[USA-SWEDEN REPORT CARD] In a 2-1 loss to Sweden, Lauren Cheney offered the brightest performance and Abby Wambach ended her scoring drought. Soccer America's Mike Woitalla grades the U.S. players ...
Rating Player (Club) GP/G
6 Hope Solo (magicJack) 97/-
Her foot save when Lotta Schelin broke free into the penalty area prevented the Swedes from taking a 7th-minute lead. Got a hand on but couldn't stop Lisa Dahlkvist's well-struck penalty kick. No chance on Nilla Fischer's free kick, which was headed toward the right corner before Amy LePeilbet deflected it into the left corner. Handled back passes well with her feet.
5 Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt/GER) 20/0
The right back broke up a few attacks but hardly joined the U.S. offense.
5 Christie Rampone (Philadelphia Independence) 237/4
Stifled the Swedes twice with the score 1-0 -- including an interception of a dangerous ball from Josefine Oqvist across the goalmouth.
3 Rachel Buehler (Boston Breakers) 61/2
After mis-trapping, reacted by foolishly fouling Therese Sjogran to set up the free kick that led to Sweden's second goal, in the 35th minute.
2 Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers) 50/0
Lucky not to get red-carded for denying a obvious scoring opportunity when she clattered into Schelin for the penalty kick that led to Sweden's first goal, in the 16th minute. While she was standing to the left of the wall on Fischer's 26-yard free kick, her attempt to block it resulted in the ball deflecting off her thigh and into the far corner of the net. Hit a nice pass to Amy Rodriguez through the middle but the left back mostly stayed home until subbed in 59th minute.
7 Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers) 43/14
Responsible for most of the Americans' promising forays and delivered the corner kick for Abby Wambach's goal. Maneuvered from her left midfield position to frequently threaten from the middle. Her shots, however, went high, wide or to the keeper. Defended deep in her own half to thwart a Swedish attack in the 54th minute. In the 87th minute, she juked a defender near the end line and delivered an inviting ball that Kelley O'Hara sent wide of the goal.
4 Shannon Boxx (magicJack) 147/22
The Americans' needed a calming presence in the central midfield and didn't get it from Boxx, back in lineup after sitting out the Colombia game.
4 Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat) 111/28
Wears the No. 10 but didn't look much like a playmaker. Her long-range shots caused no problems for the Swedes but she forced a reflex save from keeper Hedvig Lindahl when she stabbed a loose ball goalward from 6 yards in the 41st minute.
4 Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence) 32/11
Too often followed up a promising move with a bad pass as she tried to attack from her right flank. Best effort came in the 53rd minute when she nutmegged Sara Thunebro and sent a ball across the goalmouth that Boxx shot high.
5 Abby Wambach (magicJack) 159/119
In a quiet first half laid off the ball nicely for Cheney, who shot it wide. Broke her scoring drought when she barreled through a Swedish defender and struck Cheney's corner kick with her upper arm and into the net.
4 Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence) 67/17
Set up a 13th minute chance that Wambach squandered. Fought off Charlotte Rohlin to meet a through ball from LePeilbet at the edge of the penalty area to hit a lob that bounced off the top of the crossbar -- but was otherwise shut down and replaced at halftime
4 Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash) 20/7
Not much of a threat, but she won a couple corner kicks, including the one that led to Wambach's goal, and sent a decent cross during stoppage time.
5 Stephanie Cox (Boston Breakers) 77/0
Replaced LePeilbet at left back with a half hour left.
3 Kelley O'Hara (Boston Breakers) 6/0
Replaced Rapinoe at right midfield and had the tying goal on her foot, but sent her low volley wide.
(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)