Ellis: Rapinoe could have taken penalty if USA-England had gone to a shoot-out

By Sports Desk July 02, 2019

Megan Rapinoe's hamstring strain prevented her from starting the United States' semi-final against England, but Jill Ellis said she may have called on her if the game had gone to a penalty shoot-out.

There was a notable omission from USA's starting XI when it was revealed prior to kick-off, Rapinoe only among the substitutes despite scoring braces in back-to-back games to fire the defending champions to the last four.

Curiously, there was no explanation for the outspoken Rapinoe's absence, though the fact she only watched on during the pre-match warm-up suggested something was amiss.

Ellis' team did not miss their star forward too much, though, Rapinoe's replacement Christen Press scoring the first goal and Alex Morgan the winner as England, who had levelled through Ellen White in the first half, were beaten 2-1 in Lyon.

Rapinoe said herself she expects to be ready for Sunday's final and Ellis conceded that despite her injury, she would have considered calling upon her penalty expertise if a shoot-out was required.

"Megan's got a slight strain to her hamstring so wasn't available today," Ellis said at a news conference.

"Obviously I feel we have a really good, deep bench and called upon other players and I think they did a fantastic job. Yeah, [it's] a hamstring strain.

"I thought Pressy did fantastic. There was an outside chance Rapinoe could take a penalty, so thereby we didn't want to extend ourselves more than we had to in terms of giving our starting XI when we needed to.

"Every coach wants to keep their cards as close to their chest as possible, fortunately we didn't have to go to penalty kicks but that was an option, potentially.

"I don't know about secrecy. We released it when we were supposed to release it.

"Once she was warming up, I think you could figure it out."

Related items

  • Neil Warnock leaves Cardiff City post Neil Warnock leaves Cardiff City post

    Neil Warnock has left Cardiff City by mutual consent, the Championship club have confirmed.

    The veteran manager previously said he would not continue beyond the end of his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season.

    However, Warnock is to leave his post with immediate effect with the Bluebirds – relegated from the Premier League last term – languishing 14th in the second tier.

    "Today I am leaving my beloved Bluebirds after over three years of which have been some of the best days in my long football career," Warnock said via a Cardiff statement. 

    "I would like to thank Vincent Tan and Ken Choo for their support; Victoria my secretary who has had to look after me over the years; Kevin Blackwell and Ronnie Jepson, my ever-faithful sidekicks and friends; and all the backroom staff on both the coaching and the medical sides who have worked tirelessly to help us achieve the success we have had. 

    "A special mention also to all of my players, past and present, who have given me everything. Thank you, you're a great bunch."

    Warnock was appointed by Cardiff in October 2016 and led the team in promotion to the Premier League in the 2017-18 campaign.

  • Supercopa de Espana's confirmed revamp tees up potential February Clasico in Saudi Arabia Supercopa de Espana's confirmed revamp tees up potential February Clasico in Saudi Arabia

    A new four-team format has been finalised for the Supercopa de Espana that will see the competition moved to Saudi Arabia for the next three years, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) has confirmed.

    RFEF president Luis Rubiales revealed a proposal to convert the season curtain-raiser into a mini-tournament in February this year.

    Last season's Supercopa – traditionally a two-legged affair played between the winners of LaLiga and the Copa del Rey – was the first to be played abroad, as Barcelona beat Sevilla 2-1 in Tangier, Morocco, with the singular match officially classed as a friendly.

    But the success of the contest from the RFEF's perspective proved its viability and it is pushing ahead with the plans having struck an agreement for Saudi Arabia to play host over the next three years, starting in February 2020.

    With four teams – the Copa finalists and LaLiga's top two – set to be involved, the RFEF has moved the competition to Spain's winter in order to "lighten the calendar", instead of playing it at the start of the season.

    Following confirmation of the revamp on Monday, the RFEF also revealed the historic first fixtures, with Real Madrid and Barcelona facing Valencia and Atletico Madrid, respectively, in the semi-finals, teeing up a potential Clasico finale on February 12.

