USA-Portugal Women's Friendly Player Ratings

August 29 in Philadelphia
USA 4 Portugal 0. Goals: Heath 4, Brian 18, Lloyd 52, Long 82.
Att.: 49,504

In the clash between the four-time World Cup-winner and a team that has never been to the World Cup, the USA scored a few minutes after kickoff and cruised to a 4-0 win over Portugal in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a U.S. women's stand-alone friendly game. All four U.S. goals came from inside the goal area.

USA Player Ratings
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
Portugal's two shots on target consisted of a long-range effort in the first half and a weak short-range shot in the second -- both straight at Adrianna Franch, who earned her second cap since debuting last March in a 2-2 tie with England

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Adrianna Franch
(Portland Thorns) 2/- (28)

Portugal's tame when not invisible offense enabled the U.S. outside backs to focus on attack. Unfortunately, Tierna Davidson never found her groove on the left side, sending more passes to the foes than to teammates. On the right side, Emily Sonnett failed to mesh with Morgan Brian and Tobin Heath. Abby Dahlkemper hit a few excellent passes out of the back while patrolling the center and defending far upfield with Becky Sauerbrunn.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns) 36/0 (25)
7 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 49/0 (26)
6 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 166/0 (34)
4 Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 22/1 (20)

Julie Ertz
's fine passing included cross-field chips to Christen Press and Carli Lloyd in the buildup to the first and third goals. Ertz's effectiveness on the ball far exceeded that of her teammates, who gave it away with frustrating frequency in the first half. Fortunately for the USA, it was very easy to win the ball back from the Portuguese. Lindsey Horan roamed the midfield diligently but her aim was off and rarely did her passes connect. In the 44th minute, unmarked eight yards out, she scuffed the ball straight to goalkeeper Patricia Morais. Early in the second half, Horan did win an aerial battle with two Portuguese defenders and nodded the ball on for Carli Lloyd to finish and make it 3-0. And Horan's hustle contributed much to Portugal's inability to progress out of the midfield. Morgan Brian scored the USA's second goal from a Press corner kick. That Brian stooped to score on a header from inside goal area shows how poorly Portugal marked up.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars) 84/7 (26)
8 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 90/19 (27)
6 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 76/11 (25)

Tobin Heath pounced on Christen Press' low driven cross to stab in the first goal in the fourth minute from three yards. Press, who also assisted on the second goal with a corner kick, had a goal called back for a hand ball and shot weakly, wide and hit the post as she failed to get a goal of her own. Carli Lloyd, after her close-range finish, hit the cross that Allie Long met with a diving header to make it 4-0. Lloyd whiffed on a close-range chance in the 69th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 158/32 (31)
7 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 283/115 (37)
7 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 125/49 (30)

Jessica McDonald, who hit the post in the 68th minute and set up Lloyd for a chance she squandered, was the most dynamic of the subs. Plus, her long throw-in helped set up Lloyd's goal. Crystal Dunn sent a couple long-range shots wide. Mallory Pugh set up two shots for Press. Allie Long did well to anticipate Lloyd's cross and head home the fourth goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 93/24 (27)
5 Sam Mewis (NC Courage) 58/14 (26)
6 Jessica McDonald
(NC Courage) 10/2 (31)
5 Casey Short
(Chicago Red Stars) 28/0 (29)
6 Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) 57/17
6 Allie Long (Reign FC) 48/7 (32)

TRIVIA: The 49,504 fans at Lincoln Field in Philadelphia exceeded the previous largest crowd for a U.S. women's stand-alone friendly: 44,028 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for a 8-0 U.S. win over Costa Rica in August 2015.

Aug. 29 in Philadelphia
USA 4 Portugal 0. Goals: Goals: Heath 4, Brian 18, Lloyd 52, Long 82.
USA -- Franch; Sonnett (Short, 60), Dahlkemper (Mewis, 46), Sauerbrunn, Davidson (Dunn, 46); Brian (Long, 61), Ertz, Horan (Pugh, 61); Heath (McDonald, 46), Lloyd, Press.
Portugal -- P.Morais; Borges (Fidalgo, 63), Marchao, Rebelo, M.Mendez; Marques, T.Pinto, Neto (F.Pinto 46), Do.Silva; J.Silva (Gomes, 82), Di.Silva (C.Mendes, 63).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; Portugal -- T.Pinto 83. Red cards: none
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva (USA).
Att.: 49,504.

Shots: 18/4
Shots on target: 8/2
Saves: 2/3
Corner Kicks: 4/1
Fouls: 6/6
Offside: 4/2
Possession: 60%/40%

10 comments about "USA-Portugal Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, August 30, 2019 at 12:50 a.m.

