Yesterday’s first World Cup semifinal match saw the USWNT take down England 2-1, despite the absence of tournament star Megan Rapinoe. At first it was assumed to be a possible tactical decision, but as the game progressed reports came that Rapinoe had suffered a hamstring strain.

While the United States managed to hold on to make the final, it would be a tough blow to both the team (Rapinoe’s been their top scorer, and is their main free kick and penalty kick taker) and for Rapinoe herself. She’s 33, and while another World Cup isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility (see: Carlie Lloyd), this is clearly a special chance for her.

To that end, Rapinoe says she’s hopeful she’ll be able to return to action on Sunday against the winner of today’s Italy-Netherlands match.

Via the Associated Press:

Rapinoe was injured late in the second half of the 2-1 win against France last Friday.

“It just tightened up a little bit toward the end. Just wasn’t going to be ready for today,” Rapinoe told reporters after the victory against England moved the U.S. closer to a fourth World Cup title. “But it’s feeling much better and I expect to be ready for the final.”

When asked how confident she was, she replied: “It’s a combination of how it feels and how it looks and what I can do. I expect (with) how it feels now to be ready. As is with these things, you just have to go day by day and see how it is.”

Rapinoe did joke that she may have lost her place anyway, given the team’s performance:

“Maybe they don’t need me for the final. Maybe I just got pushed right to the side,” Rapinoe said. “It’s ridiculous, we’ve talked about our depth for a long time now as something we’re going to need throughout this tournament … and it was on full display tonight.”

That undersells her own impact by quite a bit, of course. Hopefully she’ll be ready for Sunday, where she can try to add to her team-leading five World Cup goals.

[AP]

About Jay Rigdon

Jay is a writer and editor for The Comeback, and a contributor at Awful Announcing. He is not a strong swimmer.