U.S. national team star Megan Rapinoe is optimistic she will be fit for Sunday’s World Cup final against the Netherlands after missing the semifinal with a hamstring injury.
Rapinoe was a shock omission from her team’s lineup for the semifinal against England, with Christen Press taking her place as the left-sided forward in the team’s 4-3-3 formation.
Press took her starting chance with both hands, scoring the opener with a header in an eventual 2-1 victory for the USWNT.
"As of now I’m expecting to be ready for tomorrow," Rapinoe said at Saturday's pre-match press conference. "I feel good. That’s all I can really say right now,"
After the win over England, Rapinoe confirmed that she had suffered a hamstring tweak in the latter portion of her team’s 2-1 quarterfinal win against France, though the injury had not forced her to come out of that particular match.
Rapinoe did sound a note of caution about her injury on Saturday, saying she still needed to test it out at the team's training session later in the day.
"We have one more training session," Rapinoe said. "As you guys know I’m pretty open and honest with you, so nothing hidden or anything, but I expect to be good to go for tomorrow and I’m very excited about that opportunity."
The U.S. emerged from Tuesday's game against England with another injury concern, as Rose Lavelle was taken out in the second half with a hamstring problem. Lavelle, though, has said that she is fit and ready to go against the Dutch.
When asked about her team's injury status on Sunday, head coach Jill Ellis would not reveal much detail beyond the fact that none of her players are officially out.
"At this point no one’s been ruled out so that’s encouraging for me as a coach," Ellis said.
Rapinoe has tallied five goals at the World Cup, putting her behind only Alex Morgan and Ellen White in the race for the Golden Boot. The 34-year-old scored once in the group stage before grabbing a brace against both Spain in the last 16 and France in the quarterfinal.
In addition to her on-field prowess, Rapinoe has also made news at the World Cup by publicly feuding with U.S. President Donald Trump.
The U.S. will take on the Netherlands on Sunday at Stade de Lyon, as it looks to win its second consecutive World Cup title and fourth overall.