With two World Cup titles and three Olympic gold medals, the United States has history on its side in Sunday's final against Japan.

With their lightning quick passing and slick combination play, the Japanese may well have a grip on the future of the game.

The physical, sweeping game of the Americans stands in sharp contrast with the close, possession-oriented game of Japan, turning Sunday's match into an intriguing clash of styles.

The United States beat Japan in two pre-World Cup friendlies but it will count for little in the final.

United States captain Christie Rampone says ''they're a different team here in the World Cup. It brings a different level.''