What More Can Sydney Leroux Do To Help the USA Women's Team?

Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday are set to miss out on the USA Women's national team's clash against China in the the quarterfinals of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Friday as both midfielders are suspended due an accumulation of yellow cards. While it's likely that Christen Press and youngster Morgan Brian will start to try and give the U.S. a kick offensively, forward Sydney Leroux can come in and have a big impact.

Leroux started the first two games of the tournament for her side as star forward Alex Morgan sat out due to an injury. Morgan is a quick forward that can wear down defenses, and Leroux might actually be quicker. With China being a very organized team defensively, it does make things more difficult for the USA, but having the luxury of not only having Morgan on the field, but Leroux as well, could be very good for this team.

Morgan could be used as a decoy while Leroux slips in behind the Chinese defense for a shot on goal. With Press starting, it is possible she gets pulled in the second half in favor of a fresher Leroux. After making her first appearance for the USWNT in January of 2011, Leroux has 74 international appearances and 35 goals to her name.

While all three of Leroux's World Cup goal attempts have been off target, she has one assist and can even replace Abby Wambach if the U.S. wants to keep the younger forwards on the field. The USWNT has had a problem putting the ball in the net during this World Cup, and while head coach Jillian Ellis has come under fire, she has an opportunity to redeem herself with Friday's match against China.  While the defense has been good for the Americans, speed could be one of the key components to advancing to a semifinal against either France or Germany. If Ellis wants to wear down China, Leroux better be ready to get the call.