It’s no secret that women’s soccer superstar Megan Rapinoe is the most decorated and accomplished player in the entire 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup field. But unfortunately for her, that wasn’t enough to convince the coaches of the United States Women’s National team to put her in the game on Wednesday night.
During Wednesday’s crucial group stage match against the Netherlands, Megan Rapinoe was not in the team’s starting lineup at all, which was not exactly a surprise given that she also came off the bench during the team’s 3-0 win over Vietnam on Friday. But this time, Rapinoe didn’t come off the bench, either.
The United States played the entire match on Thursday with the team’s most legendary player on the sideline – even as they tried to come back from an early deficit against the Netherlands.
Her absence in the lineup was pretty brutal news to her many fans, leaving many confused and frustrated as they called for Rapinoe to be inserted into the game.
But…. Is Megan Rapinoe gonna play against the Netherlands at all? 🥺
— Hannah Presley (@HcPresley_Photo) July 27, 2023
I am simply not moved. The last people who scored against the Netherlands in the last 4 years are Lynn Williams, Rose Lavelle, Kristie Mewis, Megan Rapinoe, and Sam Mewis. And none are starting. https://t.co/R6pp5Hogjv
— Christine (@cmariepower) July 27, 2023
lynn would have been ridiculous sub coming in. heck, even rapinoe. the netherlands were gassed after the 60th min. we needed subs, not just rose. also, maybe look at lynn vs the netherland olympics. lol.
— bloop🥺 (@aysusdellyn) July 27, 2023
#USANED #FIFAWomensWorldCup2023 Good game. I guess I should say best tactical game so far. However, Netherlands will be more happier of the two. The US missed the guile. Could have given more minutes to Rapinoe. Martens, Donk and Brugts are exciting to watch.
— Shaggy B (@shaggybirkar) July 27, 2023
Can we put Meghan Rapinoe & Rose Lavelle into this game? They know how to stop momentum of other teams.
And stop flopping Netherlands. It’s embarrassing. Just play your game. @USWNT
— Renae M. (@Renae131) July 27, 2023
Rapinoe has seen her minutes limited this tournament she has been battling some recent injuries of late and the team wants to keep her fresh and available for later in the tournament. However, another reason for her absence in the lineup is simply that the team is now much more youth-oriented with younger players like Sophia Smith taking over her role.
So while we may see more of Rapinoe throughout the tournament, we also might see her on the sidelines more than we’re used to.