Commentary

USA-New Zealand: Women's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-NEW ZEALAND EXPRESS:
May 16 in St. Louis, Missouri
USA 5 New Zealand 0. Goals: Heath (Rapinoe) 35, Lavelle (Horan) 40, Lloyd (Heath) 61, Lloyd (Press) 83, Mewis (Press) 84.
Att.: 35,761.

The USA started off sluggishly again, waiting 35 minutes before scoring its first goal, but then cruised to a 5-0 win over New Zealand before 35,761 fans in in St. Louis, the largest home crowd since August 2015. It has only one more game before it heads off to France for the Women's World Cup -- May 26 against Mexico at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.



USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
GOALKEEPER

Alyssa Naeher had little to do against South Africa on Sunday. She had less to do against the Football Ferns, needing to only punch away a free kick in the 31st minute with the score still 0-0.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 45/- (31)

DEFENDERS

The USA recorded its third straight shutout after conceding 10 goals in its first six games of the year. That's the good news. The bad news: the U.S. defense wasn't tested against another vastly inferior opponent. Once again, Jill Ellis started the back four she plans to start in France: Kelley O'Hara on the right, Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn in the middle and Crystal Dunn at left back. Dahlkemper showed off her long-range passing skills, finding Alex Morgan in the build-up to the game's first goal in the 35th minute. Dunn was more involved on the left side than against South Africa, setting up Morgan in the first half for a chance that went wide.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals) 117/2 (30)
6 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 39/0 (26)
5 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 157/0 (33)
6 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 84/24 (26)

MIDFIELDERS

Lindsey Horan, who sat out of the South Africa game with a hip injury, returned to the midfield alongside Julie Ertz and Rose Lavelle. Horan played only one half but showed why she is the USA's best two-way midfielder, finding Lavelle from the left side for the second goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 81/18 (27)
6 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 67/8 (24)
6 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 26/7 (24)

FORWARDS

After the USA's sluggish start, Megan Rapinoe put the USA ahead with a driving ball through the area to Tobin Heath for an easy goal. Alex Morgan didn't score but her hold-up play is crucial for the USA as she showed on the opening goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 149/29 (30)
6 Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 161/101 (29)
7 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) 152/44 (33)

SUBSTITUTES


Carli Lloyd came on in the 60th minute, scored on her first touch a minute later and added a second goal later in the second half. Sam Mewis replaced Horan after halftime and completed the scoring with a goal in her third straight game. Christen Press showed why she is valuable breaking down tired defenses late in games with assists on Lloyd's second goal and Mewis' goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Sam Mewis (NC Courage) 49/12 (26)
6 Allie Long (Reign FC) 44/6 (31)
7 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 273/110 (36)
5 Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) 52/15 (21)
6 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 115/47 (30)
5 Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) 100/1 (34)

TRIVIA. Ali Krieger came on in the second half to earn her 100th cap. She joins seven other players on the U.S. World Cup-bound team with 100 or more caps.

May 16 in St. Louis, Missouri

USA 5 New Zealand 0. Goals: Heath (Rapinoe) 35, Lavelle (Horan) 40, Lloyd (Heath) 61, Lloyd (Press) 83, Mewis (Press) 84.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara (Krieger, 60), Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Lavelle, Ertz (Long, 73), Horan (Mewis, 46); Heath (Press, 72), Morgan (Pugh, 73), Rapinoe (Lloyd, 60).
New Zealand --
Nayler; Bowen, Moore, Erceg, Green (Satchell, 69); Duncan (Chance, 60),  Longo, Percival; White, Gregorius (Wilkinson, 75), Riley.
Yellow cards: New Zealand -- Green 33. Red cards: none.
Referee: Karen Abt (USA).
Att.: 35,761.

Stats:
USA/New Zealand

Shots: 25/1
Shots on Goal:
9/0
Saves:
0/4
Corner Kicks:
10/1
Fouls:
8/4
Offside:
7/1

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4 comments about "USA-New Zealand: Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Chance Hall, May 18, 2019 at 11:02 a.m.

    It’s an honor to wear your country’s sports uniform.  If you think your country has done something you don’t agree with just say no when they do you the honor of asking.  Don’t take it just to get the glory, fame, and money and then disrespect yourself and your country by not standing and paying the proper respect to your national anthem.  Try to have the courage of your convictions and just say no.  Imagine what would happen if someone disrespected their flag from another country.  This is the wrong  time place, and venue  to protest.  Don’t search for the reporters and cameras to try for your 15 minutes of glory.  Pick another time and place to cry “Look at me I want some attention”. Playing for your country is also supposed to be about teamwork and commitment.  I can’t imagine how much turmoil and dissention this is causing within the team and coaching staff. They certainly don’t need this kind of distraction while trying to prepare for a game or the World Cup.  Jill, the tv stations, and US Soccer should have handled this better the first time it came up. The answer is simple.  If you can’t pay the proper respect to your country then you can’t be on the team.  There are so many more talented players who would give anything for the  honor and privilege of representing their country. 

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, May 18, 2019 at 2:58 p.m.

    Somehow you overlooked the First Amendment. I don't see anyone complaining about the fans who head for the concession stand during the national anthem. I suspect that you just don't care for Raponoe's political views.

    Let's stay on topic.

  3. Chance Hall, May 18, 2019 at 9:25 p.m.

    Bob.  You missed the whole point of my comments.  I fought for the right for everyone to express their opinion.  I just think that at the game is not the right time or place to do it. Let the publicity hounds go chase the reporters and tv cameras somewhere else.  It's not a political rally, it's a sporting event.   

  4. Bob Ashpole, May 18, 2019 at 10:22 p.m.

    I was generally pleased by the progress over the last 2 matches. The team has made fewer unforced errors and stayed better connected.

    Paul's comment about Alex Morgan was a good one. With, in effect, 2 inside forwards, the CF has to play differently. There simply isn't a lot of opportunity for the CF to move between the lines. So the choices are to drop deeper or stay higher with back to goal. Less opportunity for her to run at the goal. 

    This 5 man shape has been around for generations because it is very difficult to defend against. 

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