[USA-COLOMBIA REPORT CARD] The USA women clinched a spot in the knockout round of the Olympic soccer tournament by beating Colombia, 3-0, with a strong defensive effort and sharp finishes by Megan Rapinoe, Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd. Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney grades the U.S. players ...
USA Player Ratings
RATING/PLAYER (CLUB) GP/G
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Sounders) 120/0.
Solo spent much of the game as a spectator as alone as her name and her one save was an easy one. Still, she looked sharp and confident when called upon, and made a tricky collection of a high cross look routine by backpedaling quickly to pluck the ball out of the air.
6 Kelly O’Hara (no club) 21/0.
O’Hara had the measure of her foes most of the time and got in her tackles near the byline solidly enough not to concede a corner. She also got up the flank, especially in the first half, to trouble the Colombian defense.
6 Christie Rampone (no club) 262/4.
The captain stepped into tackles confidently and discouraged the Colombians by winning balls in the air decisively. Carmen Rodallega went right at her but rarely won the duel as Rampone increased her U.S. record of Olympic appearances to 18.
5 Rachel Buehler (no club) 84/3.
She gave her faster opponents a bit of space so they couldn’t get behind her, and aside from a couple of momentary openings, she shut the door when Rodallega or Orianica Velasquez prepared to shoot.
5 Heather Mitts (no club) 127/2.
A lack of sharpness plagued her at times, but once she got into the flow she gave the Colombians little space and time in the attacking third. She also found Heather O’Reilly with outlet passes up the flank.
7 Carli Lloyd (no club) 137/39.
The emergency sub in the opener against France held her spot and played a major role in blunting Colombia’s tricky attackers by cutting off passes and powering into tackles. She’s more used to smashing shots from distance than running onto through balls but when set up by Megan Rapinoe she finished sweetly.
4 Heather O’Reilly (Boston Breakers) 167/34.
Buzzed up the right flank past opponents numerous times but often either took one too many touches or lost control at the critical moment. A couple of shooting opportunities were also passed up, yet she nevertheless pestered the Colombians with her zeal and energy before coming off in the 67th minute.
6 Lauren Cheney (no club) 69/18.
Quietly but efficiently collected and re-distributed deflected passes and second balls that stifled Colombia’s forays up the middle, and set the USA attack going forward. She and Lloyd kept their spacing balanced, and were usually in sync when opponents needed to be closed down. She relayed the ball with which Rapinoe set up the third goal.
8 Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Sounders) 54/13.
She punctuated an all-around display of attacking chops by opening the scoring with a great, dipping shot set up by an inside move that froze three opponents. She’d earlier set up Wambach with a good chance, and near the end of the first half put a shot past the keeper that was cleared off the goal line. On the final USA goal she displayed her knack for the final pass, slipping an unerring ball that Lloyd smacked first-time into the bottom corner.
7 Alex Morgan (Seattle Sounders) 44/29.
Hounded the Colombians into the turnover that produced the first goal, which she set up with an inside shimmy and square ball to Rapinoe. Ranged throughout the attacking zone to find space, and also hit a couple of switching balls when stationed in midfield. Though her touch failed her at times and she seemed to fatigue in the final minutes, she never started moving, and she sparked the sequence on the third goal by playing an early ball and darting forward to distract the defense.
7 Abby Wambach (no club) 184/140.
Showed her speed over short distances by outsprinting two opponents to slide into Tobin Heath’s pass and strike an angled shot inside the far post. She had already tested keeper Sandra Sepulveda with a rising shot in the 12th minute that forced a good save, and throughout the game she won balls in the air and shook off hits from the overmatched Colombians. A punch to the cheekbone by Lady Andrade left her with a shiner.
6 Tobin Heath (New York Fury) 47/6.
Ostensibly stationed on the left flank vacated when Rapinoe switched the right, Heath tucked inside to work a combination with Wambach that produced the vital second goal, and looked dangerous on a few other occasions.
NR Sydney Leroux (Seattle Sounders) 16/7.
Got some touches as Wambach’s late replacement.
NR Amy Rodriguez (no club) 92/25.
Nearly broke through to threaten the goal in her nine-minute stint in relief of Rapinoe.
(1=low; 5=average; 10=high.)