SportsPulse: USWNT and England played in an instant classic. And as Nancy Armor details, the United States continued their savagery on and off the track in route to the World Cup final.

LYON, France – Megan Rapinoe has no plans to miss the world championship.

It's all too stressful.

Rapinoe missed the semi-final against England on Tuesday night with a strained hamstring. She said she did it late in the quarterfinals against France, although she could play another 10 minutes or so.

"Just a minor hamstring. Not even a strain, but not really able to go today," Rapinoe said after the American women went on to their third consecutive World Cup final with a 2- 1 victory over England.

"I just felt it wouldn't stop. We've talked about this depth we have … and it was in full view tonight."

Megan Rapinoe is preparing to hug American goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher after beating England in the World Cup semi-finals. (Photo: Alessandra Tarantino, AP)

WORLD CUP: USWNT up to Third World Cup Final

OPINION: Alyssa Naeher explains Alex Morgan dunks over England with epic goal setting

Rapino's replacement, Christen Press, scored in the 10th minute.

Rapinoe had scored all four of the American goals in the two previous knockout games, and her absence from the starting line came as a shock. American football would only say that it was not for disciplinary reasons, but it became apparent when she used most of the pregame warmups on the sidelines that she was probably injured.

"Every trainer wants to keep their cards as close to their chest as possible," coach Jill Ellis said. "When she warms up, the guys could find out."

Although Rapinoe agreed that the decision was best for both her and the team, it is not one she will repeat.

"Oh my God, it was so stressful!" Rapinoe said. "I always tell our friends and families here. It's terrible for them … You have no way to use all this fear. Now I'm back with this body full of anxiety and stress about the game.

"But it is also quite amazing to be able to rejoice for the team," added Rapinoe. "It's the team we'll see and we're going to get back and we usually seem to get out on the right end of things in the stressful games. "

Rapinoe is already one of the more high profile members of the team before the World Cup, and has become the tournament star of the tournament, the face of this butt-kicking, name

She scored all four US goals in the first two knockout games – the second after President Donald Trump directed her (latest) Twitter rage on her, Trump was unhappy over a month-old video, where he said Rapinoe would not go to the White House if American women won and her yet older attitude towards t he national peoples.

But while some "patriotic" Americans are sitting with Trump saying they would no longer rot for her or the American women, Rapinoe made far more new fans. goal against France – outstretched armpit smile on her face – has been turned into endless memes.

BODYARMOR, a sports drink, revealed a Monday containing her.

"Nothing like a 30-something, small-haired, pronounced, goal-setting, relentless competitor who stands for everything that is beautiful, all good, all that is us," reads the caption. "Now it's America. Thanks, Megan."

Follow the USA TODAY Sports & # 39; Nancy Armor on Twitter @nrarmour .


View Thumbnails

View Captions

Last SlideNext Slide