WOMEN'S WORLD CUP GROUP PLAY WRAPUP: Let us get down to the--how you say--bress ticks:
THE UNITED STATES is playing really well. Abby Wambach remains the Shaq of women's soccer: bigger than anyone else, gifted, tendency to dog it, almost impossible to beat when motivated. And she's motivated. Sucks for you, rest of the world!
NORWAY has done some okay things but destroying South Korea, getting past France and being destroyed by Brazil is not the most impressive of resumes. They face the U.S. next on Wednesday in the semi-hyped battle of the only two World Cup and Olympic champions blah blah blah blah blah, but these women do not look capable of beating the Americans right now.
GERMANY is the other team playing really well. They soundly whipped strong Japanese and Canadian teams and should not have much of a problem with.....
RUSSIA. The land where the New Wave hair never died. I'm sure they're all nice people, but they barely got out of their group with Ghana and Australia, which was the weakest of the three.
BRAZIL is the semi-surprise, not so much in that they beat Norway but that they beat them up 4-1. They have a heavy case of the floppitis.
SWEDEN got beat by us, beat Nigeria like they should and escaped with the victory over North Korea that could've gone either way. They could beat Brazil.
CHINA. A model of efficiency, or an incredible waster of goal-scoring chances? They should have torn through Group D but wound up with 3 goals, 2 wins and a draw. That's efficient. Or inept. I dunno. The one goal Australia scored against them was flukey, and the way they play the game keeps them in any game. The way they possess the ball is incredible. If they play mistake-free they are unbeatable, until--of course--they forget to score some goals and the game winds up in penalty kicks.
CANADA. Having said all that, Canada can beat China. All's they need is a little luck.
USA over Norway
Germany over Russia
Sweden over Brazil
China over Canada
Our ponytailed legion has a haa-aard road to travel if they want to win this thing, beating Norway and Germany. A non-US-or-Norway finale is a real possibility.
6 hours ago