Commentary

USA-Costa Rica: Women's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-COSTA RICA EXPRESS:
Nov. 10 Jacksonville, Fla.
USA 6 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Lloyd 4, Brian 10, Williams 50, 68, Press 56, own goal (Blanco) 86.
Att.: 12,914.

As one should expect, the world champions easily beat Costa Rica on Sunday. In the USA's last game of 2019, and second game under new head coach Vlatko Andonovski after Thursday's 3-2 win over Sweden, two goals within 10 minutes of kickoff set the USA on the path to a 6-0 win. The Ticas did manage to hit the crossbar twice in the second half, but generally played like a group hoping to avoid a mega-rout. The big winner was 26-year-old North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams, who came off the bench at halftime and scored twice. Williams, making her 21st appearance, had not been a part of the team at the 2019 World Cup nor the qualifying tournament. Andonovski also gave two players their debuts.


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

GOALKEEPER
Ashlyn Harris saved a header that went straight to her and easily caught a cross during a 45-minute appearance. She was replaced by Adrianna Franch at halftime.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Ashlyn Harris
(Orlando Pride) 24/0 (34)

DEFENDERS
Two defenders made their USA debuts, right back Margaret Purce and central defender Alana Cook. Purce attacked well down the right wing, and her strike in the 86th minute after unfazed by Lixy Rodriguez's sloppy tackle from behind turned into an own goal to make it 6-0. She wasn't tested much defensively. Cook caught up with Priscilla Chinchilla and prevented a breakaway scoring chance with her clean tackle. At left back, Emily Sonnett got bolder coming forward as game progressed, wisely taking advantage of Costa Rica's decision not to attack down the wings, and her cross helped set up the 5-0 goal. Veteran Becky Sauerbrunn held the other center back spot until making way for Andi Sullivan at halftime, when Julie Ertz moved from midfield to the backline.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Margaret Purce (Portland Thorns) 1/0 (24)

6 Alana Cook (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA) 1/0 (22)

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 171/0 (34)

7 Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns) 40/0 (25)

MIDFIELDERS
Rose Lavelle orchestrated the USA's excellent start, assisting on the first two goals. Morgan Brian looked wonderfully composed as she stroked the ball into the side-netting to make it 2-0. Julie Ertz, generally in charge ensuring no midfield rhythm by the opponent, surged forward at the right times, such as on that Brian goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
8 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 38/10 (24)

6 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 95/19 (27)

7 Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars) 87/8 (26)

FORWARDS
Carli Lloyd timed her run perfectly to remain onside and finished with a strike on the first touch to open the scoring as crowd was still settling in. Christen Press shot high on a prime chance in the first half and struck the post on a close-range sitter -- seconds before converting a left-footed shot from 11 yards after faking out Katherine Alvarado to make it 4-0. Tobin Heath certainly troubled the Costa Rican defense but her touch looked off at times and she failed to to pull the trigger at the right moments. But she passed perfectly to Williams on the third goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 162/32 (31)

7 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue) 288/121 (37)

7 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 130/51 (30)

SUBSTITUTES
Adrianna Franch tipped Chinchilla's shot onto the crossbar in the 77th minute to preserve the U.S. shot and left her box a few minutes later to intercept a through ball. Lynn Williams' combination of speed, two smart touches to evade two defenders, and a crisp low shot provided the early second-half goal that extinguished any hope the Ticas may have had to keep it close. She nicely nailed a half-volley to make it 5-0. That goal was set up by a header from Jessica McDonald from the Sonnett cross. One continues to worry about Mallory Pugh's progress. She entered at a time when an attacker should have been able to torment the Tica defense, but failed to do so. When her dribbling did succeed, she followed with an inaccurate pass.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC) 3/0 (28)

8 Lynn Williams (NC Courage) 21/6 (26)

5 Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 15/0 (23)

4 Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) 62/18 (21)

5 Allie Long (Reign FC) 51/8 (32)

6 Jessica McDonald (NC Courage) 14/2 (31)

TRIVIA: Margaret Purce is the first Harvard alum to appear for the U.S. women's national team.

Nov. 10 in Jacksonville, Fla.
USA 6 Costa Rica 0.
Goals: Lloyd 4, Brian 10, Williams 50, 68, Press 56, own goal (Blanco) 86.
USA -- Harris (Franch, 46); Purce, Cook, Sauerbrunn (Sullivan, 46), Sonnett; Lavelle, Ertz, Brian (Long, 63); Heath (Pugh, 63), Lloyd (Williams, 46), Press (McDonald, 63).
Costa Rica -- Bermudez; Guillen, Sanchez, Blanco, L.Rodriguez; Cruz, Alvarado, R.Rodriguez (Benavides, 83); Herrera, Villalobos (Salas, 67), Chinchilla.
Yellow cards:
none. Red cards: none.
Referee:
Karen Abt (USA)
Att.:
12,914.

Stats:
USA/Costa Rica
Shots: 17/6
Shots on Goal: 7/2
Saves: 2/2
Corner Kicks: 12/1
Fouls: 5/7
Offside: 6/0
Possession: 52%/48%

5 comments about "USA-Costa Rica: Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. frank schoon, November 11, 2019 at 10:59 a.m.

