The U.S. Women’s National Team are looking to make it back to back wins against Mexico, next facing their regional rival on Sunday at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium.
The first of the two friendlies on Thursday happened in the midst of an injury crisis, and saw plenty of rotation. Some of the selections were expected, like right back Emily Sonnett and left back Crystal Dunn, both filling in for the injured Casey Short and Kelley O’Hara, respectively.
There were, however, a few surprises in the middle of the park. Jill Ellis had been rotating through her midfield depth with a few starters out, and went with the combination of Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan, and Andi Sullivan. Additionally, she elected to start Tierna Davidson over Becky Sauerbrunn in the co-captain’s return from her own injury.
All of the players enjoyed fairly strong performances, but being that they have only had two full days of rest, Ellis will likely go with some rotation. Here is what the lineup may look like:
Being that the U.S. is without seven potential starters, rotation may not occur in certain places. Alyssa Naeher will likely keep her place in goal, as is almost always the case. Abby Dahlkemper, too, has been one of the more frequent starters of late and will likely stay there.
Having few options at left back means Dunn will likely start again, considering that she needs more minutes at the position after going on a years long hiatus from playing fullback. Ellis, however, may elect to give Tegan McGrady, the U-23 left back called in place of O’Hara, her first cap. Sofia Huerta is in a similar boat as Dunn, not being entirely familiar with right back, and may get the start.
Further up the pitch, Allie Long might get another shot after starting in the SheBelieves Cup finale against England. Horan will likely retain her starting spot, as she has started every match this year. Carli Lloyd has become a contender to start again, and she may do so again after playing a majority of the second half on Thursday.
Mallory Pugh, Alex Morgan, and Megan Rapinoe almost always make the starting lineup when they are healthy, and this will likely be the case again. Lynn Williams, though, may find herself in the starting lineup out wide in order to offer some rest.