I am in Tokyo for the World Cup and have seen every game thus far. I want to let you know Japan has a much better shot at winning on Sunday than people think. They run a 4 wide, shotgun offense and are coached extremely well. Despite their lack of size they are able to penetrate the backfield on defense and open holes on offense due to their complex blocking schemes. In fact, Sweden's offensive and defensive lines are much bigger than the US and the size of the players didn't effect Japan one bit.
If it doesn't rain (currently there is a typhoon off the coast of Japan that is supposed to hit on Sunday) Japan will be in the game, if not winning, in the 4th quarter. If it rains as expected, USA may have the advantage because the Japanese passing offense will be ineffective. However, Team USA didn't take care of the football against Germany and the Japanese defensive players are ballhawks. This game could go either way.
If Japan wins their will be people in the United States that think it is a joke because we didn't send Ray Lewis, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Peyton Manning. Let us not forget that it took football in the United States close to 50 years to really become popular and another 25 before it became the game we know today. The USA team is a solid team with many guys either trying out for NFL teams or turning down Arena League tryouts so they could participate in this event. We are not sending our best but it's certainly not a ragtag group of guys.
The growth in development of football in many countries is very strong and will only continue to be stronger in the years to come. IFAF is currently doing some great things despite the many challenges that it faces. Growing a sport in the modern day is much different than the way sports were grown almost a century ago and they are doing a tremendous job of recognizing this. When football is in the Olympics in the next 20 years we will all realize how quickly the game is growing around the world.
My prediction: If there are heavy rains, USA 18-13...If it doesn't rain that heavily, Japan 27-24!!!