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Morgan, Wambach, Rapinoe and Lloyd come through
by Ridge Mahoney, July 25th, 2012 11:23PM

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TAGS:  france, men's national team, olympics

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[USA-FRANCE REPORT CARD] A rocky U.S. start to its Olympic opener provided opportunities for France to take the lead, but a rally fueled by forwards Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan along with midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd earned the Americans a memorable victory. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...

USA Player Ratings
Starters
RATING/PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Sounders Women) 119/0.

Got a hand to each of France’s goals, second one might have been parried. Reacted sharply to snag crosses and smother through balls to defuse French attacks.

4 Kelly O’Hara (no club) 20/0.
Overpowered and outrun on several occasions as France started sharply, she played tougher as the USA took command then faltered a bit on balls played into her vicinity.

5 Christie Rampone (no club) 261/4.
She was one of several players unable to win the ball or clear it during the scramble that produced France’s second goal and she also was too far away when Gaetane Thiney hit the first one. Her play and command of situations improved aside from a couple of shaky moments near the end.

4 Rachel Buehler (no club) 83/3.
Started off a step behind the French attackers and though she grew stronger as the match went on she didn’t always look secure during duels, and missed a couple of tackles in tricky situations.

5 Amy LePeilbet (no club) 71/0.
Poor header on long ball set up France to score first goal, also caught out of position on attacks down her side. Played some good balls out of the back and from midfield to create opportunities.

4 Shannon Boxx (no club) 169/23.
A hamstring injury forced her out of the game early after she’d futilely chased Camille Abily and other French midfielders.

8 Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Sounders Women) 53/12.
As the primary attacking catalyst she triggered many promising sequences, and played a role in three goals with a corner kick, short pass, and releasing ball. Her defensive work and positioning were hit-and-miss but she did drop back to win a few double-teams.

6 Lauren Cheney (no club) 68/18.
She seldom got the ball in the first half as USA went with long balls. In the second half she won duels in her own half and played a more influential role going forward, though she passed up a couple of shooting opportunities.

6 Tobin Heath (New York Fury) 46/6.
Struggled to find the game as France took command, then she got involved by moving inside to get touches and link up more effectively. Set up the final goal by dribbling under control down the left flank and slipping a pass into the goal area.

8 Alex Morgan (Seattle Sounders Women) 43/29.
Tormented the French nearly every time she was on the ball by her swift, supple dribbles and precise touches. Scored the second USA goal with a masterful display of balance and agility to clip a bouncing ball over the keeper, and finished off the scoring from a yard out at the back post.

8 Abby Wambach (no club) 183/139.
Started the comeback with a classic looping header from a corner kick delivered to the back post, and chased down a long ball to make space for Morgan’s on the equalizer. Crashed the near post on ball that rolled to Morgan for final goal. Exhorted her teammates throughout the match and battled on relentlessly as the French wilted.

Substitutes
RATING/PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
7 Carli Lloyd (no club) 136/37.
Struck a fabulous goal from distance to give the USA the lead after replacing Boxx midway through the first half. She also tamped down France’s attempts to rally by shutting off passing lanes and getting to second balls.

5 Amy Rodriguez (no club) 90/25.
Provided some energy and fresh legs to press France’s defenders in the final quarter of an hour.

NR Sydney LeRoux (Seattle Sounders Women) 15/7.
Got her first Olympic experience in the last minutes.

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



2 comments
  1. Carl Grover
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 1:20 p.m.
    A good showing for the women's team. I was surprised that Buehler and Rodriguez are still on this team after last year. If Morgan had been the starter on that team instead of Rodriguez and anyone else had been playing defense except Buehler the U.S. would be won the World Cup. I don't like to be negative here but the present defense will give up goals as they did against France. Perhaps we will score enough goals to offset that.
  1. James Madison
    commented on: July 26, 2012 at 7:24 p.m.
    I will admit to a Stanford bias, but I think, Ridge, you under-rated Buehler (who has somehow become faster in the past year) and O'Hara, as well as Solo and over-rated LePeilbet, Chaney and Rodriguez. Rapinoe seems to play in streaks. When she was hot yesterday, she was HOT!!! Sometimes, however, when she gets hot, she seems to think she is Superwoman and tries things she shouldn't.

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