USA-Sweden Olympic Women's Soccer Player Ratings

The USA is out of the Olympics. Not only won't it do what no one else has done -- capture Olympic gold a year after winning the Women's World Cup -- but it won't even medal. The Americans fell to nemesis Sweden in a shootout after their quarterfinal game ended 1-1 in Brasilia.

The Americans had a huge edge in the play but needed a lucky bounce for Alex Morgan's equalizer in the 77th minute. In overtime, both teams had goals waived off, but the Swedes were robbed a clear goal. In the shootout, Morgan and Christen Press missed in the first and fifth rounds as Sweden prevailed, 4-3.

USA-SWEDEN EXPRESS:
Aug. 12 in Brasilia
USA 1 Sweden 1. Goals: Morgan 77; Blackstenius 61.
(Sweden wins 4-3 on penalties.)
 
U.S. Player Ratings:
Starters
RATING PLAYER (TEAM) GP/G
5 Hope Solo (Seattle Reign), 202/0.
Might have come out earlier on breakaway goal but finish was excellent. Strode through heavy traffic to punch clear a threatening cross. Dodgy left-footed clearance in extra time wasn’t punished. Saved one shootout attempt.

5 Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), 86/2.
Got forward to link up with Heath and served a few good balls from midfield. Took a crack from about 25 yards out that zipped over the crossbar.

4 Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), 41/8.
Beaten on the Swedish goal when caught out wide in a back three and couldn’t close the gap in time. Solid otherwise until fatigue set in. In extra time scuffed one ball and whiffed on another, Both times offside flag went up, the second time incorrectly.

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), 113/0.
Cut off numerous passes and through balls, delivered several threatening throw-ins, pushed into the middle third to play connecting balls to the midfielders.

5 Megan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns), 68/3.
Strong block in extra time stopped substitute Olivia Schough. Saw a lot of the ball playing well upfield in the attack, didn’t find the time and space to hit a dangerous cross. Held the ball well under pressure in advanced positions, lost a couple of physical duels in the defensive third.

5 Allie Long (Portland Thorns), 14/2.
Efficient and poised in the middle. Knocked clear a few loose balls on set plays.

6 Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), 58/4.
Clipped a nice ball in the final minute that Rapinoe couldn’t quite reach. Played a variety of linking balls and also anchored the middle when Long was substituted. Smashed her shootout PK high into the net.

6 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns), 122/15.
Dominated the right flank for much of the game with her energy and guile, crossing and set plays were erratic. Dropped to right back late in regulation. Tested the keeper with a long-range floater that was tip-saved, and put a shot on frame in stoppage time. Ball that Johnston missed bounced off her leg on goal that was disallowed.

6 Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado), 17/4.
Consistently troubled the Swedes by running the channels and angling inside from the wing. Got her head on the ball that bounced off an opponent for Morgan to finish. Great runs to the byline were not rewarded. Lung-busting run in extra time helped snuff a Swedish counter.

5 Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), 230/99).
Battled and fought for every ball but the finishing faltered except in the shootout. Fired a free kick over the bar from good range early in second half, dragged a shot wide from another free kick. Unlucky that a solid-left-footed shot was deflected just wide and goal was disallowed for a pushing foul. Dropped way back to block a shot in extra time.

5 Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), 116/69.
Nailed the equalizer with her left foot with a classic poacher’s finish but weak shootout attempt was saved. Hit the side netting in the 120th minute. Struggled during the first half: missed an easy trap with the goal in sight, took the wrong angle on a ball from Pugh in behind the back line.
 
Substitutes
7 Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), 39/16.
Injected pace and danger to the USA attack. Headed the ball that yielded equalizing goal. Got to the byline to serve a good ball that was headed clear, dribbled past several opponents to take shot that was blocked, hit cross that Lloyd headed in while committing a foul.

5 Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign), 115/31.
Won ball with a hard tackle that set in motion scoring sequence that tied the game. Hit one good deep ball on a corner and delivered a couple of good passes but other serves fizzled out.

4 Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), 74/34.
Good right-footed shot in traffic was blocked. Strayed offside during a goalmouth scramble. Shot over the bar in shootout.

