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U.S. player ratings
by Paul Kennedy, July 13th, 2011 6:58PM
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TAGS:  france, women's national team, women's world cup

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[USA-FRANCE REPORT CARD] The USA was badly outplayed by France in midfield for much of their Women's World Cup semifinal but several players came up with big plays to move the USA into Sunday's final against Japan. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the U.S. players ...

6 Hope Solo (magicJack) 100/-
Said she wasn't at the top her game but exuded confidence -- in sharp contrast to the shaky performance by French counterpart Berangere Sapowicz. Biggest save came early in the first half on Gaetane Thiney. Frozen with Thiney standing in six-yard box on Sonia Bompastor's cross that went into goal on one bounce.

6 Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt/GER) 22/0
Another solid game from Krieger, who will return to Frankfurt, where she has played her club ball, for the final. Fouled Bompastor clumsily to concede free kick that resulted in Bompastor's shot off bar. Knocked Louisa Necib off the ball to make key stop at the start of the second half. Bothered by ankle injury but stayed in the game.

7 Christie Rampone (Philadelphia Independence) 239/4
Captain again marshaled the backline that bent but was only broken on a fluke goal. French had a huge edge in shots -- 25-11 -- but most of their shots were long-distance efforts that didn't trouble Solo. Came forward to lift cross to far post that Wambach failed to put on frame. Intercepted ball that started buildup on third U.S. goal.

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (magicJack)
Only playing because Rachel Buehler was suspended. Sauerbrunn had a very good game, particularly in the first half when she marked Marie-Laure Delie out of the match.

5 Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers) 52/0
Considered the weak link of the U.S. backline but was not exposed. Involved in buildup on first U.S. goal.

7 Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers) 45/15
Redirected O'Reilly's cross for first goal, stabbing at ball to the near post. Lifted corner kick to far post, where Wambach headed home the winner. Settled midfield after shifting inside when Rapinoe came on for Lloyd.

5 Shannon Boxx (magicJack) 149/22
Forced to organize U.S. midfield badly outnumbered and outplayed for much of the game. Aimless pass straight to Frenchwoman started sequence that led to tying goal.

5 Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat) 113/28
Deft backheel triggered O'Reilly on play that led to first U.S. goal. Stepped up to stop several dangerous France attacks in first half. But struggled in the second half and went off in the 65th minute.

5 Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC) 146/30
Made patented run down left wing to beat Laura Georges and find Cheney for opening goal in the 9th minute. But couldn't get very involved in game after that until she earned corner Wambach put away for the winning goal.

7 Abby Wambach (magicJack) 161/121
Inevitably, produced the winner with a header at the far post off Cheney's corner kick. Should have done better on ball from Rampone in the first half. Involved in buildup on Morgan's goal as well with header to Rapinoe.

3 Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence) 69/17
Another poor game from Rodriguez, who rarely saw the ball and again went off early in the second half for Morgan.

Substitutes
7 Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence) 34/11
Changed the dimension of the game when she came on the 65th minute. Almost scored on free kick shortly after coming into the game. Cut out French defense with pass Morgan put away for third goal.

7 Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash) 22/8
Finally showed at the Women's World Cup why she is so dangerous as a sub. Scored with a clinical finish after being put through by Rapinoe. Should have added a second goal a few minutes later.

NR Tobin Heath (Boston Breakers) 30/2
Came on as late sub for fellow New Jersey and UNC product Heather O'Reilly.

(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)



0 comments
  1. Ernest Irelan
    commented on: July 14, 2011 at 8:35 a.m.
    I am going to again go with a 7 for Hope Solo...with so many shots off by the French....why not?...so, they got one goal on her...it was a no brainer, she had to cover one side or other with the French attacker obviously going to put a touch on ball for an easy redirected goal...had she done that, an Solo had covered far post, she would have been blamed for misjudging that,,,so, a no brainer....she did her job...she was trying to cover both areas of the goal, a no win for her...it did look like the French were going to run away with the game after US goal an they scored to tie an were getting a lot of balls in their attacking third...it is good that shots off are not counted as goals....just the ones that go in the goal...I admit,I think the French with more experience, in time, will be a force to reckon with by any team....they were quick, young, a good chemistry among their team..
  1. Kent James
    commented on: July 14, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
    Sauerbrunn may deserve a 7 for context; playing in her first game, under high pressure the entire time, she made few mistakes and completely neutralized the best French attacker. Couldn't ask for much more. Solo cannot be faulted for the goal; she had to stay central in case that French attacker got a touch, and by the time it was clear she didn't, it was essentially impossible for Solo to stop the ball (and she made a great effort that almost got it). It was nice to see that Morgan has more than speed; her deft touch on her goal was beautiful, and justifies her insertion late in games. I'm hoping that in the final Rodriguez will justify why she starts, because so far I'm not seeing it.
  1. Mark N
    commented on: July 14, 2011 at 11:07 a.m.
    Not sure how Lloyd warrants a 5. She had 10 sharp minutes to start the game, but for the next 55 it was business as usual - either caught in possession or passing directly to the other team with 2/3 of her touches. The end of French dominance of possession corresponded with Lloyd coming off the field. How about a 3 and a long rest?
  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: July 14, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.
    Don't forget Ernest, that Hope made a bad pass in the backfield that the French intercepted and could have easily scored. I think 6 is about right.
  1. Bret Newman
    commented on: July 14, 2011 at 3:15 p.m.
    If your talking about the header that Wambach missed from a bad angle Paul Kennedy, then your underestimating how difficult that is. That isn't some routine header for goal. Yes, she could have made it, but it would have been a fantasic goal. I think your comment is influenced by the broadcasters, who acted like she should have scored. But, I think when they saw the replay they understood why she missed it.
  1. Bill Anderson
    commented on: July 15, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
    Boxx is a failure in the midfield. The US have only looked competent in the midfield in the game she missed, and in the Brazil game when she was moved to center back after the red card. If the US win the cup, it will have nothing to do with her contributions.

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