US Women's National Team head coach Pia Sundhage is not afraid to shuffle the lineup or make tactical changes on a whim and Sunday's 2011 Women's World Cup Finals is no exception. Out is Amy Rodriguez, a mainstay at the forward position. Rodriguez has yet to score a goal in the Women's World Cup, and Sundhage felt the USA needed possession against a Japan squad that plays controlled soccer.
Lauren Cheney will start up-top, though the US will likely play more of a 4-5-1 formation instead of a 4-4-2. Megan Rapinoe will slide into the midfield, joining the starting lineup after playing much of the Women's World Cup as a sub. The rest of the lineup remains unchanged, though Amy LePeilbet is back after sitting out due to a red card.
Here are the lineups, courtesy of Grant Wahl.
USA lineup: Solo; Krieger, Rampone, Buehler, LePeilbet; O'Reilly, Boxx, Lloyd, Rapinoe; Wambach, Cheney.
Japan lineup: Kaihori; Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima; Ohno, Sakaguchi, Sawa, Miyama; Kawasumi, Ando.
Look for Rodriguez and/or Alex Morgan to come on late, as has been the case for Morgan throughout the tournament. The USA and Japan take the field in the 2011 Women's World Cup Finals at 11:45 a.m. on ESPN.