MONTREAL -- The United States took on Germany in their World Cup semifinal with a new-look lineup and a new shape on the field, and came away with a 2-0 win that sends the Americans to the final.
For the first time in this tournament, United States coach Jill Ellis included five midfielders in her starting lineup, with Morgan Brian retaining her place after a strong quarterfinal against China and both Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe reclaiming starting spots alongside Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath. Starters in each of the team's first four games, Holiday and Rapinoe missed the quarterfinal because of accumulated yellow cards.
The changes meant Abby Wambach started on the bench for the second game in a row and the third time this tournament, with Alex Morgan the lone forward in the lineup. Wambach came off the bench as a substitute for Rapinoe late in the second half.
Lloyd is the only player other than defenders Julie Johnston, Meghan Klingenberg and Becky Sauerbrunn and goalkeeper Hope Solo to play every minute in the tournament.
The formation for the United States with this assortment of players was a 4-2-3-1, as opposed to the 4-4-2 it played in the first five games.
The German starting lineup did not include star midfielder Dzsenifer Marozsan, who injured her ankle in a quarterfinal against France and whose status was in doubt ahead of the semifinal. Marozsan came on as a substitute for the world's top-ranked team.