NR Lindsay Horan (Portland Thorns), 24/3.
Took over for Pugh in second period of extra time and calmly converted PK.

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

TRIVIA. Only once before in a major international competition had the USA women lost a penalty-kick shootout. Japan prevailed, 3-1, in the 2011 Women’s World Cup final.
 
Aug. 12 in Brasilia
USA 1 Sweden 1. Goals: Morgan 77; Blackstenius 61.
(Sweden wins 4-3 on penalties.)
USA -- Solo; O’Hara (Rapinoe 72; Press 99), Johnston, Sauerbrunn, Klingenberg, Heath, Brian, Long (Dunn, 64), Pugh (Horan 114), Lloyd, Morgan.
Sweden -- Lindahl, Rubensson (Eriksson 71), Fischer, Sembrant, Samuelsson (Berglund 119), Seger, Dahlqvist, Asllani, Jakobsson (Schough 91), Rolfo (Blackstenius 18), Schelin.
Referee: Anna-Marie Keighley (New Zealand).
Att.: 13,892.

29 comments about "USA-Sweden Olympic Women's Soccer Player Ratings".
  1. Ric Fonseca, August 12, 2016 at 5 p.m.

    Yep, pardner, it was bound to happen! But who else knew the US team better than Coach Ellis, but Coach Pia? I only watched the second half and extra time/kicks from penalty spot, and saw a somewhat spirited US team, but it was that Swedish counter that got us having to fight back, a back line that was actually flat-footed and a sorta well-placed kick. Now the comments will come in soundly berating Hope Solo, and yes, maybe she could've come out just a tad earlier to cut the angle, but I'd preferred that our last defender had played deeper in the back and pushed the attacker wider, but, then again, Ridge's high scoring really doesn't do justice to the way the ladies played, as I'd given each one of them a point or two less. Is it a bitter pill to swallow, heck yes, and some humble pie to consider, so life goes on, so PLAY ON!!!

  2. Casey Bantle, August 12, 2016 at 5:53 p.m.

    Sauerbrunn let the goal scorer get on the insdie shoulder, not Johnston. Johnston actually closed the gap and nearly blocked the shot.

    A 4 seems high for Press. I think she's a great player, but she had a poor game. She wasn't productive in any aspect of the game and her PK in the shootout wasn't even on target.

  3. Wooden Ships replied, August 12, 2016 at 6:03 p.m.

    Casey I agree that JJ was not at fault on her positioning. I thought Becky was caught ball watching. Team game. We definitely had enough possession, just no answer for scores. Sweden was the better side today.

  4. Wooden Ships, August 12, 2016 at 5:57 p.m.

    We lacked the players centrally to unlock Swedens center backs. Not sure Alex has the dribbling skills and quick short passing necessary. Would like to have seen Pugh inside up top. Could Dunn and Pugh play short and get through? They are strong in the air and all the launching of balls into the 18 was optimistic. Sweden had a plan we couldn't overcome.

  5. stewart hayes, August 12, 2016 at 6:05 p.m.

    I am not happy. Sweden is not that a strong team. For some reason team USA were playing like they were afraid and not taking chances by pushing more players forward. One simple reason we did not score is that players were taking shots when they should have looked for something better. The stats say it all, 27 shots and only 6 on frame.

  6. Richard T. Lynch, August 12, 2016 at 6:37 p.m.

    We got out-coached. This one was on Jill. Why play a defensive-minded, safe player like Long when Sweden is laying deep with really only one attacker. Do we really need five defenders in that situation, and only attack with five. Ohara and Kling really didn't get forward effectively. Then bringing in Rapinoe was really dumb. She was gassed after 15 minutes. Shanked at least 2 maybe 3 CK's out of bounds. I agree with one of the earlier comments that we had no effective midfield. Brian was conservative and Long even more so. Whatever did Horan do wrong? She started, was clever, scored and assisted in the buildup and then Long starts in the Olympics?! Taking Ohara out and putting Heath, one of our most dangerous and effective wingers, in the back, out of position, and asking her to make runs forward, was another dumb move, imo. I would have rather left Tobin up front and put Dunn there. She originally came up playing the outside defender role, and she had the legs to get forward. Ugh. Say what you want about Pia--personally i don't like her style--but she was "dumb like a fox"! Strategically brilliant.

