What is Jill Ellis going to do against England now that her plan to beat France ended with a win?
It’s an odd way to phrase it, isn’t it? But it feels weird to say the plan worked when the hosts outshot the No. 1 ranked USWNT by 20-10 and had a 61-39 percent advantage in possession. They also connected on just 64 percent of their passes.
You may say that France was chasing the match and that numbers can never tell the story (Plus the Yanks were denied a 3-0 advantage when a questionable offside call denied Tobin Heath a marker).
[ MORE: United linked w/ Ben Yedder, Ndombele ]
Lindsey Horan has been described by some as the best midfielder in the game — which is odd given teammate Julie Ertz is a monster — and Ellis did not start her against France. Instead, it was somewhat-ineffective creative mind Rose Lavelle and industrious Sam Mewis.
Despite calls to bench Megan Rapinoe in favor of Carli Lloyd or Christen Press, Ellis started the veteran and got two goals out of her. Not bad, and it means we’ll likely see her again along with Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath.
Rapinoe has five goals and three assists in four tournament matches, and the 34-year-old looks destined to start her fourth-straight match. With so many options on the bench and Ellis very slow to substitute, could England be the time to use her as a super sub? It’s an option.
Still we expect very few things to change against England, aside from Horan to enter for Lavelle to help steady the passing and nerve center of the midfield. Dunn and O’Hara will be needed to match the pace and engine of Nikita Parris.
O’Hara — Sauerbrunn — Dahlkemper — Dunn
Horan — Ertz — Mewis
Heath — Morgan — Rapinoe