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2016 Rio Olympics

Rapinoe won’t play in USWNT’s final Rio tune-up

Megan Rapinoe hasn't played competitively since October, when this photo was taken. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe hasn’t played competitively since October, when this photo was taken. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Megan Rapinoe will not play for the United States on Friday in the United States women’s national team’s final official match before the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Rapinoe has not played a competitive match since October after tearing her ACL on Dec. 4, but earlier this month she was named to U.S. coach Jill Ellis’ 18-player Olympic roster. Rapinoe recovered from the torn ACL in time for Ellis to name the midfielder to the Olympic roster, but Rapinoe suffered a setback in training two weeks ago, straining her right calf.

Rapinoe has long been in Ellis’ mind for Rio, if the midfielder could get healthy in time.

“I always talk about seeing players in the pressure cooker, but for some players you know what you’re going to get,” Ellis told The Equalizer in late January. “And some it’s a little bit of exploring what you could potentially have. With Rapinoe, with the talented player that she is, I think if there is a player that can return – because she’s been through it (a torn ACL) twice before, unfortunately – I have not in any way, shape or form factored her out (for the Olympics).”

Ellis said earlier this month that the plan is to “build” Rapinoe’s minutes at the Olympics. Heather O’Reilly, Sam Mewis, Whitney Engen and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris are the four alternates for the United States for the Rio Olympics. O’Reilly is the most likely replacement for Rapinoe, should she need to be replaced on the roster.

The U.S. typically plays closed-door matches at the Olympic site before the Games begin, but no official such plans have been confirmed.

[LAULETTA: The one-year evolution of the USWNT’s roster]

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