Alex Morgan did not play today in the USWNT’s World Cup match against Chile. Morgan is not injured, but the move was made to give the forward some rest heading into their big match against Sweden on Thursday. U.S. manager Jill Ellis alluded to the idea that she could rest key players prior to the match.
“You’ll find out tomorrow when the lineups come out, won’t you?” Ellis noted to Yahoo Sports. “We want to make this a long tournament. To do that, we certainly know it’s going to take a lot of physical effort and output from every single one of those players.”
Morgan along with Megan Rapinoe were two of the key USWNT players that the team rested in their second match of group play. It also gave some of the young players a chance to gain experience in the World Cup in case they are needed later in the tournament. According to Fox, every U.S. player on the roster has now played in the first two World Cup matches aside from the backup goalkeepers.
Alex Morgan Scored 5 Goals vs. Thailand in the USWNT’s 1st Match
Morgan scored five goals against Thailand and is still the favorite to win the Golden Boot for the World Cup. Heading into the match, Morgan defended her teammates against criticism over the number of goals scored along with celebrations in the USWNT’s initial match.
“I think it’s disrespectful if we don’t show up and give our best and play our game for 90 minutes,” Morgan told ESPN. “It’s disrespectful to the Thai team. And I believe they wanted us to play them straight up. And for the celebrations, these are goals we have dreamt of our entire life. I mean, I’m going to celebrate Mal Pugh’s goal. I’m going to celebrate Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. This is their first World Cup and I’m so proud of them. And I couldn’t have dreamt of scoring five goals in a World Cup. So it’s incredible for us all and I’m happy just ignoring those comments.”
The USA Has Already Advanced to the Knockout Stage
The USA still has one more match left to play in the group stage, but the USWNT has already punched its ticket to the Knockout Round. The USWNT will advance to the next round even with a loss against Sweden.
The match still has significance as the U.S. can win Group F with either a victory or tie against Sweden. This would help their seeding for the remainder of the tournament. With nothing wrong with Morgan, we can expect the striker to be back in the lineup for Thursday’s match.