The end of this World Cup's group stage is fast approaching, which means it's time for the USWNT to secure their spot in the Round of 16. There's not a lot of anxiety here over whether they'll achieve that—they're at the top of their group and in a very good position to advance—but these games can really tends towards the dramatic.
After that 0-0 draw with Sweden, I wouldn't mind a little drama. Let's do it.
Kickoff time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: BC Place (Vancouver, Canada)
TV/Streaming: Fox and NBC Universo for your televisions; Fox Sports Go and NBCDeportes.com for your computers
Projected lineup: While the U.S. attack has struggled a bit, the defense was especially solid against Sweden. We'll see the same one in this game: Hope Solo in goal, with Ali Krieger, Julie Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Meghan Klingenberg. We'll see Lauren Holiday and Carli Lloyd in the center of midfield again, but we arrive at some questions when it comes to the wings.
Megan Rapinoe on one side is all good, but let's talk about that other side. Jill Ellis moved Christen Press up top against Sweden and slotted Morgan Brian into the open wing spot; that's not Brian's natural position, and it showed. So, does Ellis move Press back? That leaves space in front, which could be any combination of Abby Wambach, Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux, and Alex Morgan (who's probably not starting fit yet).
I'll say that I don't think Ellis will see sense here and start Tobin Heath out wide. I want her to, but I'm not convinced it'll actually happen. So in the interest of attempting an accurate prediction (lols), I'll say she puts Press back on the wing and starts Wambach and Leroux up top.
What are you drinking? Got big plans for a big cup of pear ginger tea.
As always, this is your place for pre-, in-, and post-game talk.