7: USA 2-1 Netherlands
USA and the Netherlands on Course for the Final
Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd have accounted for 13 goals for the defending champions. Their efficiency in the final third is ably supported by the trickery of Christen Press and Tobin Heath's vision.
The U.S. have the advantage when it comes to match-winners in attacking areas. England have White, who has accounted for five goals, and while fellow forward Nikita Parris is also a threat, she has only scored once during the tournament.
If there is one area England may look for an advantage it's in a midfield led by Jill Scott and Georgia Stanway. The Manchester City duo offer energy, technique and quality as finishers.
U.S. coach Jill Ellis will rely on Julie Ertz to subdue Scott and Stanway's movement.
If the U.S. matchup well with England, they should also do well in a potential final against the Netherlands. Stopping the Oranje passing game means getting players around Arsenal schemer Danielle van de Donk.
Ertz, Samantha Mewis and Lindsey Horan would swarm around Donk and deny her the time and space to dictate the final. Sweden are likely to take a different approach, one based on going long and direct to bypass midfield.
It worked well to stymie the influence of a Germany midfield led by Sara Dabritz. Yet the Germans don't pose the same threat up front the Netherlands offer.
Most of said threat comes from Miedema, who has scored three times en route to the last four. Her languid style and guile in the box will undermine the discipline of Sweden's defence if the ball gets to her quickly.
Miedema is the Netherlands' best chance of taking home the trophy. She would cause problems for the U.S. in the final, and likely score, but the holders are still too strong in every area and will ultimately retain the cup.