No, you have all of the details wrong here. Ellis didn't put Wambach in for the second half, she STARTED the game against 33rd-ranked Nigeria and scored with her LEFT FOOT off a corner kick and played the entire 90 minutes. We only beat 33rd-ranked Nigeria, 1-0, and they played the last 25 minutes with only 10 players after NIG had a player sent off for a 2nd yellow. I've watched all of those games at least a half dozen times, including recently, and have never heard anyone with your takeaways with how Abby played well or that it was good coaching decision to play her, it was just the opposite, which makes me question whether you've actually watched the games at all. Wambach was out of shape and out of form at the 2015 World Cup. She retired from the NWSL in 2014 and didn't play professionally in 2015 and it showed throughout the entire year until she retired at the end of it. In the first game against Australia, the announcers and analysts were already saying that she wasn't playing in the NWSL and looked rusty. Nigeria is a team that the US should have beat easily, so there's nothing impressive about a very shaky 1-0 win against Nigeria, especially when Nigeria played the last 25 minutes with only 10 players. They got the win, but you really have to have your rose-colored glasses on to think that it was good coaching and anything other than a good result from a very bad performance. Yes, Wambach scored, but she didn't play well at all and the offense and team struggled, mainly because of the play style they played because she was in the lineup. After this, she was finally benched and played a total of 28 minutes in garbage time in the last 3 games. It's no coincidence that these are the 3 games the US turned everything around and started to play much better. Do you not remember just about everyone talking about the team playing "Abby-ball"? It was a complaint about the US play style with her in the game. She made very few runs, just stood in the box waiting for service, and the team didn't press. When the US lost possession, they didn't press because Wambach couldn't (she was too out of shape) and they just backed up and allowed the opposition to dribble the ball freely up to midfield. In fact, she was the one that frequently waved everyone to back off when they lost possession. The first game Wambach was benched, the QF game against China, ARod started and they pressed like crazy. Everyone (analysts, fans, announcers, etc) was talking about how much better the US looked when pressing. ARod didn't have a great game offensively against China, but the US played much better as a whole because ARod was able to press like crazy up top and it created a lot of turnovers. In the final 2 games, Lloyd moved up top with Alex and has pretty much been there ever since. Just to answer this... Am I one of those people that thought they shouldn't have taken Abby? No. I didn't have a problem with taking her, but having watched all the games leading up to the WC multiple times before the tournament, I definitely didn't think she should be starting.