Opinion: U.S. soccer team bench a lot like White Walkers, and that should scare World Cup foes

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HARRISON, N.J. — Pity the U.S. opponents.

Imagine their sigh of relief, watching Alex Morgan head for the sidelines after trying to corral her for 60-plus minutes, only to realize the player coming in is Carli Lloyd. Or feeling as if you’ll finally get a break from trying to chase down Crystal Dunn, and seeing Mallory Pugh waiting to take her place. Or being grateful to watch Tobin Heath exit – until Christen Press sprints onto the field.

“That’s not fun, that’s for sure,” defender Kelley O’Hara said last week, a wicked grin on her face. “That’s one of the best parts about this team. You know the other teams are like, `OK, they’re bringing on a sub,’ and then they look over at who’s subbing in and they’re just like, `Crap.’

“People that are subbing into games are game changers, just as good as some of the starters potentially.”

United States midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) shoots against Mexico goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago (1) during the second half of a Countdown to the Cup Women’s Soccer match at Red Bull Arena. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta, USA TODAY Sports)

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