Thanks to a well deserved upset win over the United States by Sweden, the neutral public has been set up with a fantastic dream quarterfinal matchup in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup between the USA and Brazil. Of course, fans of both the U.S. women and Brazil won't be particularly happy with how the group stages played out, giving the two pre-tournament implied semifinalists an extremely difficult quarterfinal matchup, but at least they should be treated to some exciting football.
Both Brazil and the United States have the talent to beat any other team in the world, but both have shown serious flaws to begin this competition. Still, despite those flaws, the winner of this match will be the favorite to win the World Cup if the game is very competitive or if there is a definitive winner, thanks to Germany's surprise elimination.
On one side, the United States boast the deepest roster remaining in the competition. On the other side, Brazil boast the best player in the world, Marta. She was lackluster in Brazil's opening game, but she has been her absolutely brilliant stuff in the last two matches, and she should prove an extremely difficult matchup for the USWNT back line. Of course, she's not alone up front, as Christiane and Fabiana are also brilliant players.
The United States have some fitness concerns with Abby Wambach and Heather O'Reilly, who are carrying knocks, and Shannon Boxx, who has begun to show her age in this tournament, but all three are expected to be fit to start on Sunday.
Japan and Germany provided the biggest shock of the tournament, but the best viewing of the quarterfinal round is probably going to happen on Sunday when the United States and Brazil take the field. France awaits the winner of this match, and no matter who prevails, the semifinal should be a thriller.