In a huge shock in Lyon, Megan Rapinoe has been left out of the USA’s starting lineup for their World Cup semifinal against England.
The first question on you mind is quite simply, why?
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Rapinoe, 33, has scored all four of the USWNT’s goals in the knockout rounds so far with two goals in the last two games against Spain and France, but her overall play hasn’t matched her output in terms of goals.
Even so, this is a huge call in a World Cup semifinal from U.S. head coach Jill Ellis, as Rapinoe is one of the leaders and veterans of this team.
Christen Press has been brought in to replace Rapinoe in the starting lineup, and that suggests this is probably a tactical switch as Press can pin back Lucy Bronze, England’s right back and best player. Rapinoe has looked shattered at the end of recent games and Press can work the flank better against the power and pace of Bronze.
[ WATCH: Every Women’s World Cup game ]
Still, some of the scenes before the game in Lyon were peculiar as Rapinoe stood to one side of the pitch while her teammates warmed up and she didn’t participate in the warm-up at all despite being changed into her kit.
That could suggest she isn’t fit to play any part in the game.
Several reporters at the stadium also said that no reason would be given for Rapinoe’s absence, but that a spokesperson for the team said it was not for disciplinary reasons following her recent comments about President Donald Trump.
Rapinoe’s girlfriend Sue Bird released an article on Tuesday hitting out at Trump’s treatment of Rapinoe.