Commentary

USA-England: Women's World Cup Player Ratings

USA-ENGLAND EXPRESS:
July 2 in Lyon
USA 2 England 1. Goals: Press 10, Morgan 31; White 19.
Att.: 53,512.

The USA has reached the Women's World Cup final for the third straight time thanks to a 2-1 semifinal win over England. Christen Press, who replaced an injured Megan Rapinoe in the starting lineup, scored in the 10th minute and center forward Alex Morgan, who hadn't hit the net since the tournament opening win over Thailand, scored the gamewinner in the 31st minute. Both U.S. goals came on headers. On Sunday, the USA will play either the Netherlands or Sweden. A win would earn the USA its second straight World Cup title and give the USA its fourth of the eight Women's World Cup titles since the tournament's inception in 1991.

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

GOALKEEPER

Alyssa Naeher made a diving save on Keira Walsh's driven shot from 26 yards in the 33rd minute and saved Stephanie Houghton's 84th-minute penalty kick.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
8  Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 52/- (31)

DEFENDERS

Right back Kelley O'Hara sent a cross in from near the corner flag that met Christen Press at the far edge of the goal area on the first goal. O'Hara also won most of her one-on-one battles defensively. Beth Mead's cross to Ellen White was near impossible for O'Hara to block and was also struck so well -- low and hard -- that it flew just out of reach of Abby Dahlkemper. Becky Sauerbrunn's foul on the Ellen White was a slight clip that needed a VAR review but could have been avoided. The USA's winning goal came after Dahlkemper struck a long cross-field ball perfectly to Press' feet on the left wing. Dahlkemper and Sauerbrunn was lucky that VAR spotted White offside by inches when she darted between them and finished in the 67th minute. Crystal Dunn battled Rachael Daly and Lucy Bronze and ultimately prevented them from creating chances.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
8  Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals) 123/2 (30)
6  Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 46/0 (26)
5  Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 163/0 (34)
7  Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 90/24 (26)

MIDFIELDERS

Starting strong has been the U.S. recipe at this World Cup and on Tuesday Rose Lavelle's dynamic play gave the USA a significant edge in the first half, during which the USA took nine of its 10 shots. In the 4th minute, Lavelle nutmegged Millie Bright and unleashed a shot blocked by keeper Carly Telford that created a chance for Alex Morgan, who shot high. Lindsay Horan lofted in the ball that Alex Morgan headed in for the gamewinner and Horan's ball-winning in the midfield disrupted much of England's play. Julie Ertz helped create attacks in the first-half but focused mostly on defense in the second half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7  Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 32/9 (24)
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 87/19 (27)
7  Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 74/9 (25)

FORWARDS

Tobin Heath sent a well-timed defense-splitting ball to O'Hara on the first goal. Christen Press headed perfectly to make it 1-0, and controlled Dahlkemper's long pass before feeding Horan crisply ahead of Alex Morgan's game-winning goal. The English resorted to fouls four times to stop Morgan, including two by Millie Bright, who was ejected in the 86th minute for her second.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6  Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 155/31 (30)
7  Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 168/107 (30)
7  Christen Press (Utah Royals) 122/49 (30)

SUBSTITUTES

Sam Mewis came in for the last 25 minutes for Lavelle mainly to help harass England in the midfield.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5  Sam Mewis (NC Courage) 56/14 (26)
nr  Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 279/113 (36)
nr  Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) 102/1 (34)

TRIVIA.
The USA scored within the first 12 minutes in all six of its games at this World Cup: Thailand 12th minute (Alex Morgan); Chile 11th (Carli Lloyd); Sweden 3rd (Lindsey Horan); Spain 7th (Megan Rapinoe), France 5th (Megan Rapinoe); England 10th (Christen Press).

July 2 in Lyon
USA 2 England 1. Goals: Press 10, Morgan 31; White 19.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara  (Kreiger, 87), Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Lavelle (Mewis, 65), Ertz, Horan; Heath (Lloyd, 80), Morgan, Press.
England -- Telford; Bronze, Houghton, Bright, Stokes; Daly (Stanway, 89), Scott, Parris, Walsh (Moore, 71), Mead (Kirby, 58); White.
Yellow cards: USA -- Sauerbrunn 83, Horan 47. England -- Bright 40, 86; Parris 90+5.  Red cards: USA -- none; England -- Bright 86.
Referee: Edina Alves Batista (Brazil)
Att.: 53,512.

Stats:
USA/England
Shots: 10/7
Shots on goal: 4/4
Saves: 3/2
Corner Kicks: 2/2
Fouls: 9/12
Offside: 0/1
Possession: 43%/57%

15 comments about "USA-England: Women's World Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, July 2, 2019 at 9:27 p.m.

    A well-played and well-coached match. As happy as I am at the result and the USA's play, I regretted at the final whistle that both teams could not advance to the final. England was too chippy, but they paid the price for it. 

    The flick on pass on England's goal that was called back was the prettiest touch I have seen in the finals to date. And there has been a lot of pretty touches. When the adrenaline is pumping, staying onside is not easy.

    Naeher, wow. 

    I was greatly impressed with the officials. This was a difficult match but the center handled it well. 

  2. james Fitzsimons, July 2, 2019 at 10:16 p.m.

    Press may have scored a goal, but blew many opportunities.  I'd rate her a "5" at best.  Damn did we miss Rapinoe!

  3. beautiful game replied, July 2, 2019 at 10:40 p.m.

    Press is a solid player, but when she hurried her shot on a keeper giveaway, it exposed her biggest weakness of 'head down' and clueless about positioning of her teammates. England's positioning was mediocre most of the game. They failed to exploit the high line U.S. defense by playing over the top. PK was a terrible effort. RWB deserved the win.

