“It’s about looking at players’ versatility. It’s important for us to explore our options and profiles of players.”
That was the response of U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis when asked by The Equalizer whether her side’s trip to Europe was as much about exploring and testing out potential Plan Bs, if Plan A at the World Cup isn’t working.
The question was in response to the number of players she tried out in different positions and the changes in formation that she enforced, most notably in the game against Spain, when she finished the match with a three-back – a move that, in the past, hasn’t worked out so well.
“I used to focus a lot on who was around me, and actually now I think it’s my responsibility to be a player that other people want to play near.” – Christen Press
Ellis admitted after Tuesday’s victory over Spain that she was looking to “add depth to our back line,” which saw a number of variations explored across the two matches.
With question marks remaining over the fitness of defender Kelley O’Hara, Emily Sonnett continued to be deployed as a right back in both matches, while Emily Fox, Tierna Davidson and Crystal Dunn were all tried at left back (in addition to Dunn playing in the midfield).
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