  7. R2 Dad, August 12, 2016 at 7:22 p.m.

    We got caught looking ahead. The road to the final was going to be through Sweden, then Brazil, then France/Germany. All difficult matches, all worthy of a final. Hope should know better than to take an interview after a tough loss like that. This is her last Olympics, and she would have been better off--commerically--with a dignified and thoughtful response.

  8. aaron dutch, August 12, 2016 at 7:49 p.m.

    Why not rate the Swedish team also, its strange to only see USA ratings. Every site that covers football rates both teams no matter who is playing. The US showed that a team that has the technical players who have enough pace & can play like Italy can create tons of problems for the US. We dont have the speed, technical skills to break down a team that is clogging the middle & central mid - south american/spanish style 7-8-9 that can breakdown a clogged middle & flank and attack in the final 3rd.

  9. stewart hayes replied, August 12, 2016 at 8:13 p.m.

    Soccer America ...

  10. Allan Lindh, August 12, 2016 at 8:16 p.m.

    We lobbed too many long balls into a packed Swedish defense, not enough patience to work the ball to the sides where with Pugh, Dunn, and Heath we had the clear 1 on 1 advantage. And never never never let forwards take penalties. They are volume shooters, not precision. Heath, Dunn, Pugh would have been better choices in the shootout, those ladies can lay the ball on a dime. And Ellis made mistake bringing in Repinoe, she's not all the way back yet. Wasted corners and free kicks.

  11. Rocky Holman replied, August 18, 2016 at 11:26 p.m.

    Thanks for pointing out the bizarre line up of the first 5 shooters for the PKs. It's inconceivable that you would not have the NWSL scoring champ, Dunn, shooting PKs. Nobody on the field has a better touch and ball control than Tobin Heath so she's got to be there too. I think Pugh had been subbed out already, but if she's still on the field she's got the composure to hit that every time.

  12. Kevin Leahy, August 12, 2016 at 9:12 p.m.

    Casey, Press's first ball played sliced the defense open & put Morgan in on goal. Her poor touch allowed the goalie the time to close off a great oppurtunity. Rapinoe was a terrible mistake. I would have rated her play a 2. In a tight game you need good coaching decisions. Saurbrunn should have fouled the player right away on the Swedish goal. I agree Allan about the lack of patience with ball. This is still a great defensive team but, the finishing needs some work.

  13. Betty Lisec, August 12, 2016 at 9:36 p.m.

    Richard Lynch nailed it! Out-coached! probably a bit unfortunate to have come up against our former coach! She knows us too well!

  14. Ric Fonseca replied, August 13, 2016 at 3:42 p.m.

    This is what I said above: Out coached! That we went against the former NT Coach is just pure luck of the draw!!! So, methinks that it is time to say ADIOS SENORITA SOLO, to sound kinda goofy, I s'pose I can say, this hope does not spring forever...

  15. uffe gustafsson, August 12, 2016 at 10:41 p.m.

    One word.
    Go sweden

  16. uffe gustafsson, August 12, 2016 at 10:50 p.m.

    Nothing like shutting up sore loosers.
    Think Pia put it just right to hope solo.
    Jag skiter i vad hon säger hon åker hem och vi går till Rio. Well Said.

  17. Bob Ashpole, August 13, 2016 at 2:04 a.m.

    In games like this, someone's going home disappointed. Today it was the USA. For most of the players, there will be another chance for glory in three years.

  18. Richard Brown, August 13, 2016 at 3:55 a.m.

    I have a lot on how to prepare for when games go to pks. I missed the game because I thought the games were all being played on the 13 and not the 12. Bad short term memory at my age.

    So I will ask did they make any subs for the pks before the end of extra time. Every national team usually has more then 2 pk specialists. They all don't start the game so it is a good move to sub them in before it gets to pks.

    When a player plays all out for 120 minutes bad things can happen when he or she takes a pk.