  4. Right Winger replied, July 6, 2019 at 11:41 p.m.

    Rapinoe should stay on the bench.  A very talented player but she does not deserve to play.  I don’t care if she likes Trump or not she should respect the office.  When she disrespects the office she disrespects the country, it’s people and what we stand for.  She is an embarrassment.  I wonder what she was thinking when the team visited Normandy and she got to see the results of those who gave their all so she could experience what she and many from other countries are able to experience today.

  5. uffe gustafsson, July 2, 2019 at 10:19 p.m.

    My only comment is Press should have an 8/9 rating, not only did she have a great header but her taking balls away high up on the field are her usual energetic way of playing. The PK save was great but a poorly made one. Am I the only one to notice all PK saves are in the left corner of the goal? Time to re think those PK shoots.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, July 2, 2019 at 10:31 p.m.

    Right footed shooters.

  7. Peter Bechtold replied, July 2, 2019 at 11:25 p.m.

    If you are right footed, you should avoid going left because the ball may curve out. I scored 24straight in the day by always going to my right, where the ball curves in, not out. Of course, you have to hit it well.

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, July 3, 2019 at 12:34 a.m.

    Good point, Peter.

    Did you guys see how much of the goal mouth Naeher had covered on that save? I had no idea that she had that much reach. Big and quick. 

  9. frank schoon replied, July 3, 2019 at 9:40 a.m.

     The was penalty was shot terribly. Naeher had to cover hardly any space to get the ball, just look how far the ball was from the post when she stopped it. If she couldn't stop that penalty ,I would seriously question her goalkeeping capabilities. You can guess where the English player was going to place it. She stood directly in line with the ball, and the way her body is positioned and  she's rightfooted it could only go to the goalie's right....
    I was not impressed with the English defense in the first half. Note how we scored the first goal, on the farside English defenders were all watching the ball and never even looked where her own man were...this is the kind of mistakes you see in U14 games....There were so many gaping holes in the English defense in the back. 
    Phil made one big mistake and that is to start out playing 4-4-2. It left him with 2 central midfielders in the middle trying to cover too much space . And this is  one of the major weakness of the 4-4-2 system, no triangles, the outside halfback tend to get caught up in the transistion not able to help out in the middle. Also the English players had soooo many bad passes and that is a feature in womens soccer much more so than in the men's game, comparably to shooting percentage in WNBA, but the English women went way beyond their alottment of bad pass average.
    Likewise playing 4-4-2  left the English with too few attacking options upfield. In this particular game the US was better or lets say , stronger. I thought the English had one of their worst games in this tournament. 
    This VAR calling offsides ,calling back the English goal , I find troubling. I mean when you have to use a magnifying glass to see if it's offsides than I think were getting away from the spirit of the game. This is crazy. What the VAR has done is solve some problems at the cost of creating other problems...I don't know where this will end. If the linesmen can't see the offsides becuase the difference is so minute,and microscopic, then just let it go. We are getting to the point soon we'll use sky satellites, GPS monitors on the ball to make the offside is correct...this whole thing is beginning to edge closer to a video game

  10. R2 Dad replied, July 3, 2019 at 10:55 a.m.

    Frank, agreed on VAR--didn't appear to ba a clear and obvious error. This tourney is in sharp contrast to Russia, which I thought used VAR much more appropriately.

  11. frank schoon replied, July 3, 2019 at 10:56 a.m.

    R2, yup ,agree...way too much time spend on VAR decisions too....

  12. beautiful game replied, July 3, 2019 at 10:46 p.m.

    How can a PK save be great if the kick is poor? 

  13. Kent James, July 3, 2019 at 1:26 a.m.

    Well done.  I thought the US played very well; Lavelle and O'hara were standouts (Press also played quite well).  Naeher played well, but her two most spectacular saves were not as difficult as people made them out to be.  The long shot was not driven hard, so she had time to get to the corner to push it wide (it was a good save, but not an exceptional one).  Same for the PK; the key was she went the right way (so credit to her for that).  Of course, given the pressure (especially on the PK), she did have a great game.  


    I thought the officals also did very well.  In the age of VAR, the AR was right not to flag England for offside (because it was so close), and she was off (which certainly helped her score).  And while Sauerbrun's clip of the English shooter's foot as she was shooting was subtle (and accidental), it clearly screwed up her shot, so the PK was the right call.  

  14. Kevin Leahy, July 3, 2019 at 11:54 a.m.

    Press is a completely different player then Rapinoe. Actually believe she brings more to the table. The teams depth is the biggest advantage of all there opponents. Don't think the loss of a player or two really has any effect on this group.

  15. beautiful game, July 3, 2019 at 11:02 p.m.

    I want more TV cameras on the pitch, more facials or back of the head close-uips two or more in a matter of seconds, I want that dizzying sensation of camera-hopping; seems as if every sport is exposed to this nonsense and you all could care less while soccer and other televised sports are becoming a 'reality TV' hodge podge...15-minutes of a 90-minute soccer game is being wasted denying the viewer the pleasures of watching passing lanes being opened and closed by players movement and the ball carrier; and instead the viewer gets a facial or back of the head panorama... why would anyone have interest in a referee counseling players or shots of coaches, or reviews of plays that have no consequence whatsoever...that's TV sports in suffocating mode. The best scenarion is a wasted pass or kick on goal with a review of the ball carrier's mistake, the receivers inability to reach an errant pass followed by live action of same player facials, than the keeper, than referee/coach/crowd before it's back to the live action and wide-angle shot of the pitch. 

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