Jill Ellis' reign as U.S. women's national team coach ended on Sunday as did the USA's 17-game winning streak when it was held to a 1-1 tie by South Korea in the final game of the Victory Tour. For much of the match, the Koreans, who lost all three games at the 2019 Women's World Cup, were the sharper team.
(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)
Alyssa Naeher could do nothing to stop Ji Soyun's shot on the South Korea goal but denied Ji later in the first half. Naeher almost had an assist in stoppage time after coming forward on a last-gasp corner kick, but backup Korean keeper Kim Minjung denied Mallory Pugh from close range.
Player (Club) caps/goals
5 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 55/1 (31)
Poor defending by the backline led to South Korea's opening goal in the 34th minute. Tierna Davidson was unable to win a long free kick played to the edge of the penalty area, and Casey Short slipped on the ball played on to Ji, who eluded Becky Sauerbrunn and beat Naeher from 18 yards. Sauerbrunn's bad touch almost gifted the Koreans a second goal later in the first half, but Ji's shot lacked pace to beat Naeher. Crystal Dunn had a chance to put the USA ahead early in the first half but her angled shot went wide with an open goal.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars) 30/0 (29)
4 Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 25/1 (21)
3 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 169/0 (34)
4 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 96/24 (27)
Carli Lloyd returned to midfield, where she starred for USA at the 2015 Women's World Cup, and was the USA's most active attacker. She had the equalizer only three minutes after South Korea went ahead when she scored on a header off Megan Rapinoe's corner kick. A late winner was nullified on a harsh offside call. Julie Ertz had the USA's best chance in the first half when she hit the post in 26th minute, but for once, she was unable to take command in midfield, where South Korea's quick passing kept the USA chasing and often fouling. Rose Lavelle exited the game at the break after taking a knock to her ankle.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 36/10 (24)
4 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 93/19 (27)
7 Carli Lloyd (Reign FC) 286/118 (37)
Megan Rapinoe's service was the USA's most effective weapon in the first half. She found Lloyd on the equalizer after earlier forcing Korean keeper Kang Gaae to punch away a dangerous ball into the area. Christen Press had an open look from top of the area but put her shot wide in stoppage time. Tobin Heath had a quiet game before exiting in the second half.
Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
3 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 160/32 (31)
5 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 128/49 (30)
5 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 159/50) (34)
After Son Hwa-Yeon was sent off in the 84th minute for her second yellow card, the USA piled on the pressure. In stoppage time, Jessica McDonald hit the post and then Mallory Pugh's close-ranger header was tipped by Kim Minjung off the crossbar. Minutes earlier, Press fed a wide-open Pugh, who couldn't get anything on her shot that Kim saved.
(Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) 60/18 (21)
5 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 51/0 (26)
5 Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars) 86/7 (26)
5 Allie Long (Reign FC) 99/8 (32)
5 Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 13/0 (23)
6 Jessica McDonald (NC Courage) 11/2 (31)
TRIVIA 1: The tie ended the USA's winning streak at 17 games, one game short of the team record.
TRIVIA 2: Ellis finished her career with a 106-7-19 record, having coached 132 international games, more than any coach in U.S, women's history.
Oct. 6 in
USA 1 South Korea 1. Goals: Lloyd 37; Ji 34.
USA -- Naeher; Short (McDonald, 82), Sauerbrunn, Ertz (Long, 59), Lloyd, Davidson, Rapinoe (Pugh, 46), Lavelle (Brian, 46), Heath (Sullivan, 59), Dunn (Dahlkemper, 46), Press.
South Korea -- Kang Gaae (Kim Minjung, 66); Hong, Lim, Lee Youngju, Cho, Jang, Ji (Moon, 66), Park (Lee Sodam, 82), Kim Hyeri, Son, Kang Chaerim.
Yellow cards: South Korea -- Lee Younguu 35, Son 39, 84. Red card: South Korea -- Son 84.
Referee: Katia Garcia (Mexico).
Shots on Goal: 5/3
Corner Kicks: 4/1
Clearly you were not at this game (yes, I was); and it's unclear to me whether you watched it. Whenever Heath saw the ball she was dynamite: dynamic in her movement; accurate in her crosses; beating everyone off of the dribble. Sullivan much better than Heath--utter nonsense. And Lavelle--she was dreadful, giving the ball up in dangerous places many times (yet you rank her better than Heath).
Now I gotta watch this match to see for myself. Glad we’re finally rating the ladies!
OK got a chance to watch most of it:
The first 2 minutes were really bad for our ladies--ooh that is ugly.
The Koreans look good, pressing, composed play in the attacking 3rd - We are just kicking long, looking for 2ndballs—all the things bad teams do, not champions.
9th - the Koreans pass the ball directly to our front line—should be at least a shot on-goal. But because there is no patient play, no build-up, the chance is gone. Jill has this team playing very directly—that style must change if we are to develop. When MR retires, there will be a creativity gap. I had hoped Pugh would be able to step into those shoes but she has become very predictable and direct and her development has stopped over the past 2 years. She should have gone to Barca when she had the chance.
11th - TH with nice move and delivery above the 6.
13th - ref misses foul against Short but ARs get it right.
Korean dmids get the ball and immediately are facing upfield. Compare that to our ladies, who receive with back to goal and backpass when under pressure.
22nd - if you’re going to play the obvious ball out of the back, they’d better be quick with it and we're not.
24th - another long ball to Press. This isn’t how champions play.
25th - TH with the good ball in again.
Heath gets stomped—that’s yellow at least but nothing from the ref.
33rd - Why don’t our ladies chest the ball down instead of this headed ping-pong ball stuff?
Ji So-yun megs our centerback while shooting on goal—wish we had someone with that kind of smarts. Takes it like the men do and scores.
35th – Lavelle ankle. That’s red.
37th - Lloyd goal – well taken header.
Surprised Korea is booting long on GK—they have a good back line.
The ref has let this game get away from her. All those loose fouls not called 20 mins ago have now hit critical mass.
Ertz as a dmid is a mistake—the backpassing Michael Bradley of the USWNT.
49th—wasted a great opportunity with a bad touch from Lloyd.
50th—Morgan Brian with lame attempt when building for a better position is obviously a much better option. She’s a veteran. This kind of thinking has to go away before we have a better-playing team. Retaining possession against Spain and France is going to matter down the road.
77th – Short cross in is really long—great chance wasted.
84th – ref caps off a bad day by sending off a player for an administrative misunderstanding.
So, to Stuart's point, TH does seem to have had a better match than Sullivan. Also to note, Sullivan came on for 5 minutes before Korea swapped out their top scorer and first choice keeper, so Korea in that second half wasn't the same as in the first.