Alyssa Thompson's time to shine is now! USWNT winners and losers as Mallory Swanson injury overshadows pre-World Cup wins over Ireland
No matter what happened in the two games against Ireland, no matter the results or the goals or the lessons, this week was one big setback for the U.S. women's national team.
That's all you can really take away when a team loses someone like Mallory Swanson just before a World Cup. That's the story, the only real story, of these two friendlies, right?
Well, not the only story. All of the focus will rightfully be on Swanson's injury and, ultimately, who replaces her. We saw several ways the second half of that sentence can shake out in Tuesday's 1-0 win, and it looks like the USWNT will likely have to trust a young star to step up in Australia and New Zealand.
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Swanson's bad luck, unfortunate as it is, will be someone's gain. Perhaps Trinity Rodman, perhaps Alyssa Thompson, perhaps Megan Rapinoe. Teenager Thompson, though, is among the winners of the week, having gone from outside the squad to starting in a matter of days.
She isn't the only player making a late World Cup push, either. On the other end of the career spectrum, Julie Ertz is back and making a run of her own. After nearly two years away, Ertz played both matches and barely missed a beat, proving that she too could play a part this summer.
With that said, here's a look at the big winners and losers of the USWNT camp...