Jill Ellis, spreading the playing time love around.
No Alex Morgan.
No Megan Rapinoe.
To Tobin Heath.
All three women had what seemed like iron grips on a starting spot on Jill Ellis’s Women’s World Cup roster. But none of the three started, or even played in, the USA’s second group-round game.
Julie Ertz had moved to C-back for the Thailand game because Becky Sauerbrunn was nursing a slight quad injury. For the game against Chile, Sauerbrunn returned to the back line, and Ertz (Mrs. Versatility) moved up to her normal midfield spot.
Starting XI against Chile:
Starting XI against Thailand:
Limited to only three subs per game, Jill Ellis still found a way to get playing time for every forward, every midfielder, and every defender, either as a starter or a sub. The only players on the US Roster who haven’t seen the field yet are the two backup keepers, Ashlyn Harris and Adrianna Franch. Goalkeepers very rarely sub out, #obvi.
Well, there was that one crazy time when Mia Hamm played goalie in a World Cup… (go to the 2min mark)