Editor's note (5:43 p.m. PT): Megan Rapinoe told reporters after the United States Women's National Team's 2-1 win over England that she expects to be able to play in Sunday's 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup final after missing the semifinal with a minor hamstring injury. The original story is as follows.
Megan Rapinoe has been the star of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. In Tuesday's semifinal against England, the United States Women's National Team's star forward surprisingly will start the game on the bench.
Rapinoe was nowhere to be found when the USWNT's starting lineup was announced just over an hour before the contest.
A team spokesperson said the move was not disciplinary and there will not be a full explanation from coach Jill Ellis until after the match.
It's not a disciplinary situation. Via intermediaries, Ellis is the only one who will speak about it.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) July 2, 2019
Though it was undisclosed prior to the match, Rapinoe could be out due to an unknown injury.
This is not tactical. Rapinoe not even warming up on sideline. She had tape on right leg yesterday. https://t.co/LBNJeHpeQ0— Julie Foudy (@JulieFoudy) July 2, 2019
While the decision seems controversial if she is healthy, it could simply be the best choice when playing a team like England. Inserting Christen Press to slow down England's star Lucy Bronze could be the reasoning.
Rapinoe has been a star offensively, but Press is three years younger and much faster.
Rapinoe, a Redding native who grew up playing club soccer in Elk Grove, has created plenty of headlines in recent weeks. On the pitch, Rapinoe has scored all four of the USWNT's goals in the knockout stage. Off it, she has been scolded by President Donald Trump for saying she wouldn't go "to the f----ing White House."
Sue Bird, Rapinoe's girlfriend and WNBA star, also wrote a Players' Tribune article titled "So The President F*ucking Hates My Girlfriend" on Tuesday morning where she praises Rapinoe's strong will and gives her perspective of the situation.
If Rapinoe does enter Tuesday's semifinal, expect her to be ready to help push the USWNT to their third straight championship game.