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US must solve Julie Ertz dilemma if they're to win World Cup

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- The road to a World Cup title is riddled with detours and alternate routes. Such a path may still get a team to its ultimate destination, just not in the way that was originally planned. So it is proving for the U.S. women's national team, especially when it comes to its lineup choices in midfield and defense.

It was back on April 22 that U.S. captain and Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn first injured her foot against Racing Louisville. She made it back on the field in a June 3 encounter against OL Reign, but a setback meant that she was ultimately left off the U.