[USA-JAPAN REPORT CARD] Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan were superb in an overall excellent U.S. performance, but it all went for naught as defensive errors proved costly. Soccer America's Paul Kennedy grades the U.S. players ...
6 Hope Solo (magicJack) 101/-
Couldn't do anything on two Japanese goals. Did her part to put the USA in a position to win shootout with stop on Yuki Nagasato after Americans missed their first two attempts. Almost stopped Mizuho Sakaguchi on next Japanese PK.
5 Ali Krieger (FFC Frankfurt/GER) 23/0
First game at Commerzbank-Arena in her soccer hometown of Frankfurt was an unlucky one. Ball took bounce off her to Aya Miyama on first Japan goal.
6 Christie Rampone (Philadelphia Independence) 240/4
Had an excellent game until she played ball straight to Nagasato on play that led to the late Japanese equalizer in regulation.
3 Rachel Buehler Boston Breakers) 63/2
Struggled to keep up with Japanese attack late in the game. Failed to clear ball Miyama put away for tying goal in regulation. Unable to keep up with Sawa on diagonal run across the area on second Japanese goal off Miyama free kick.
5 Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers) 53/0
Japanese rarely attacked down their right wing, allowing LePeilbet to get forward much more than she usually does. But caught napping on counter by right back Kinga that led to corner kick and second Japanese goal.
6 Shannon Boxx (magicJack) 150/22
Played her best game of the tournament, winning balls and playing them quickly to teammates. Took first penalty kick but put it right into the path of Ayumi Kaihori's trailing leg.
6 Carli Lloyd (Atlanta Beat) 114/28
Skied PK over the crossbar typified her game. Often came forward but unable to find target. Best chance came in 11th minute when she failed to put open shot on goal. Played excellent through ball that led to Morgan breakaway in stoppage time in second overtime.
8 Megan Rapinoe (Philadelphia Independence) 35/11
Best player on the field for most of the game. Key to the U.S. attack with her dribbling and passing. Picked up ball just outside U.S. area and played long ball that found Morgan for first U.S. goal. Hit the outside of the post in the 18th minute, first of three U.S. shots off woodwork.
6 Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC) 147/30
Worked tirelessly on both sides of the ball down right wing. Could have done better at times with her crosses but had centering pass that Wambach failed to put away in 120th minute. Also had center on ball Morgan hit off post.
6 Lauren Cheney (Boston Breakers) 46/15
Unlucky not to score on shot saved at near post in first 30 seconds. Injured ankle but stayed in the game -- and played well -- until halftime.
7 Abby Wambach (magicJack) 162/122
Japanese defenders did an excellent job of keeping her away from goal until she scored on header off Morgan's cross in the 104th minute. Goal was her 13th Women's World Cup, breaking U.S. record she shared with Michelle Akers. Unlucky on wicked shot that hit crossbar in first half. Will rue missed close-range chance in 120th minute. Only American to convert her PK.
8 Alex Morgan (Western New York Flash) 24/9
Tore apart the Japanese central defenders with her pace and touch. Beat the excellent Saki Kumagai to Rapinoe's ball on first goal. Almost duplicated goal in first overtime but shot wide. Then served perfectly weighted ball Wambach put away for second U.S. goal. Hit near post with left foot shortly after coming in for Cheney after the break. Broke free in last minute of second overtime, leading to Azusa Iwashimizu's red card.
4 Tobin Heath (Sky Blue FC) 31/2
Came on for Rapinoe in second overtime. Has shot blocked on U.S. free kick at the end of the game. Missed PK with weak attempt saved by Kaihori.
(1-low; 5=average; 10=high.)