USA-Nigeria Women's World Cup Player Ratings

June 16 in Vancouver
USA 1 Nigeria 0. Goal: Wambach 45.
Att.: 52,193.

The USA finished atop Group D with a 1-0 win over Nigeria. The USA's all-time leading scorer Abby Wambach, with her first goal of the tournament, decided the game with a volley off a corner kick late in the first half. The Americans failed to add to their lead despite Nigeria playing a woman down after Sarah Nnodim’s 69th-minute ejection, but nor did they ever give the reckless Nigerians, who received five yellows and a yellow-red, a chance to equalize. The USA returns to action in the round of 16 on Monday against a yet-to-be determined third-place finisher.

USA Player Ratings
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC) 173/0
The solid U.S. backline prevented Solo, who only had to grab a couple innocuous long-range shots, from breaking a sweat.

6 Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit) 69/1
Kept Esther Sunday from coming down Nigeria’s left flank and surged forward a few times, such as when she delivered a sharp low pass from the wing to Morgan for the USA’s best chance in the second half.

8 Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars) 15/3
Stifled Nigeria’s only chance by sliding to block Asisat Oshoala’s shot on a breakaway in the 24th minute. Continues to marshal the U.S. central defense with great poise.

7 Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) 84/0
Partnered with Johnston to render Nigeria’s frontline speedsters ineffective, like when she chased down Desire Oparanozie in the 68th minute.

7 Meghan Klingenberg (Houston Dash) 37/2
The left back won her duels with Francisca Ordega and did well with the ball after she won it. She delivered the lob that Wambach headed to Johnston on the goal called back for offside -- by a hair -- in the eighth minute.

6 Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC) 105/31
Forced saves from keeper Precious Dede with two 25-yard shots in the first half. Only about half her deliveries to the frontline were accurate but sent in the corner kick that Wambach finished.

5 Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City) 127/23
With Lloyd in central midfield did much better to link backline to attack but still lacked consistency.

5 Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash) 198/63
Like Holiday had her best game of the tournament so far. But the USA needs her to deliver more smart passes like she sent to Leroux in the 69th minute.

4 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC) 94/11
Left-sided midfielder struggled to beat foes one-on-one and coughed up the ball too often for someone who was supposed to bring more possession play to the midfield.

6 Abby Wambach (unattached) 245/183
Squandered a close-range header while unmarked on an 18th-minute corner kick but made not mistake with a jumping, left-foot volley on the sixth U.S. corner kick to give USA a 1-0 lead at stroke of halftime.

6 Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns FC) 87/51
Not too rusty in her first start since April (nursing a bruised knee). Her early shots were off target and Dede did well to smother her 62nd-minute chance. But she was involved in four attacks in the first five minutes of the second half -- the most sustained offensive action from the USA all game.

4 Sydney Leroux (Western NY Flash) 74/35
Replaced Morgan in the 66th minute and three minutes later drew the foul that resulted in 69th ejection of Nnodim. Two other forays ended when she fouled her marker.

NR Shannon Boxx (Chicago Red Stars) 191/27.
Replaced Rapinoe in the 74th minute. Hit a shot far wide.

NR Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC) 307/4
Replaced Heath in the 80th minute.

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

June 16 in Vancouver
USA 1 Nigeria 0. Goal: Wambach 45.
USA -- Solo, Krieger, Sauerbrunn, Johnston, Klingenberg, Lloyd, Holiday, Rapinoe (Boxx 74), Heath (Rampone 80), Johnston, Wambach, Morgan (Leroux 66).
Nigeria -- Dede, Ebi, Chukwunonye, Sunday (Ayinde 50), Nwabuoku, Ordega (Nku 77), Nnodim, Ebere, Okobi, Oshoala, Dike (Oparanozie 50).
Red Card: Nigeria -- Nnodim 69.
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine).
Att.: 52,193.

TRIVIA: Christie Rampone, who turns 40 on June 24, became the oldest player to appear in a Women’s World Cup when she entered the game in the 80th minute. She made the first of her 307 U.S. appearances in February 1997.

24 comments about "USA-Nigeria Women's World Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Rich Blast, June 17, 2015 at 1:08 a.m.

    Halliday and Lloyd were horrible. Terrible passes poor first touches. 0 vision, Halliday also contributed Terrible corners and free kicks. She needs replaced and is the weakest link by far. Heath made some mistakes but good plays and was average overall.

  2. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:04 a.m.

    It is, What it Is... Disjointed Play, caused by players who lack the "TWITCHability" to use their Skills on AstroTurf...BUT, They showed the USA Fight and Athleticism to Dominate Nigeria...Congrats to Nigeria, they rarely Panicked on the Ball and actually tried to play out of the back...Vastly improved since I saw them get Wompped by US in Chicago, so many years ago...

