USA-New Zealand Women's Olympic Soccer Player Ratings

Aug. 3 in Belo Horizonte
USA 2 New Zealand 0.
 Goals: Lloyd 9, Morgan 46.
Att.: 9,556.

As defending Olympic gold medalists, the USA women opened their 2016 schedule with a convincing victory over New Zealand, 2-0, in which they stifled the Kiwis in midfield and got forward confidently to create openings.

Carli Lloyd floated home a header from a Tobin Heath cross to provide an early lead, and the American women struck in the first minute of the second half when Alex Morgan drilled a low shot just inside the near post.

Mallory Pugh came off early in the second half slightly hobbled by an injury she picked up before halftime. A few teammates needed attention after undergoing heavy collisions but appeared to finish the game healthy.

Next up for the USA women is France on Saturday. The Bleues pounded Colombia, 4-0, gaining revenge for their loss to the Cafeteras at the 2015 Women's World Cup.
U.S. Player Ratings:
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Reign) 199/0.
Not required to make a troublesome save, Solo ignored jeers and chants of “Zika!” from the crowd to control the box. She distributed the ball well and on one occasion showed her range and reach by battling through a ruck of players to punch clear a cross.

6 Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 83/2.
Tough and solid defending the corner, as usual. Chased down her former Stanford teammate Ali Riley and by winning the duel provoked her into taking a caution. Created a chance for Morgan with an impressive crossfield ball that was headed over the crossbar.

6 Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 40/8.
Cut off numerous attacks by intercepting through balls and repelling crosses in the air. Raced back twice to deal with balls played over the top and survived a crash with Hannah Wilkinson. Seldom pressured while on the ball and usually played a sharp, accurate pass.

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 110/0.
Neutralized Amber Hearn with tight marking, scooped up deflected balls, connected passes to the midfielders. Directed a team effort that throttled New Zealand’s attacks and constantly pushed into the attacking third.

6 Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns), 66/3.
Smothered New Zealand on her side of the field, got up the flank to help spark attacking sequences, tucked inside to overload the middle and leave space out wide. Hit a nice cross that Brian headed wide.

5 Allie Long (Portland Thorns) 11/2.
Misjudged a couple of situations defensively, otherwise played a tidy, effective game in the middle. Did a lot of the screening in front of the back line and used her passes smartly. Nearly drew a caution by clearing a ball with a high kick very close to an opponent’s face.

6 Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 55/4.
Covered a lot of ground laterally to support teammates and get ball forward when necessary. Crisp pass during buildup found Morgan in space to score the second goal.

5 Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado), 15/3.
Showed her confidence by dribbling through a challenge in the first minute and blowing past an opponent to reach the byline and hit a cross that produced a corner kick. Took a knock midway through the first half and was substituted in the 51st minute.

7 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), 120/15.
Set up the first goal by dribbling to find space and lofting a ball to the far post that Lloyd headed inside the post. Lofted several dangerous free kicks, squandered a couple of others, unhinged the Kiwis on the dribble and through combination play, and forced them to foul her on the flanks.

7 Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 225/89.
Dominant and strong on and off the ball, Lloyd constantly tested the New Zealand defenders with her touches and dribbles and headers. Drove a free kick over the bar. Scored the first goal by getting her head on the ball and looping it back across goal inside the far post.

6 Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 113/68. Drilled a shot into a tight space to score at the base of the near post, raced to the byline in the first half to cut back a ball that narrowly missed two teammates.
6 Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 36/15.
Very active and dangerous in both ends of the field. Won a few balls with incisive tackles and raced back to block a cross by Riley on an overlap.

5 Lindsay Horan (Portland Thorns), 21/3.
Held the middle secure and found openings to complete passes.

5 Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 71/34.
Elusive and quick playing up top, Press got to the byline and served a cross that Heath couldn’t turn into the net.
TRIVIA. The American women ran their winning streak in Olympic competitions to 12 games. They lost the 2008 group opener to Norway, 2-0, and since then have not been beaten despite being taken to extra time in three of those matches. Included in that run are two previous wins over New Zealand.
Aug. 3 in Belo Horizonte
USA 2, New Zealand 0. Goals: Lloyd 9, Morgan 46.
USA – Solo; O’Hara, Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg, Long, Brian (Horan, 64), Pugh (Dunn 51), Heath, Lloyd, Morgan (Press, 81).
New Zealand -- Nayler; Percival, Stott, Erceg, Riley; Bowen (Gregorius, 60), Longo, Duncan (Yallop, 72), Hassett; Hearn, Wilkinson (Pereira, 83)
Referee: Kateryna Monzul (Ukraine).
Att.: 9,556.

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

9 comments about "USA-New Zealand Women's Olympic Soccer Player Ratings".
  1. James Madison, August 4, 2016 at 12:15 a.m.

    Lloyd, Heath and Morgan each deserve a bonus point for Heath's service and the other's goals, but I can't see anyone otherwise meriting more than a 5 for a generally relaxed, sometimes careless performance against an outmatched side.

  2. Ric Fonseca replied, August 4, 2016 at 12:33 a.m.

    Thank you James for an insightful observation as AI too wondered about the fairly high rankings, as I agree that a 5 is pretty spot on. It IS interesting that RM would give the WNT players such a high ranking in contrast with the MNT!?!?!

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, August 5, 2016 at 3:47 p.m.

    The problem with ratings is that they are largely based on spectacular plays lasting seconds in a 90 minute match, either spectacularly good or spectacularly bad. The consistent unspectacular play on which championships are based is not recognized except for an average "5" rating. The "average" play on the best teams in the world are not average elsewhere.

  4. John Munnell, August 4, 2016 at 8:22 a.m.

    Mallory was injured very early while challenging for the ball in the goalbox. My first thought was her knee, as she appeared to land with a straight leg. I was surprised the announcers didn't pick up on it. She didn't ask for attention until the middle of the half and I expected a sub then. I'm certainly surprised she came back out for the 2nd half, as we had plenty of options. Hope it's not serious --- she'll be needed later.

  5. stewart hayes, August 4, 2016 at 11:49 a.m.

    Don't think Dunn merits a 6. Press was precise from the moment she made her first pass. Heath was the most watchable. Too bad she could not put on frame the hot cross from Press. We'll need to see many more step up against France. Will Heath make this her tournament?

  6. Ridge Mahoney replied, August 6, 2016 at 7:32 p.m.

    Dunn played more minutes, won several balls by poking balls away from opponents and also delivered a dangerous cross.

  7. John Soares, August 4, 2016 at 12:03 p.m.

    Ric, buddy; The women get better scores because they are the Best in World, controlled the game and won. The men....well not so much.:) I'm sure you don't mean that the "girls" should automatically get lower scores............ just kidding!:)

  8. Ric Fonseca, August 4, 2016 at 7:07 p.m.

    John Soares, buddy: Never meant any such thing! but.... (THERE'S ALWAYS A BUT, AIN'T THERE?) and yes, they won, but controlled the game, well, pardnah, maybe about 60% of the game, and come come now mi amigo, lower scores 'cause they're girls - even if thou only kid, LMAO!,,,m saludos!

  9. Bob Ashpole, August 5, 2016 at 3:36 p.m.

    Soccer is a unique sport. At times it takes great ability to make winning look easy.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications