The United States and Spain will face off on Monday as the Women’s World Cup continues into the knock-out stage. Two talented teams are set to go head-to-head. Currently, most sportsbooks favor the United States at -1.
The United States is on a roll, and nothing appears to be slowing them down. They went 3-0 in the group phase to finish at the top of their group. Spain went 1-1-1 and, despite the record, did not play too poorly themselves. They came in second place, only to Germany.
Morgan, US offense on fire
The United States has given opponents a tough time so far. They have scored 18 goals without allowing a goal in the group phase of play. Alex Morgan is a big reason why, as she has scored five goals and three assists.
Playing 135 minutes over the course of two games, Morgan has been a vital part of the United States’ offensive attack. She has been one of the most consistent players for the United States on the international stage, and she is proving that she can be an offensive catalyst.
Spain may be overmatched
Spain does not have as much offensive skill as the United States. During group play, they scored three goals while allowing two. Jennifer Hermoso is the big-time scorer for Spain. She has two goals.
Luisa Garcia has the other goal for the team. Spain needs to focus on making crisp, clean passes and not allowing the United States to begin their offensive attack. Once that happens, they are extremely difficult to stop. Spain must focus on playing well defensively and limiting turnovers on their side of the field.
Feeding Marta may be best plan
Marta Torrejon is Spain’s biggest offensive player. She has 88 career international appearances and has scored nine so far in the World Cup. Spain needs to focus on getting her touches early and allowing her to get into the flow of the game. If that can happen, that will allow the rest of the team to get scoring chances.
She has proven herself tremendously on big-time stages, and Monday will be no different. No team has been able to stop the United States yet. Furthermore, no team has been able to keep these games close.
If Spain wants to be the pesky thorn in the side of the United States, they need to get their best players involved early. Marta Torrejon would certainly fall into that category.
Obviously, anything can happen when it comes to these games. However, the United States has just proven itself too dominant over the course of these past couple weeks. I would expect them to cover the spread.
With Alyssa Naeher recording clean sheets in three consecutive contests, I would expect that trend to continue. She is in the zone right now and has shown that she can be an unstoppable force against opposing attacks. Another big game on Monday would further add to her resume on the international scale.