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USA vs. France World Cup Preview

Former USWNT player Nikki Marshall delivers the inside scoop on how the USA can beat France.

Hi everybody! I'm here to give you my take as a former professional soccer player that played with several of the ladies on the US national team.

Friday is the matchup everyone’s been waiting for since the draw back in December — the heavyweight encounter between the USWNT and host nation France has arrived at the quarterfinal stage.

No one will be getting any work done on Friday when the game kicks off at 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox, so have your doctor prepare that sick note now.  

The scene is the Parc des Princes in Paris, and nearly 50,000 will be on hand to see which nation advances to the semis and which suffers a painfully early exit at the 2019 World Cup.

The defensive issues that sprang up against Spain will be magnified by a French team that boasts an extremely balanced attack. I'm expecting the French to follow Spain's lead by exerting a lot of high pressure.

For the US's part, I expect them to try and make France pay by being aggressive with frequent counter attacks. 

Last, I'd like to see the US team identify some players to bring fresh legs and a spark to the team earlier in the second half. Christen Press, Carli Lloyd and Mal Pugh can all fill that role.

France has only made it beyond this hurdle on one previous occasion, and Les Bleues survived a scare last round after being pushed to extra time by Brazil. However, the inspirational quartet of Renard, Gauvin, Henry and Le Sommer — who’ve combined for all nine of France’s goals — willed them to victory. 

The USWNT, on the other hand, has never been eliminated before the semifinal stage. After being unexpectedly tested by Spain in the Round of 16, can the US regain their momentum  at this vital moment?

You can not afford to miss this one.

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