The US Women National Team co-captain Megan Rapinoe was not in the starting line up in the semifinals game against England on Tuesday. The Americans second leading goalscorer with 5 goals in her name was replaced by the 30-year-old Christen Press and fans were shocked with the decision of coach Jill Ellis.
Later the coach confirmed that Rapinoe had a slight hamstring strain and also revealed that she didn't want to reveal her hand.
"I feel we have a deep bench and called upon another player and thought they did a fantastic job."
Megan Rapinoe, the star player on the US Women's National Team, wasn't in the starting lineup for today's World Cup match against England, and fans were freaking outhttps://t.co/TTXxr4Pan4 pic.twitter.com/0UqXQJw5Vz
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) July 2, 2019
"There was an outside chance that Rapinoe could take a penalty, so we didn't want to extend ourselves more than we had to. ... Fortunately, we didn't have to go to penalty kicks, but that was an option."
A CNN producer saw Rapinoe crouching outside the line while other members of the team were warming up. She was seen talking with the team's staff and then cheering on her teammates when the starting lineup was announced.
Many of the people thought that it was a strategic move.
A reporter thought it was a strategy by the team coach and also presented her reports.
"As good as Pinoe is, she doesn't contribute a lot defensively. Christen Press is the fastest and fittest player on the USWNT. England RB Lucy Bronze has been the best player at this tournament. So, that's why.", Kim McCauley, a sports reporter presented her theory.
So You're Wondering Why Megan Rapinoe Isn't Starting For The USWNT:
As good as Pinoe is, she doesn't contribute a lot defensively. Christen Press is the fastest and fittest player on the USWNT. England RB Lucy Bronze has been the best player at this tournament. So, that's why.
— Kim McCauley (@lgbtqfc) July 2, 2019
Later a Fox commentator revealed that there was speculation about Rapinoe's injury.
Rapinoe was wearing tape on her right hamstring during practice yesterday. Photo: Laurent Cipriani, Associated Press. pic.twitter.com/tYMVd5f5N5
— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) July 2, 2019
But Press replacing Rapinoe turned out to be a strategic move as Christen Press scored the first goal in the 2-1 win over England.