While a US win would be good for the game in the States, a final match up between France and Japan would be better for the game as a whole. Both teams try to play an attractive passing game while the US have relied on experience, perseverance, stamina and luck to qualify for the World Cup and to advance to the semis.
Both semifinals have intriguing match ups and I would not be surprised to see any of the teams advance. Both ties are two close to call and it would not surprise me to see one of them go to penalties. My heart says a Japan v France final, but the head says Sweden v USA.
Two teams with a never die attitude and both coming off emotional wins against fierce rivals. Rachel Buehler will be a loss in the back for the Americans and originally I thought Pia Sundhage would just slide Amy LePeilbet into the middle and start Stephanie Cox or Heather Mitts at left back. According to reports coming out of Germany, it looks as though she is going to give Becky Sauerbrunn her first action of the 2011 World Cup with a straight swap for the suspended Buehler. Fitness will be a factor and the American's looked stronger in extra time than they did in normal time. They have to fancy their chances to make the final and should just about overcome a more talented French team.
Sweden v Japan
Japan deserved their win against Germany and in a perfect world would be become the model for player development in the USA. They kept the ball so well in the quarter-final that they had wore the Germans down by having them chase to get possession back. If they keep the ball as well against Sweden they can win the game, but they will not win by more than one goal.
Sweden learned from Norway's failure against Australia and in the end overran the Aussies. They may be able to take some lessons from Germany's loss to Japan too and advance to the final. They will have to press Japan and not allow them to have the ball and Sweden has the fitness and players to do so. Should be a very fascinating tactical game with Japan to win 1-0 or Sweden to win in a canter.