    Pk accuracy goes way down after playing all that time.

    Then the more important player is your keeper. He or she has to believe they can stop them all.

    I am not a believe in guessing a side even an educated guess. Just stay low and react to the shot. Like I said a lot of bad pks after playing 120 minutes.

  19. Rick Golden, August 13, 2016 at 8:14 a.m.

    I was one of the ones getting on Hope last game, but I thought she had a strong game yesterday. That shot was perfectly placed. She was strong in the air.

    Only adjustment I would make, and someone mentioned it earlier, is that Sauerbrun was beaten for that goal, not Johnston. Becky was the CB and needed to be marking their only forward. Johnston almost had enough speed to recover for her from her fullback position, but couldn't quite get there.

  20. Ankl Brkr, August 13, 2016 at 5:08 p.m.

    As a player and fan, it's easy to blame the officiating, the field surface, the other team's tactics, etc. In reality, though, you can only control what you can control - i.e. how do you break down their low block, create scoring chances, and finish those chances? The issue is not Sweden parking the bus, the issue is our consistently poor tactics playing against teams that play a low block. With the exception of Canada, France, Germany, and Japan, every other US opponent will more than likely sit back and try to score on the counter and/or look to score on set pieces a la Colombia. Why, then, does it always appear as if we have no idea how to create chances against this system? From my observations post '99ers and DiCicco era, there have been little to no creative ideas in the final third from our players. I'd include our USMNT post '02 WC as well, but that's another discussion altogether. If you know you are going to play against opponents that mostly park the bus, that's what your training sessions and preparation should be focused on ahead of those matches. We do not have creative players such as Marta or Lady, but we do have the players that can create chances and break down a low block if properly prepared and given the opportunity. Look what happened when Crystal Dunn came on in the second half of the match. She totally changed the dynamics of the match. However, we still tried to play long balls over the top or up the middle to Alex Morgan that went to Sweden time and time again. The backs never overlapped (personnel and system issue), players up top were stagnant, penetrating passes were not crisp or accurate, there were no diagonal balls played over the top to the weak side, and there was no flare or creativity in the final third with 1 v 1 opportunities or third player runs. There are so many ways to break down a low block. If you are not properly prepared, then the low block will work to a 'T'. However, if you have the correct system in place with proper players on the field that know how to create chances, the low block is worthless and will only delay the inevitable. In my mind, the bigger issue is our style of play and lack of individual/team creativity at the National Team and youth levels and that's another discussion in itself. And let's be honest, the new USSF mandates are not going to change things at the youth level and getting another 'yes' woman or man at the helm is not going to change things at the NT level. Until MAJOR, I mean, EARTH-SHATTERING changes are made within the USSF, we will continue to spin our wheels as a soccer nation even if the women just won the WC, and the men just advanced to the semi's of the Copa America.

  21. Wooden Ships replied, August 13, 2016 at 5:39 p.m.

    Ankl, we were thinking some of the same things while posting.

  22. Wooden Ships, August 13, 2016 at 5:36 p.m.

    You don't have to be Pia to know the strengths and weaknesses of the US. Given her players she knew to look for counters and defend, defend. Somebody mentioned being more patient and work it in closer. That is a US women and men challenge and has been for decades now. We don't really develop technical, quick, strong on the ball forwards that can combine. We've had some hybrids on both teams. We can cross from the wings, occasionally beat them around the end line to creat good chances, but both teams need traditional strikers. How in the world are these players not appearing in this country? I think coaching is discouraging this type player. A-Rod comes to mind, quick, strong, pretty good touch. Tiffany M back in the day, Mia to a degree. As Pugh gains strength and confidence, she has those skills. Don't know if Dunn has a striker instinct or touch, but she would be a handful trying to mark in the 18. Abby is gone now, Carly is a finisher, but not a striker. Alex is easy to mark with matching speed. Where are our goal scorers going forward?

  23. Ric Fonseca, August 14, 2016 at 5:19 p.m.

    Hey, one and all, is Klinsmann still around?