  3. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:09 a.m.

    We may actually Draw a Weaker opponent in the Quarters, unless France continues to struggle...They have the Skilled players to figure out the Turf...And could give us problems

  4. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:18 a.m.

    The Real problem for USA, is the amount of Extra "TURF" Energy we are expending on all these Bad Touches and Chasing Bad Passes...Instead of Effecient One Touch "Traps", we are bouncing balls Up or away, causing 2nd/3rd Touches and more collisions with the Opponent...The Loss of this Energy and Bumps and Bruises are adding up... I'm afraid we are not going to have anything left in the Tank, when we get to the Final....

  5. Joey Tremone, June 17, 2015 at 7:45 a.m.

    Re: Leroux "Two other forays ended when she fouled her marker"--the first of those was an egregiously bad call. She drew the whistle for running in a straight line with the ball while a defender clattered into her.

  6. kate bartlet, June 17, 2015 at 7:46 a.m.

    We won. The bad news is that we couldn't score another goal playing a lower rated team and only 10 players. Sad. I am having a hard time believing that these women are the best in America. If we can beat 10 Nigerians at least 3-0 ; then please tell me how we get thru to the semi-finals??

  7. Greg Giese, June 17, 2015 at 8:51 a.m.

    Kristen Press on the bench? Hmmm.

  8. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 9:40 a.m.

    @ Kate...Yes I'm afraid this is the Best we have at the moment. ..SAD isn't it. .. You could change the Names and use Different players, but the results would be the same... The level of Our Players has Decreased, While the level of other teams has increased. .. Think Brazil Men in Reverse...

  9. Crystal Mullins, June 17, 2015 at 9:40 a.m.

    Sorry for the dumb question but can someone tell me what GP/G stands for? Thanks in advance.

  10. Crystal Mullins, June 17, 2015 at 9:43 a.m.

    I figured it out - int'l games played and goals scored - thanks

  11. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 9:48 a.m.

    Having said that...We have what other teams Lack..."American Exceptionlism"....We Are The USA!!! And WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN WIN!!!

  12. Ginger Peeler, June 17, 2015 at 9:48 a.m.

    Games Played/Goals

  13. Alex G. Sicre, June 17, 2015 at 11:32 a.m.

    Wow, can't believe all the negative comments. Have you ever played on turf? Probably not. I have and it sucks big time. It's very difficult to play against a team like Nigeria that constantly fouls you and can injure you for the next game and the rest of the competition. Didn't you see that match? Our girls will prevail, and we will win the World Cup. They are still the Best.

  14. Todd Morrish, June 17, 2015 at 11:59 a.m.

    @ Alex, ALL of these women have played on turf much more than you & I combined, & they've practiced on turf a lot in advance of this tourney. I personally hate that they have to play on turf, but there's really no excuse for all the poor touches.

    @ Mike Woitalla, I usually agree with your player assessments, but I think you were overly generous in a couple cases for this game...

    Ali Krieger played *way* too many bad touches yesterday, some heavy ones forward & wide, & a few very dangerous soft touches back to her center backs that were easily intercepted by speedy Nigerian attackers. Other than her sweet cross to Morgan, way more bad touches than good. She looked nervous & unsure. I'd give her a 4 or a 5.

    Megan Rapinoe is the "play maker" on this team. Yet, yesterday she made practically zero plays against a weak opponent. 4.

    Holiday & Lloyd. Poor control of the midfield & poor service to the attackers, again against a weak opponent. 4 each.

    Julia Johnston defended well, & I love how she plays in the fray on set pieces. But it drives me crazy how she plays the long ball ~80% of her possessions out of the back. I know she played Attacking Mid in college. But someone really needs to teach her the value of building from the back. 7.

    To me, the brightest lights out there yesterday were Klingenberg & Sauerbrunn.

    I was also frustrated to see so much ball watching out there. Example: Morgan makes extra effort to run down a ball to the end line & serves a perfect rolling ball back above the 6. But Abby & Rapinoe & others were flat-footed watching Morgan run instead of running to the near post or into the gaps.

    Sure - a win is a win, & winning your Group is swell. But if you can't get your mojo on in Group play & show the world you're ready for anyone in the Knock-Out phase, then you're probably not. Really, if I'm the Germany/France/Japan/Brazi coach, & I watched this game, I'm licking my chops!!

