From the moment that the pairings were announced for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, everyone had hoped, wanted, and expected that the United States (Group F winners) and France (Group A winners) would meet at some point during this event. While everyone had hoped that it would be in the championship game, perhaps this quarterfinal match is the better time as this game could wind up deciding the outcome of this year's World Cup. These two teams have been dominant and damn near unstoppable and now they're on a collision course. The host nation looks to derail the train that is Team USA.
United States vs. France
When: Friday, June 28 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: Parc Des Princes (Paris)
TV: FOX and Telemundo
Three Things to Watch
1. A close call against Spain
It took four matches for it to happen, but someone finally scored against the United States Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT). Spain found the net in the first half against the U.S. in their Round of 16 match on Monday but Megan Rapinoe converted a second penalty kick to secure the hard-fought 2-1 victory. Spain's goal ended the U.S.'s 19-0 run that had carried over from group play in which they easily dispatched an overmatched Thailand team, a young squad from Chile, and took down European power Sweden. For a brief second Spain was able to prove that Team USA isn't fully invincible.
2. Brazil pushes France to the limit
France also had a challenge from their previous opponent. Brazil took the French into extra time last weekend during which a goal in the 107th minute proved to be the difference. Despite the scare, France has been dominant this World Cup, outscoring the opposition 9-1. Brazil was another favorite to win this tournament, but the French showed just how powerful they are by eliminating Brazil when it mattered the most.
3. These teams have history against each other
Team USA's record against France currently stands at 9-3-3. The Americans also have outscored the French 26-16, but France has gone unbeaten against the U.S. in the last three matches (2-0-1 record, 6-2 goals advantage). France currently has the momentum in this match and it'll be interesting to see how that comes into play.
It is my belief that 90 minutes won't be enough to settle this one. While France has had Team USA's number in recent meetings, the U.S. has been playing at a different level this World Cup. The host nation gives USWNT all that it can handle, but Team USA does just enough to win and advance.
Prediction: United States 3, France 2 (Extra Time)
— Gabe Salgado is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. He's also written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting News, The Sports Journal, The Undefeated and Complex. He's a co-host of The Rewind Sports: 60. Follow him on Twitter @GabeSalgado82.