This is where the lights go out, if your patriotic fervor does not pass muster. The American women's soccer team, which can't find the net with a GPS and search planes, gets Germany next. Germany is not China or Colombia or Nigeria. Germany will score.
And if that happens, the Americans are done.
A team that's scored only five even-strength goals in the entire tournament has survived largely because its defense has been impenetrable and its psycho goalkeeper has been unbeatable, affording the Americans the opportunity of playing from ahead. But if Germany cracks the code first tonight, the dynamic shifts. And it won't be a pleasant shift for the U.S.
Or so goes one school of thought.
The other, an emerging storyline fueled at least in part by the aforementioned fervor, is that the U.S. found its groove against China in the quarters. That it was much more aggressive on the attack. That it comes to tonight brimming with confidence that it will crack Germany's code first, and sail into the final.
Which is a whole lot of gold to spin from the straw of a 1-0 victory in which the U.S. managed all of four shots on goal.
On the other hand, the Americans took 17 shots and controlled possession, which is what fuels the more-aggression meme. That will have to continue tonight, or they'll be going home. Retreating to a purely defensive posture will be inviting disaster against the Germans, who are as stout defensively as the Americans and skilled enough on the attack to make them pay.
The Blob's prediction?
Oh, heck. U.S. wins on PKs. Why not.
Patriotic fervor made me do it.