    Just watching the first 25min. of the game to get a feel and flow of the game , I noticed that Lavelle is playing better. Let's face it, in the previous game she ran around like a headless chicken. She lacks a certain panoramic awareness, and therefore she's better suited in making short range type of passes when on the run. The less she runs with the ball the better and certainly playing in a sort of 4-3-3 system with more lines (linies) unlike in the 4-1-4-1 system where she's forced to run into more open space forwards due to lack of forward passing options. The longer she's with the ball the less efficient our offense becomes.  But in the 433 system there are more playing options which cut down her need to run with the ball.The first goal by Lloyd she assisted on was offside by a mile, although it was a nice goal. Lavelle needs to be more aware of the possible offsides. Our front line are so anxious to run downfield, likewise has to be more aware of the offsides. 

    It is nice to see Carli Lloyd facial exuberance of play. She makes the offense more flexible. She reminds me of a blue collar type of centerforward who is willing to work, appearing on both flanks if possible. I can't say much about Press in those 25min she for she really wasn't in the game.

    Pucce did well on attack, and you can tell she an attacker, she ;however she needs to learn more aspects on defense, she ball watches too much, and needs be better in small spaces.
    I find that we need a Left footed halfback who has the ability to make a quick crossfield pass. This aspect was likewise a problem by Costa Rica, for their attack was not balanced due to a lack of leftfooted players, they were very leftflank oriented....

    We are still a COUNTER-ATTACKING type of team, we have players when receiving the ball, go in first gear and go all out, unlike Horan. This is nice when needed, and we still getting away with this one-dimensional type of ball for competition in women's soccer which is in need  of better quality.

    Costa Rica plays which is much more of a difficult level to play for they don't speed demons who can run. Everything they do has calculated, moving , passing in small spaces then switching the ball to the open flank. Costa Rica is not going to beat us on the break away, only through smart passes and I enjoy their #10; and notice they are much handling the ball under pressure in small because can't beat us in the wide open spaces. And this the ELEMENT  we MISS in our development. You can imagine if they had a front line like we have what a team that would be, they would SCHOOL  us.

    Don't be under no misapprehension, our front line carries us regardless of how our other 2 linies behind play.


  2. Bob Ashpole replied, November 11, 2019 at 3:16 p.m.

    Although the US was missing a lot of regular starters, it would not have made much difference to your comments, Frank. It, however, would have made a difference on your "left foot" comments because we were missing left sided players who do switch fields.

    There were 2 field player substitutes during halftime and the team played much differently in the 2nd half as a result. Ertz doesn't have all the ball skills she should have, but does control the middle of the field better than anyone else using her brain and athleticism. So far the team plays better with Ertz in the middle instead of the back. Part of that may be because Horan then plays higher.

    I wanted to tell you Frank, that I have though about youth coaching in general and come to the same view of your criticism of conventional coaches. For me, it comes down to simply a question of whether the coach is designing the training to force players to play the "correct" way to design the training to provide tactical problems for the players to solve. The former stiffles player development. It is fine for training a senior team in preparation for a match but out of place for player development. 

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, November 11, 2019 at 3:18 p.m.

    Spell check strikes again. The "or" was left out of my training design alternatives.

  4. frank schoon replied, November 11, 2019 at 3:54 p.m.

    Bob, on Ertz, she's getting away with weaknesses because we have such a strong front line thereby relieving her of defensive pressures, but she's is to slow and not strong on the ball like Horan who knows how to shield a ball. True Horan's tends to play a little further up but that shouldn't matter for our team is so strong we're able to move up and position further from the goal.
     
    Ernst will have a tough time of it as soon as the opponents have strong midfield dynamo then it is all over for Ernst. I noticed in this game Ernst was being covered by a Costa Rican attacker that continually switched off depending which side Ernst moved. And in so doing you would get more long balls downwing.

    Yes so true Bob, on the coaching aspect of it. All conventional coaches follow a set pattern and the trick to counter this is do the opposite. For example, it is currently the trend to have 2 centerbacks playing square together. All teams have that same pattern. What I would do is for one of my centerbacks to play a sweeper role who TAKES the ball up a la Beckenbauer. This upsets the typical opponensts style of play for now they see an extra man coming up to midfield.....What's next?....in this manner you break the opponent's team rhythm and pattern of play. Another example, AC Milan became famous becuase they quit playing Italian style soccer but followed  the Ajax way when Cruyff coached. Remembetr,Arrigo Sacchi came to Holland studied Ajax as an apprentice and then bought two of Ajax players from Cruyff, Rykaard and van Basten, along with Gullit. As Cruyff states ,all the Italian teams were strong but what AC Milan did was to play un italian  , Dutch style, of soccer which messed up all the rhythms and cadence of the how all the other Italian teams were used to playing. In other words Baresi became an attacking sweeper and their outside back also attacked especially their leftback. The Italians were used  to playing other Italian teams that all played similarly unlike AC MIlan.

    When it was trend to have 2 strikers up front and backs moving up on attack. Cruyff decided to play with 3 up front, 2wingers and centerforward. That meant the back were could no longer attack for they had to mark the wingers which they weren't used to doing. In other words play in manner that doensn't fit the current trend for that messed teams up 

  5. R2 Dad, November 12, 2019 at 6:14 p.m.

    Finally got to watch parts of the game. Williams did well to finish that first goal, though I wonder if she has a left foot at all. Purce looked good on the right, didn't think Sonnet contributed much on the left. Heath had a quiet game. Pugh was invisible. There was a string of passes by CR in the first half at the near touchline that was impressive, those ladies are calm on the ball. If they can find a real 9 threat they can really move up the rankings and be a top 20 team.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications