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U.S. Player Ratings
by Mike Woitalla, July 6th, 2011 8:07PM

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TAGS:  women's national team, women's world cup

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[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 ...

Starters
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

Substitutes
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.)



0 comments
  1. Bernie Lenhoff
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 12:38 a.m.
    Once again, Lauren Cheney is the only US player showing any calm and sophistication. Unfortunately, most of the balls she puts safely on her teammates feet are immediately squandered. Painful to watch.

  1. Nathan Geason
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
    Why is Abby a 5? Becuase she scored a goal with her arm in the late part of the second half? Sweeden won because their forward were faster. Why about A-Rod and Alex together. Need for speed and speed kills.

  1. Carl Hudson
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 9:37 a.m.
    I don't know where Lepielbet came from, but she oughta go back. 2 is generous. Boxx and Lloyd were useless six years ago, and are MORE useless now. Give 'em a 1 each. And Amy Wambach hasn't lost a step - she's lost several FLIGHTS. O'Hara? Back to the bench, along with Morgan. The current USA team, flailing away in a style that does not fit them or their history, couldn't win a U-14 girls tournament.

  1. J david Cepicka
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 9:53 a.m.
    Doesn't seem right to kill Pia. She has done a great job including winning Gold Medal without Wambach. However it might be time to sit Wambach. She was never fast but was quick and good in air. Either age or most likely her injury is preventing her from being effective. First time I have seen US Women play against a team that was faster, bigger and more athletic....

  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 11:50 a.m.
    J David Cepicka, the key to your statement about Pia was winning "without Wambach". The lumbering giant is killing the attack. True Value: LePeilbet = 2, Wambach = 3, Boxx = 1.5. Boxx was non-existent at the most important position on the field, her lack of pace and skill continually put the back line under pressure. On offense she contributed zilch. A complete waste of space. LePeilbet was a disaster going forward and back. Take those three players off and play 8 v 11 and we would have a better chance. Better yet, replace those three with players with pace, and at the very least Brazil will have something to think about.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: July 7, 2011 at 3:44 p.m.
    @Bill Anderson, don't forget to add Rachel Buehler to that list, she was slow and committed a clumsy foul in a dangerous area near the box which Sweden promptly converted into goal No.2 on the free kick which deflected against the hapless LePeilet. The defense as a unit looked shaky due to Buehler and LePeilet's poor performance. In addition, there was very poor passing with both the midfield and fensive units. I would have like to see A-Rod and Alex Morgan together up top rather than the ponderous Wambach. Also, despite her banishment from the USWNT, we could have used Natasha Kai's wicked speed and warrior mentality out there.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: July 8, 2011 at 3:09 p.m.
    Fyi, as to Kai's Fall 2009 shoulder surgery, suffice to say that she has recovered as this recap from her match with her new Philadelphia team against Sky Blue FC on 7/7/11 indicates: "Tasha Kai got a rare WPS hat trick as the Philadelphia Independence defeated Sky Blue FC 4-3 on Wednesday evening. And to make it a perfect evening for Kai, her mother and brother were in attendance to see her performance. The Independence temporarily take over first place, although it must be said that they have played two more matches than Western New York. Sky Blue remains in 4th place, tied with the Boston Breakers. Kai's hat track was only the second ever in WPS play. The first was almost two years ago, on July 12, 2009, when Cristiane scored a hat trick for the Chicago Red Stars against FC Gold Pride. Kai's is the first hat trick that did not include a penalty kick."

  1. Paul Bryant
    commented on: July 8, 2011 at 6:44 p.m.
    Carl Hudson, you made me laugh. Buehler was exposed by her lack of pace. Pia needs to make a decision about her. Wambach is still one of the best players on the pitch, but she should be used differently. The days of her playing with her back to the goal as a center forward are over. She doesn't have the speed or quickness any more. O'Reilly will be a huge improvement over Rapinoe. Boxx is done. Lloyd needs to be more assertive.


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