US shuffles lineup again and Ertz out with injury

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

By ANNE M. PETERSON

AP Sports Writer

LE HAVRE, France (AP) The United States was without defensive midfielder Julie Ertz because of a hip injury but the team returned to a lineup similar to the one it used in its Women's World Cup opener for the final group match Thursday night against Sweden.

Ertz, a defensive midfielder, started and scored her first World Cup goal in the team's 3-0 victory over Chile on Sunday. She also started in the team's tournament-opening 13-0 victory over Thailand, falling back to the defensive line because center back Becky Sauerbrunn sat out with a minor injury.

After making seven lineup changes for the match against Chile, coach Jill Ellis went back to the front three she used in the opener: Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Tobin Heath.

Three players were making their third straight starts for the defending champions: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Abby Dahlkemper and Lindsey Horan.

Sauerbrunn was at center back for the second straight game alongside Dahlkemper, with Kelley O'Hara on the right and Crystal Dunn on the left.

The midfield was also the same as the opener against Thailand, with Horan dropping back to defensive mid with Rose Lavelle on the left and Samantha Mewis on the right.

Carli Lloyd, who started up front against Chile and scored two goals in the victory, returned to the bench. The 36-year-old Lloyd scored a hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final victory over Japan.

Sweden made seven changes from the lineup that played to a 5-1 victory over Thailand on Sunday.

Goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl, midfielder Kosovare Asllani, defender Linda Sembrant and captain Caroline Seger all started for the third straight game.

Defenders Jonna Andersson, Amanda Ilestedt and Nathalie Bjorn all made their first starts of the tournament, as did midfielder Julie Zigiotti.

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Updated June 20, 2019

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