U.S. Player Ratings:
RATINGS PLAYER (TEAM), GP/G
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Reign) 190/0.
Made save on Tancredi at near post to preserve her 95th international shutout. Otherwise, had little to do.
5 Kelley O'Hara (Sky Blue FC). 73/2.
Dangerous cross forced corner in 36th minute, but she otherwise had quiet game at right back, where she was again starting in place of Ali Krieger.
6 Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 100/0.
Set up opening goal by Horan with a great ball into area. Had another good pass a minute earlier off another Canadian clearance that forced corner kick off which Horan then scored.
5 Julie Johnston (Chicago Stars), 30/5.
Like Sauerbrunn, forced to do a lot of playmaking out of back but struggled under Canadian pressure until game opened up after U.S. goals.
5 Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Timbers), 56/3.
Most effective of the defenders with the most room to move forward.
6 Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 48/4.
Did lots of good work playmaking in midfield but had little to show for it.
7 Lindsey Horan (Portland Timbers), 11/2.
Made perfect run to meet Sauerbrunn's ball into the area for the winning goal on a header. Also a huge presence in midfield with her size and vision.
7 Tobin Heath (Portland Timbers), 111/14.
Scored insurance goal, hitting perfectly placed shot with left foot inside near post. Unlucky not to add second goal when Allysha Chapman cleared her shot off line.
4 Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 217/86.
Should have done better on Klingenberg's cross in 22nd minute. Missed sitter in the 90th minute when she touched O'Hara's cross wide of the goal. Canadians marked her closely and frustrated her.
7 Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado), 6/1.
Set up USA's second goal with great run and pass back across the area to Heath. Another great run could have led to another Heath goal. Showed pace -- and touch -- to keep ball in and sustain U.S. pressure late in first half and almost earned penalty in second half. Fouled near corner flag just before USA opened scoring.
4 Alex Morgan (Orlando Dash), 105/62.
As lone forward, needed to see ball more. Did little when she got it.
RATINGS PLAYER (TEAM), GP/G
4 Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 61/31.
Replaced Morgan up front but could not add to U.S. lead.
NR Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 26/10.
Tournament's Golden Ball winner (six goals) was late sub for Horan.
NR Emily Sonnett (Portland Timbers). 7/0.
Came on for Pugh in 90th minute.
TRIVIA. The USA is unbeaten in Olympic qualifying with a 18-0-1 record. Its only tie came in 2008 when it tied Canada, 1-1, in the title game before prevailing in penalty kicks.
Feb. 21 in Houston
USA 2 Canada 0. Goals: Horan 53, Heath 61.
USA -- Solo, O'Hara, Sauerbrunn, O'Hara, Klingenberg, Johnston, Brian, Horan (Dunn 83), Lloyd, Heath, Pugh (Sonnett 90), Morgan (Press 72).
Canada -- Labbe, Chapman, Belanger, Buchanan, Zadorsky, Scott, Lawrence, Quinn (Matheson 58), Wilkinson (Schmidt 58), Tancredi, Prince (Sinclair 61).
Alex Morgan plays for the Orlando "Pride" - not "Dash"!
Why was Dunn left on the bench? I didn't think Morgan deserved the full 90 min. I'd say a 4 is about right. She seemed off early on, was not combining well, showed poor anticipation and as a lone forward was not working enough. Why not spend yourself, create some chances and let someone fresh take over. I have not been real impressed with her this tournament.
Oops ... missed the last few minutes of the game and some final subs...
Lindsey Horan was a 5 at best. Passing was abysmal. But they need her strength. Mallory Pugh on the ball is better than anyone I've ever seen in a USWNT jersey. A joy to behold. And marks back and defends.
Very typical ratings based on things you would see on a 90-second highlight clip. What do I mean? Giving the goal scorers 7s and Lloyd, Press and Morgan 4s because they didn't score. Pugh's performance was very good, but overall not a 7. The team shut out Canada and yet the back 5 get 1 "6" and the rest 5s. Specifically you rate Solo a "5" because she only was forced to come up with a big save once due to a defensive breakdown. Solo wasn't a spectator the other 92 minutes and where is the credit for the team for an almost perfect night defensively? The match was closer than the score indicated and scoreless until fitness started becoming an issue in the second half. After Canada brought on its excellent subs, the USA defense didn't allow the fresh legs to break them down. I wish you had said more about Tobin Heath. This year she has stepped up to become not just a veteran starter, but a key creative element of the team's attack. I would have rated Heath high even if she had not scored.
Player performance should be measured by overall skill and contributions in the soccer match. Too many times a goal scorer gets a 6 or 7 rating and is a no show except for the goal. If players are not objectively rated for what they bring to the team table for 90', it all becomes meaningless.
For better or worse ratings will always be a "bit" subjective. Acceptable, I do believe scores tend to "excessively" go up or down do to one play. Overall Klingenberg's runs and superb crosses deserve better.... On a different note: What genius schedules a semi-final and final back to back (less than 24 hours apart) It would never happen with the boys.
Solo deserved more for coming out effectively when the center defense broke down. Pugh deserved less; she could have set Press free more than once, but messed up---impatience. Morgan got bumped around more than once and wound up with an off day. Lloyd was frustrated by her near misses and ditto. I assume their goals added a point each to the ratings of Horan and Heath. Overall, the team played well in spurts, but was either careless or impatient at other times. I have seen it play better.
If Solo had so little to do, against a relatively strong opponent, shouldn't the defenders have higher ratings?