    Personally I was quite pleased with Davidson's and Sonnett's performance tonight. This was the first time I can say that about Sonnett. IMO Sonnett's attacking play improved greatly, which I thought was obvious progress. As for Davidson, she is coming back from a broken ankle. I was happy to see her moving so well and didn't expect her to play much more than 45 minutes. 

  2. beautiful game, August 30, 2019 at 9 a.m.

    Another minnow beaten to a pulp.

  3. frank schoon replied, August 30, 2019 at 9:22 a.m.

    BG. I too question the use of these of games. If you're going to play and locate weaknesses than play good solid teams that can give you a game. 

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, August 30, 2019 at 9:46 a.m.

    So how many teams are not minnows? Six or seven maybe? Then there is fatigue to consider.

    Scheduling friendlies has to be difficult. With a competition next year, when the top teams are scheduled is important in order to peak at the competition.

    The WNT has an obligation to the sport as well, both here and internationally. These matches are arguably more about that obligation than getting the team ready for competition next year. 

  5. frank schoon replied, August 30, 2019 at 11:14 a.m.

    Bob, that true. The statement" how many are not minnows" puts it bluntly in black and white terms as far as women soccer goes, for the overal compettion of women soccer I take with a grain of salt as well the successes thereof

  6. Nick Gabris, August 30, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.

    The game is leaving Carli behind. Was a great player, great career, time to think about retiring from the WNT?

  7. James Madison, August 30, 2019 at 6:53 p.m.

    I thought I was signed in here instead of the Ireland match when I commented that maybe the next USA opponent will have a goalkeeper.

  8. R2 Dad, August 31, 2019 at 12:21 a.m.

    The only reason why Davidson (20) and Sonnett(25) are playing as outside backs is because the current centerbacks Saurbrunn (34) and Dahlkemper (26) are superior but older players and those two won’t get any playing time as centerbacks otherwise.

    So Jill plays them as outside backs, but they’re not a good fit there (and hence played little at the world cup at those positions).

    Here is why these Victory Tour matches are a waste of time: We could be playing a different style of game, experimenting with the next evolution of the game for our women, but don't. I understand Ellis has earned the right to do whatever she wants with this squad and these matches, but they just feel like exactly what they are—beatdowns on minnows.

    So, given all the possession we have, wouldn’t that have been awesome to have Jill throw us a bone, a taste of what this team COULD look like in the future? No pressure. But no—first thing out of the blocks—a long ball. Ertz playing a ball off her back when a chested ball is the proper touch. This is just lazy. I was NOT impressed. Stopped watching after 5 minutes. Wasteful and careless with the ball is no way to go through a soccer career, ladies.

  9. Bob Ashpole, August 31, 2019 at 11:44 a.m.

    Back to back world championships and yet a lot of negativity in the comments. 

    When I compare the women's game to the men's game I don't compare senior women to senior men. I compare senior women to 16 year old boys, and not early bloomers. This negates most of the physical differences and gives a better comparison of the other aspects--technical, tactical and mental--of a player.

    Yes the US MNT would beat the US WNT if they played, but that doesn't mean the men are the better players.

    This comparison also helps to distinguish what tactics in the senior men's game won't work for the women's senior game due to physical differences. For instance very few women can make the long diagonal passes prevelant in the senior men's game to break down compact defenses. Typically women cannot cover as much area as men so women have to support closer then men when defending or else create significantly weaker gaps.

    National team coaches don't normally have the contact time to teach players new styles of play. Perhaps Ellis should consider running a club or scholastic program next where she actually has more influence on player development and can be innovative in that area. Or maybe train the trainers. 

  10. frank schoon replied, August 31, 2019 at 2:29 p.m.

    Bob, to say ,comparably, the men are not necessarily better players than the women is a stretch. For example you compare the women more to the level of 16year boys, whereas in Holland the men see the women' national soccer team comparable to men's 5th division amateur soccer, whatever. Then comparison to our mens NT I would say the latter is better. That they, MNT are better is not really saying much, however, when you compare them to other classic European men's teams.
    My beef with women's soccer is that they follow the same men's USSF coaching/training ,philosophy of soccer format. I'm not impressed with Ellis as coach for winning the WC since it was ours to lose in the first place . Since we have so much better women's team compared to the competition , I would expect for Ellis to be more creative in her coaching technique but instead she follows the standard ,boring, unsophisticated style play of men's soccer. 
    When you have the horses than you would I expect  the coach to elevate the quality of play, which she doesn't and unfortunately she is not capable of doing that. She played it safe and won, it's that simple. The US womens team is world renown for winning the WC, that's it, and nothing else for it has not contributed introducing a higher level of play or style especially when have the horses that other teams don't have...

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