Morgan and U.S. teammate Tobin Heath play on the Portland Thorns with German captain and goalkeeper Nadine Angerer. Meghan Klingenberg and Christen Press played for since-bankrupt
Swedish club Tyreso against German midfielders Alexandra Popp and Lena Goessling when Wolfsburg won the 2014 UEFA
Women's Champions League final. U.S. right back Ali Krieger spent four seasons in Germany with FFC Frankfurt.
"I've played with them more than I played against them," said Krieger. "They're good one-v-one attacking. They can shoot from anywhere. And they're strong in the air as well."
2. USA will look to build on China victory.
The USA played its most complete game of the Women's World Cup when it beat China, 1-0, on Friday night. The Chinese were the weakest attacking team the USA has faced so far, and it took advantage by pressing them all game. "This team gets energized when it presses," said Ellis in Monday's pregame press conference. "I still think our best performance is ahead of us."
As France showed on Friday, the Germans can be put under pressure at the back, which is considered their weak link. If Ellis wants to keep the foot on the pedal, that will likely mean she will keep Amy Rodriguez up top with Alex Morgan and use Abby Wambach off the bench. A-Rod did a good job of pressing the Chinese, but Morgan had the weakest game of her three starts as she comes back from her knee injury.
In midfield, Megan Rapinoe and (probably) Lauren Holiday will return from suspensions. Carli Lloyd, who has scored in the last two U.S. games, will start, leaving Ellis to choose among Kelley O'Hara, Morgan Brian and Heath for the fourth spot.
3. Germany aims to get back on track.
Which Germany will show up on Tuesday? The team that steamrolled over Sweden, 4-1, after the Swedes held the USA to a 0-0 draw and would have won but for Klingenberg's late goal-line clearance? Or the team that struggled against France and needed a late penalty kick to equalize?
Saskia Bartusiak should return in the middle of German backline after missing the France game due to suspension. but the Germans could be without midfield star Dzsenifer Marozsan. Coach Silvia Neid has used Marozsan off the bench in the last two games. She scored against Sweden and was Germany's best player against France but suffered a hyperextended left ankle in overtime. She converted her penalty kick but is listed as uncertain for Tuesday's game.
Germany has a wide edge on the USA in goals (20 vs. 7) and shots on goals (59 vs. 24). Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag rank 1-2 at Women's World Cup in scoring with 6 and 5 goals, respectively. In midfield, Simone Laudehr has been along with France's Elodie Thomis the tournament's top player on the right side. Behind Laudehr is Leonie Maier, the best attacking right back in the tournament.
GOALKEEPERS (3): 18-Ashlyn Harris (Washington Spirit), 21-Alyssa Naeher (Boston Breakers), 1-Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)
DEFENDERS (8): 16-Lori Chalupny (Chicago Red Stars), 6-Whitney Engen (Western NY Flash), 19-Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 22-Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash), 11-Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), 5-Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC), 3- Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC), 4- Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 7-Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars), 14-Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 17-Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City), 10-Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 9-Heather O'Reilly (FC Kansas City), 15-Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash), 13-Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC), 23-Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 8-Amy Rodriguez (FC Kansas City), 20-Abby Wambach (unattached).
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Nadine Angerer (Portland Thorns FC), 12-Almuth Schult (Wolfsburg), 21-Laura Benkarth (Freiburg)
DEFENDERS (7): 2-Bianca Schmidt (FFC Frankfurt), 3-Saskia Bartusiak (FFC Frankfurt), 4-Leonie Maier (Bayern Munich), 5-Annike Krahn (Paris SG/FRA), 14-Babett Peter (Wolfsburg), 15-Jennifer Cramer (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 17-Josephine Henning (Paris SG/FRA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): 6-Simone Laudehr (FFC Frankfurt), 7-Melanie Behringer (Bayern Munich), 10-Dzsenifer Marozsan (FFC Frankfurt), 16-Melanie Leupolz (Bayern Munich), 20-Lena Goessling (Wolfsburg), 22-Tabea Kemme (FFC Turbine Potsdam), 23-Sara Daebritz (Freiburg)
FORWARDS (6): 8-Pauline Bremer (Bayern Munich), 9-Lena Lotzen (Bayern Munich), 11-Anja Mittag (FC Rosengard/SWE), 13-Celia Sasic (FFC Frankfurt), 18-Alexandra Popp (Wolfsburg), 19-Lena Petermann (Freiburg).