Changes expected for Brazil clash

Pia Sundhage: Will she be smiling Sunday evening?

Expect to see a change or two when the United States’ women’s soccer team takes on Brazil in a mouth watering World Cup quarterfinal encounter in Dresden this Sunday (11am ET).

While Sweden may have been well disciplined and sharper in Wolfsburg on Wednesday, the U.S. displayed its weaknesses for all to see.

Firstly, the statistic that the U.S. outshot the Swedes 20-9 – with six of those 20 on target — tells you all you need to know about the Americans’ profligacy in front of goal.

Finally starting Alex Morgan in place Amy Rodriguez to partner Abby Wambach may be a real possibility, as her speed would definitely unsettle the Brazilian defense. Moving Indianapolis’ Lauren Cheney up top from midfield is another option.

And then there’s the defense. Amy LePeilbet was exposed down the right several times and could her place taken by Stephanie Cox. Can you imagine what Marta, Cristiana and Rosana might do to an unchanged back four?

Lori Lindsey, the Hoosier midfielder who played well on her World Cup debut, needs to return in place of Shannon Boxx, whose engine doesn’t seem to be as powerful as it once was, while Heather O’Reilly should also play a part if over her groin strain.

It will be interesting to see what changes Pia Sundhage makes. She will know her side is well capable of turning over Brazil – a team the U.S. beat in the 2008 Olympics, but lost heavily to in 2007 World Cup – with the right performance.

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