    Copa del Rey holders Valencia were particularly vocal in their opposition of the initial plans put forward by the RFEF, while many criticised the governing body for fraternising with a country that has a questionable human rights record.

    But the RFEF has called the deal an "engine for social change" and confirmed women will be allowed "unrestricted access to the matches" and the launch of a women's football competition in the region.

    RFEF believe the internationalisation of the competition will improve its credibility and subsequently boost Spain's bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

    Media reports have claimed the RFEF stands to bring in €40million for every season the Supercopa is hosted in Saudi Arabia. Aside from club prize money, the federation pledges to invest all its entire income from the agreement in amateur football.

  • Reggae Girlz to tackle 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers in Edinburg Reggae Girlz to tackle 2020 CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers in Edinburg

    Houston, Texas, Edinburg, Texas, and Los Angeles, California will host the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

    The competition, to be disputed between eight teams, including 2019 FIFA World Cup Champions United States, and World Cup participants Canada and Jamaica, is scheduled to take place January 28 - February 9, 2020.

    Additionally, Concacaf conducted the official draw to sort the eight participating teams into two groups of four, for the first round of the competition. The draw, which featured welcoming remarks from Concacaf General Secretary Philippe Moggio, was executed by Concacaf Head of Women’s Football Karina LeBlanc, with the assistance of two-time Olympic Gold medalist Lindsay Tarpley and Olympic Bronze medal winner Kaylyn Kyle. 

    The groups for the 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament are as follows:

    Group A
    A1: USA
    A2: Costa Rica
    A3: Panama 
    A4: Haiti

    Group B
    B1: Canada
    B2: Mexico
    B3: Jamaica
    B4: St Kitts and Nevis

    The 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament will kick off with an initial group stage between January 28 and February 4. Group A matches will take place at the BBVA Stadium, in Houston, TX on January 28, 31, and February 3. Group B matches are set for January 29, and February 1 and 4, at the HEB Park, in Edinburg, TX. 

    After group stage round-robin play the top two finishers from each group will move on to the semifinals. The two semifinal matches, which will determine the two qualified teams to the Olympics, will be played on Friday, February 7, at the Dignity Health Sports Park, in Los Angeles, CA. The final match, between the semifinal winners, will also be played in Los Angeles, on Sunday, February 9. 

    More information on tickets will be available in ussoccer.com in due course.

    In the previous edition of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, hosted in Houston and Frisco, in 2016, the United States topped Canada 2-0 in the final, earning its 4th straight title.

    The 2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament will kick off what is set to be a year of Women’s Football at Concacaf.  In total, more than 1,400 girls and women from the entire region will have access to top level football tournaments, including the Girls’ Under-15 Championship and the Women’s Under-17 and Under-20 Championships.

    2020 Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament

    Dates: January 28 - February 9, 2020

    Venues: BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX (Group A matches), HEB Park, Edinburg, TX (Group B matches) and Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, CA (Semifinals and final)

    Participating Teams (listed in alphabetical order): Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis and United States.

    Competition Format: The eight participating teams have been sorted into two groups of four teams. After round-robin play, the first and second place finishers of each group will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will automatically qualify for the tournament’s final, as well as the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020.

    Schedule
    *Kick off times to be confirmed and order of the matches subject to change

    Tuesday, January 28, 2020 – BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
    Costa Rica vs Panama 
    USA vs Haiti

    Wednesday, January 29, 2020 – HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
    Mexico vs Jamaica
    Canada vs Saint Kitts and Nevis

    Friday, January 31, 2020 – BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
    Haiti vs Costa Rica
    Panama vs USA

    Saturday, February 1, 2020 – HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
    Saint Kitts and Nevis vs Mexico
    Jamaica vs Canada

    Monday, February 3, 2020 – BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX
    Panama vs Haiti
    USA vs Costa Rica

    Tuesday, February 4, 2020 – HEB Park, Edinburg, TX
    Jamaica vs Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Canada vs Mexico

    Friday, February 7, 2020 – Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA
    SF1: 1B vs 2A
    SF2: 1A vs 2B

    Sunday, February 9, 2020 – Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, CA
    F: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.