U.S. women's national team midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday will both be suspended for Friday's Women's World Cup quarterfinal match against China after each accumulated a second yellow card of the tournament during Monday's 2–0 win over Colombia.
Rapinoe earned her yellow for a shove of Colombian player Orianica Vasquez, and she expressed visible frustration when a similar foul was not called on the opposition. It was Rapinoe's second yellow in the USA's four games. The left winger has two World Cup goals for the USA thus far in Canada, both coming in the opening win over Australia. She also assisted on Abby Wambach's winner against Nigeria that cemented first place in Group D.
Holiday, who hasn't missed a minute of the tournament through four games, got booked for a slide tackle in the first half. One potential replacement for Holiday is 22-year-old midfielder Morgan Brian, the team's youngest player.
Christen Press, Tobin Heath and so-far-unused Heather O'Reilly are potential candidates head coach Jill Ellis could use to replace Rapinoe on the wing.
On Monday, Ellis came under fire from a former member of the USWNT for reportedly being content with the Americans' performance in the victory over Colombia.
"If [Ellis] is pleased with the way we played tonight then what the hell is she doing coaching our U.S. team?" asked former USWNT midfielder Michelle Akers in an interview with Sirius XM radio.
While the team's offensive attack has come under some scrutiny thus far in the tournament, the team's defense is currently riding a 333-minute streak of not conceding a goal. That streak will be on the line Friday against China in a rematch of the 1999 World Cup final.
- Will Green