By outreach@cw.ua.edu (Caroline Gazzara)

Team USA is making a bid to win the Women’s World Cup since its last title in 1999. Sixteen years later, Team USA is on the hunt once more to make itself a household name again.

The U.S. came close in 2011, falling to Japan in the championship match. But after Monday night’s 2-0 win against Columbia, America will face off against China to determine its potential fate.

The quarterfinals are an important time in the World Cup. It’s the midpoint of the tournament, the time where injuries are more prominent and the possibility that players are suspended from games.

Unfortunately for Team USA, midfielders Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe will not play against China on Friday night. Both have been suspended for Friday’s match after each receiving two yellow cards in the tournament.

It’s a giant blow for America, the worst possible timing even. Holiday and Rapinoe are key players to the team, and losing them will make it even more challenging come Friday night.

China is a resurgent powerhouse, wining two matches and drawing with another. Of the four matches its played in the World Cup, China only lost to Canada during group play.

So far, Team USA has scored more goals, but China has been able to strike early. It’s key to strike early and show dominance, something China has mastered. China also will have every player on its roster.

China has not played in the quarterfinals since 2007 and failed to qualify for the 2011 tournament. Since the 1999 Women’s World Cup when it lost to the U.S. in the finals, China has played in the quarterfinals twice, losing each time. Team USA has the upper hand when it comes to experience seeing that the team retains many experienced players.

From the way I see it, this is going to be a fair matchup. America is a strong team, with many players ready to come off the bench and step up. In a postgame interview Monday night, Rapinoe told reporters that despite being suspended for the next game, she is confident that the team could perform. China, on the other hand, is also a strong team and has some good players that seem to be up to the challenge. Friday night’s matchup will be one of the most interesting games to date for Team USA, because no one knows what to expect without two key players on the field.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports