MONTREAL (AP) — The Germans are going to have to be vigilant about giving too much away with their on-field chatter on Tuesday night. Defender Ali Krieger will be listening.
Top-ranked Germany faces the United States in the semifinals at the Women’s World Cup at Olympic Stadium in Montreal.
Krieger is fluent in German, stemming from a long stint with FFC Frankfurt of the first division women’s Bundesliga. She also knows many of the team’s players and is familiar with their play.
“Germany is where I had to become a true professional,” Krieger said. “They play in big games when they are young. We could model some of our soccer system after what they do.”
That makes Germany a tough opponent.
“They’re very good one-v-one attacking,” Krieger said. “They can shoot from anywhere. And they’re very good in the air.”
Midfielder Morgan Brian was on the team that lost to Germany in the group stage of the under-20 Women’s World Cup, but came back to beat the Germans in the final. Some of the players she faced are now with the German national team.
“It takes an organized team to defend Germany,” Brian said. “They’re so good on the ball, and in tight spaces.”
Germany has a lot to prove: Not only is the team seeking its third World Cup title and first since 2007, but the Germans are still stinging from failing to make the final four years ago at home. The United States has also won two World Cup titles, but its last was in 1999.
“Every tournament’s different. Obviously, we’re just concerned about this game and winning and being successful and beating the best team in the world,” Krieger said.
NO CANADA!: Canada’s dream of a world championship at home ended the same way that the past two World Cup hosts’ dreams did: a quarterfinal loss.
Coach John Herdman and his crushed players had the weekend to lament their 2-1 loss to England in Vancouver, British Columbia, keeping them out of a semifinal matchup with Japan on Canada Day.
“We could just cry, eh?” Herdman said. “You win this, you’ve got a real shot to go all the way through. … I’m proud of my girls. They give you everything, and it just wasn’t good enough tonight.”
Canada followed China’s 2007 team and Germany’s 2003 entry, which both also lost in the quarterfinals of their home World Cups. The 1999 U.S. team is the last World Cup host to win it all.
Herdman refused to single out Lauren Sesselmann, whose turnover led to England’s first goal. The coach also blamed himself for matching defender Allysha Chapman, who played with an injured oblique muscle, against the taller Lucy Bronze on her header for England’s second goal.
Canada’s future is still bright, with a talented young core gaining valuable international experience under the enormous pressure of playing at home. Herdman already is thinking about the young Olympic team he must select for next year in Rio de Janeiro.
“We had a World Cup here without consideration that the cycle of players may not be peaking,” Herdman said. “If we went all the way, we were punching well above our weight.”
NO CANADA! PART DEUX: Count Japan coach Norio Sasaki among those disappointed with Canada losing to England in the quarterfinals Saturday.
Sasaki was hoping for a chance to play the Canadians in the semifinals at Edmonton, Alberta, on Wednesday, if only for the opportunity to play a game in front of a full house — and on Canada Day, no less.
“We would take on either England or Canada,” Sasaki said through an interpreter, following Japan’s 1-0 win over Australia. “But to play a semifinal in a packed stadium is my personal wish.”
Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium has a 53,000-plus seating capacity. Defending champion Japan will face No. 6 England in the semifinals.
Canada drew 53,058 fans for its tournament-opening 1-0 win over China on June 6 in Edmonton. And 35,544 were in attendance for Canada’s 0-0 tie against New Zealand in Edmonton five days later.
By comparison, the announced attendance for Japan’s quarterfinal against Australia was 19,814.
AP Sports Writers Greg Beacham in Vancouver and John Wawrow in Edmonton contributed to this report.
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