  15. Kai Kuwata, June 17, 2015 at 11:59 a.m.

    Better yes, but still below expectation. No US run of play goals v. 10 Nigerians, hard to watch. For lack of talented players, turf, no. Sub par coaching, probably. Realize it, Jill, Holiday and Lloyd aren't play makers or defenders, yet you're asking them to do both. Abby's size a plus on pieces, but slowness afoot obvious, as she consistently trails running mates. Now D1, great. Use 16 game as foundation. Shock the world, Jill. Go 4-3-3, w/o telling. Alex/Abby/Sidney up front. Megan/Carli, offensive MF's, with Boxx holding. Same, strong 5 defending. Holiday, Rampone when Wambach, Boxx tire. It's a winner, Jill. Go for it!!!

  16. Kevin Leahy, June 17, 2015 at 12:25 p.m.

    Goal or no goal Wambach does not, belong on the field with the other options available. Player selection will always be talked about but, without watching training, I hate to speculate too much. I would like to see Heather O'Reilly play on the wing midfield. The team is stagnate up front with Wambach on the field. Do we have anyone that can break an opponent down on the dribble? Maybe they aren't allowed to do much of that?

  17. Sara P, June 17, 2015 at 2:45 p.m.

    Can we quit using “turf” as an excuse? It’s not an excuse. Of course grass would be better, but it’s a level playing field – literally. The only explanation for the poor performance of the US so far, relative to their competition, is that gap is closing internationally. Athleticism alone is no longer sufficient to dominate at this level. Yes, we can still win, but it’s going to be tighter, and we just may run out of gas in the later rounds. The more technical teams don’t have to work as hard to keep the ball, build an attack, etc, and this will be a problem for the US.

    US Soccer remains too arrogant about the US “fight and athleticism” winning the day and refuses to materially alter their player identification and development priorities. There are players out there with better technical and tactical skills than what’s being shown in the current US YNTs/WNT, but if a player doesn’t score at the top in physical testing, or doesn’t conform the US Soccer model, odds are they won’t get a second look by this coaching staff.

  18. stewart hayes, June 17, 2015 at 6:31 p.m.

    Only 3 teams have given up 1 goal, USA, Germany and Japan. Team USA has had a lot of time to show us how they are going to play and win. They have one part of the equation working for them and it may be enough to take them all the way.

  19. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:37 p.m.

    @ Scott J…The Turf is not an excuse, it is a Magnifier of the inadequate skills that our Current players have…You are Right-On, about the Identification program…BUT, they are hamstrung by the The Pay-for-Play System on the Girls side, It is Beating all the Creativity and Technique out of the “Special Players” … “One Touch!!!” “Stop Dribbling!!!” “PLAY THE WAY YOU ARE FACING!!!” Can’t you hear all those Club Coaches Yelling at the 10-14 year old girls…By 16, It’s too late…All Cookie Cutter Robots…

  20. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:38 p.m.

    P.S. @ Scott.. Not just “Fight”,.. the Irish have Fight… The Mexicans have Fight,,,The English have Fight… but we have American EXCEPTIONALNISM…We are the U.S.A. …The Greatest Country this World has ever known…When we walk out on the Field, that can be worth ONE Goal a game,… Yes it’s Arrogant and Jingoistic, But it Exists, and Drives other countries Crazy…(ask the Nigerian Coach)… WE BELIEVE THAT WE CAN WIN… Not just a Slogan… USE IT, OR LOSE IT…

  21. Santiago 1314, June 17, 2015 at 6:41 p.m.

    @ Kai… I like your idea… Press the other teams UP front and don’t let them build out of the Back…Maybe not this next game(unless it is France),,, I’m not sure that Boxx can last 3 games… But certainly in the Semi’s and Final…Maybe even put Rampone in there Side-by-Side with Boxx…Leaves Lloyd Free to Scheme(Because we know she can’t defend)… Same 4 in the Back.. Boxx-Rampone // Lloyd.. Rapinoe-Wambach-LeRoux(Alex M. still not fit for 120 minutes//Sub in for LeRoux)

  22. James Madison, June 17, 2015 at 7 p.m.

    As Roger Morrish wrote, the marks generally were gnerous. Starting with Johnston and Sauerbrunn at 7s and Klingenberg at 6 and scale the others down. Kreiger and Papinoe at 5 and the rest at 4, except give Wambach a bonus point to 5 for her goal and Leroux at3. She should be grateful she survived Ndodi's leg breaking tackle without injury, but she seems to have the soccer brain of a juvenile grasshopper. Why not pair Morgan and Press up front? Because this would mean having to use Heath on a flank, and we saw the flaw in that plan. Truth is, just as the men seem to be getting deeper, the female pool seems to be geting more shallow.

  23. Sara P, June 17, 2015 at 7:53 p.m.

    @ Santiago 1314 - well said.

  24. Don Hughes, June 18, 2015 at 11:23 a.m.

    Where is Press? She's among the keys to winning this thing. Agree on Wambach, glad when she scores but hope this is her swan song. Too many great players, not enough TEAM. Rapinoe needs to pass the ball!

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