[USA-NORTH KOREA REPORT CARD] Rachel Buehler scored a rare goal and patrolled the central defense with composure as the USA won its World Cup opener, 2-0. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players ...
Rating Player (Club) GP/G
6 Hope Solo (magicJack) 95/0
Took a pre-game pain-killer shot for the shoulder that was operated on nine months ago and had no agility problems. Credited for seven saves, but the one requiring the most effort was a dive to deflect a near-post shot that may not have been headed into the net.
6 Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt/GER) 18/0
The right back limited Korean forays down their left flank and the second half contributed to U.S. attack, most significantly when she delivered a ball from the wing that came off the crossbar and led to Buehler’s goal.
6 Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers) 59/2
Scored her second goal for the USA – her first came in qualifying against Haiti last year – to seal the win with a hard, low 15-yard shot after a goalmouth scramble.
5 Christie Rampone (Philadelphia Independence) 235/4
Combined with Buehler in the central defense to deny the Koreans a direct path to goal.
3 Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers) 49/0
The Koreans were most dangerous while going at the left back who was fortunate that they ran out of gas in the second half.
6 Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers) 42/14
This would have been a rout had Cheney not struck each of her first four shots straight a keeper Hong Myong Hui. But she made no mistake with her 6-yard header that gave the Americans a 1-0 lead.
4 Shannon Boxx (magicJack) 146/22
She toiled in the midfield but did little to help her team establish rhythm, although she did pass better in the second half.
5 Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat) 109/27
She shot poorly on two attempts in the first half, when she spent more time chasing than creating, but delivered a fine cross-field pass from her own half to Wambach in the sequence that led to the USA’s first goal.
4 Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC) 144/29
Her limited impact from the right flank contributed to the slow U.S. start. Shot weakly and wide when presented with a clear shot from 20 yards in the second half.
4 Abby Wambach (magicJack) 157/118
A non-factor in the first half and in the second half shot high from seven yards and missed a point-blank header from six yards in what would have been considered a nightmare performance had she not set up Cheney’s goal.
5 Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence) 65/17
More active than strike partner Wambach in the first half, but shot straight into a defender on a golden 40th minute opportunity. Turned and shot into the top corner in the 72nd minute but Hong Myong Hui got there in time.
4 Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash) 19/7
Not her usual super-sub self today. Her one shot was high and wide.
nr Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence) 31/10
Quicker down the right flank than O’Reilly, whom she replaced with 11 minutes left, but plagued by bad touches.
(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)