If you've been watching this World Cup, you know it's been a pretty awesome tournament so far. These teams aren't letting down.
With one win in the bag, the USWNT look for another tonight against Sweden. Fingers crossed it's another great game of soccer for us all to watch. It is Friday night, after all. Let's get wild.
Kickoff time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Winnipeg Stadium (Winnipeg, Canada)
TV/Streaming: Fox (yes, the main one) and NBC Universo for your televisions; Fox Sports Go and NBCDeportes.com for your computers
Projected lineup: We'll start with the pretty-much-knowns, as per usual—Hope Solo will be in goal with a back line of Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Meghan Klingenberg. But honestly—and perhaps I'm just lazy when it comes to predictions—I think Jill Ellis goes with the same starting XI she deployed against Australia. In midfield, that's Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Holiday, Carli Lloyd, and Christen Press. Up top, that's Abby Wambach and Sydney Leroux.
The tempting thing here is to use Christen Press as a forward, which is really where she belongs (remember, she scored in the opening game). Perhaps Wambach doesn't start—she went 90 on Monday—or perhaps Alex Morgan makes an appearance as a sub for more than ten minutes. Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath are options in midfield if Press starts further up the field.
Match previews and recommended reading: The usual game notes from U.S. Soccer, plus previews from Fox Soccer, ESPN, and Equalizer Soccer. There's also this piece from The New York Times about the players in this tournament being compared to men, this one from The Washington Post about why Wambach shouldn't start against Sweden, and this one from Sports Illustrated about the unbalanced structure of this WWC.
Prediction: The U.S. didn't start well against Australia, but still managed to do their thing for the 3-1 win. Sweden disappointed in their 3-3 draw with Nigeria despite taking the 2-0 lead, so they've got something to prove in this one. Factor in the familiarity between these two sides—Pia Sundhage, of course, but Americans have played in Sweden and vice versa—and there's the making here for an exciting game.
I'll predict 2-1 to the U.S., because I think they're going to keep getting things done, at least for now.
What are you drinking? Friday night PARTAYYY just kidding I think it'll be three buck Chuck to wash down a long week.
This is where you should hang out for pre-, in-, and post-game discussion.