  24. Ric Fonseca, August 14, 2016 at 5:22 p.m.

    Oooops, I meant to comment that there hasn't been a single comment calling for Coach Ellis' departure.... just wondering!

  25. Wooden Ships replied, August 15, 2016 at 12:19 a.m.

    7th I.D., she is the reigning FIFA coach of the year. I've heard a couple comments about her needing to be replaced. Can't see it, more successful than JK. I did hear that one of the candidates has asked Solo if she would serve as the Ambassador to Sweden.

  26. Kevin Leahy, August 15, 2016 at 1:11 p.m.

    Ellis has wiggle room because of winning the World Cup but, she cannot make anymore mistakes like she did with Rapinoe. It is like admitting you made a mistake by bringing someone in the match and removing them 27 minutes later.

  27. Bob Ashpole replied, August 16, 2016 at 5:41 p.m.

    Rapinoe wasn't brought on for her running. She was brought on for service. If the USA had won with a Rapinoe service, it would have been considered a brilliant move. She looked about 6 weeks away from being match fit, not even close, so Ellis apparently took a calculated risk rather than miscalculated. Both teams received an extra substitution opportunity in the overtime. Ellis chose to invest it to bring on Rapinoe in regulation.

  28. Ankl Brkr, August 15, 2016 at 2:49 p.m.

    After watching the USWNT (and working with future YNT players) for a number of years, in my opinion, it definitely falls on the coaching staff for their poor preparation for a low block as well as their system, line up, and substitute gaffes. Yes, we may have outshot them 26-3, but only 5 were on target. I'd be interested to know how many of those 5 shots were off set pieces and corners rather than during the run of play. Our only goal was off a Crystal Dunn header from a long ball up the middle that hit the Swedish player in the face and luckily dropped right to Alex Morgan inside of the PK spot. It was a great finish created by a very unlucky Sweden mistake. Let's look at some of the more telling stats - we had 65% of the possession with 81% passing accuracy. However, in the attacking half, our accuracy was only 69% with 66% in the attacking 1/3 and only 16% on crosses. Therefore, under pressure, we struggled to effectively break them down. In comparison to the men's #1 team in the world against a low block, Argentina had 67% of the possession versus the USMNT in the Copa America with 86% passing accuracy, 76% in attacking half, and 70% in the final 1/3. They eye test proved ARG were much more creative in the final 1/3 and on the counter while the USMNT were completely inept against a superior team and coaching staff - i.e. Wondo starts let alone is on our MNT roster and we also did not qualify for the Olympics!?! The USWNT has the resources to do the same as the AFA, if not more. However, our preparation, system, and line up were wrong for this match. Why not stick with the 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 that worked in the knockout stages of the 2015 WC? It was a joy to watch! The group stage, though, was a complete disaster! I'm not sure if someone on the team or coaching staff convinced JE to change her game plan for the knockout stages, but it was a completely different team for the rest of the 2015 WC. In 2010, JE did not change her long ball tactics with the u20s, and they lost to Nigeria in PKs in the 1/4s. Another point... Lauren Holiday was missed (even Amy Rodriguez) and that needs to be addressed going forward (perhaps Rose LaVelle). Regardless, the US had options within the roster to advance and win another Gold medal even with the new players on the roster. Going forward though, we need a staff that is willing to cultivate a consistent, enjoyable, and progressive style of play that effectively uses our athletically gifted and creative players on the roster and within our pool of players across the country.

  29. James Madison, August 15, 2016 at 7:33 p.m.

    I cannot see giving anyone more than a 5, except possibly the mandatory bonus for Morgan's fortunate goal. And after the middling group stage performances, I was not that surprised by the result. Pugh, Morgan (except on a breakaway), Dunn and Press are not the players for "long balls into the middle from all over the field," as if anyone is when the opposition is set for them. The long term problem is that the world has caught up with the women, who once were more skilled technically than their opponents and smarter tactically, as well as more athletic---Karin Jennings, Tiffany Milbrett, Julie Foudy, Mia Hamm and Michelle Akers. Instead of building on their advantage, the women have succumbed to the American male soccer style---lots of energy, but lacking in touch and feel for the game.

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