Julie Ertz can play against Spain. (Michael Chow/USA Today sports)
By Michael Lewis
REIMS, France — Count them in for Monday’s Round of 16 game against Spain.
U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said that forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Julie Ertz were fine to play in the Women’s World Cup match at Stade Auguste-Delaune.
“Alex is fine,” Ellis said before answering a question about her midfielder. “JJ’s fine.”
Ellis gave no details about the injuries or the players’ recovery or whether both players will start or begin in the knockout-round match on the bench.
Ertz was not used in the 2-0 win over Sweden in the final Group F match due to a hip contusion. She started the tournament at center back against Thailand due to a Becky Sauerbrunn injury. When Sauerbrunn returned for the Chile match, Ertz moved back to midfield.
Morgan, who connected for five goals in the 13-0 triumph over Thailand, was pulled for the second half of the Sweden game after she suffered a “knock.”
The winner of the USA-Spain game will meet the survivor of the France-Brazil encounter in the quarterfinals.