Women's World Cup: USWNT coach Jill Ellis explains why Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and other stars didn't play vs. Chile

It's was a different look for the United States women's national team on Sunday in the squad's 3-0 win over Chile that booked a spot in the round of 16. Jill Ellis used just four starters from Tuesday's lineup, with leading goal scorer Alex Morgan on the bench in favor of veteran Carli Lloyd. Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath also spent the game on the bench with Christine Press and Mallory Pugh in their place, while Becky Sauerbrunn returned after missing the first game due to injury, shifting Julie Ertz back into the midfield. 

Lloyd scored two goals for the U.S. in the game while Ertz added one, with the USWNT staying atop Group F.

Here is the lineup that started the game:

Emily Sonnett, Allie Long and Jessica McDonald were the three subs Ellis used off the bench, so after 180 minutes of play, the U.S. has used all 20 field (non-goalkeeper) players on its roster. After the match, Ellis talked about spreading the minutes around. 

"We need them," she said according to USA Today. "We need them in a good place. If they can have minutes and their butterflies are out of the way, it helps us down the line."

Ellis, who has been the American coach since 2014, believes getting all of the players minutes will have them better prepared for what's to come, and next up is Sweden. There's a chance that with Morgan, Rapinoe and Heath the U.S. could have defeated Chile by six goals, but having those stars even more rested for what the team hopes is a seven-game tournament run should be an advantage. 

Spreading around the minutes also will keep some of the bench players happy and perhaps even bring the team together. Those who didn't start didn't show any signs of being upset on the sideline, and they appear all in on what Ellis is doing. If that's true, then every other team is going to have to watch out.

You can watch USA vs. Sweden on Thursday on fuboTV (Try for free). 

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Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Goal.com... Full Bio

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