The U.S. Women’s National Team took on England in the Women’s World Cup semifinal without Megan Rapinoe on the pitch. But they won anyway.

The out star player who has scored all four U.S. goals in the knockout rounds and has five in the tournament, is on the sidelines while Christen Press plays in her place. But in the 10th minute of action, Press showed her worth by scoring the USA’s first goal of the match.

Nine minutes later, Ellen White scored for England to tie the match at 1-1.

And in the 31st minute, birthday girl Alex Morgan scored to put Team USA back in the lead, 2-1. Yes, today is her birthday! At the half, the USWNT held onto its lead. In the second half, White appeared to score again in the 67th minute, but the goal was taken back after an offsides ruling. U.S. defeated England 2-1 after 7 minutes of stoppage time.

USA Today reports U.S. Soccer did not explain the stunning change, other than to say it was not for disciplinary reasons. Rapinoe took part in warm-ups but was last out and spent part of the time on the sidelines, watching her teammates.

The Washington Post reports some observers think it might be injury related.

Some are speculating she has a hamstring injury. Others say it’s a tactical move to bring her in, fresh, when needed later in the match.

ESPN reported earlier today that her hamstrung has been taped up for each training session since the match vs. France. When asked about it, the team trainer told Julie Foudy “The tape is on because she is 33 years old.” Foudy tweeted this morning: “this is not tactical.”

Coach Jill Ellis had no comment when asked by Fox Sports about Rapinoe’s status. We’re watching with you on Fox in the U.S. and you can follow along on @outsports Twitter and with our partners at All For XI in their open thread.

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