There is nothing in the world quite like soccer player at the highest level. Our latest reminder of that came in the semifinal matchup of the Women’s World Cup between the United States and England, an absolutely thrilling affair between two of the best sides on the planet. But thanks to some heroics from American keeper Alyssa Naeher, the USWNT came out on top, 2-1, and punched its ticket to the 2019 World Cup final.
The intrigue began before the match when U.S. manager Jill Ellis released her lineup, one that did not include American hero Megan Rapinoe taking up her usual spot on the left wing. The starting spot ended up going to Christen Press, and while it was unclear why this happened, Rapinoe not warming up implied an injury concern, something that was confirmed at the half, when Rob Stone of Fox Sports said she was dealing with a bum hamstring.
The good news, though, is that Press is very good, and in the 10th minute, she got the Americans on the board first. Kelley O’Hara played in a gorgeous cross from down the right flank, Press got her head to it, and the United States found itself up, 1-0.