Coach Greg Ryan knows the United States' Women's World Cup semifinal against Brazil on Thursday will provide the ultimate contrasting battle between teamwork and individual brilliance.
Ryan's team is a collective unit, having lived together in a residency program leading up to the tournament and operating with a high level of understanding and organization forged by hundreds of training sessions and more than 50 matches over the past two years.
While there are experienced veterans like Kristine Lilly and standout stars such as Abby Wambach, no one in the U.S. squad is put on a pedestal.
"With us, it is never about one player," said Lilly, who is playing in her fifth World Cup and hopes to add to the championship medals she won in 1991 and 1999. "The team means everything to us."
With Brazil, things are different. In playmaker Marta, the South Americans possess arguably the greatest talent in the women's game. The current FIFA Women's World Player of the Year is capable of turningRead More »from Teamwork vs. individual brilliance