The U.S. Women’s National Team will continue their quest to repeat as World Cup champions on Tuesday afternoon, facing off against England. While the U.S. have been favorites all tournament to advance, the knockout stages haven’t proved easy.
Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe has been the center of attention both on and off the field. The star forward has notched all four goals for the U.S. in the knockout stages, including two to get past hometown favorites France last week. Off the field, she made waves after making it clear the team had no plans to visit the White House should they come away with a victory and Donald Trump responded via Twitter.
It’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks for Rapinoe. Approaching the biggest match yet, the surprising news came out that Rapinoe wouldn’t be in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s match against England.
Much will be made of why she was held out, but a U.S. team spokesperson has already put to rest the idea that Rapinoe is being benched as punishment for her previous statements.
In all likelihood, Rapinoe simply has tired legs after only two days have passed between their previous match and having only rested for 10 minutes total between the matches against France and Spain. Using their main goal-scorer as a supersub is an interesting strategy, but the U.S. has shown they’re head and shoulders above the competition throughout the tournament. If any team can take a risk like this, it’s the U.S.