USA-Haiti Women's Olympic Qualifying Ratings

Jan. 28 in Houston
USA 4 Haiti 0. Goals: Press 2, Williams 67, Horan 73, Lloyd 90+3.
Att.: 4,363.
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Rarely will you see a 4-0 game in which the victor impresses as little as the USA did against Haiti in their 2020 Olympic qualifying opener. No matter how defensively an opponent plays, the world champion, fielding a squad with a total of nearly 1,000 caps, should deliver far more entertaining, clever and skillful soccer than we saw in its first competitive game under Coach Vlatko Andonovski.

After Christen Press opened the scoring in the 2nd minute, 65 minutes of scrappy scoreless soccer -- including a Haiti goal nullified by what appeared to be a horrendous assistant referee error -- passed before the Americans scored with headers from Lynn Williams, Lindsey Horan and Carli Lloyd. There will be no regrets from anyone who passed on filling one of the 17,000 empty seats in the 22,000 capacity BBVA Stadium in Houston on Tuesday night.

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


If Haiti's goal in 18th minute hadn't been called back, her rating would be near rock bottom -- which also applies to her defenders -- because it came from a corner kick headed in from two yards out by an unmarked player. Otherwise, Alyssa Naeher wasn't called into serious action.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 58/0 (31)


The outside backs Kelley O’Hara and Crystal Dunn, like most of their teammates, failed to conjure the kind unpredictable attacks that break down bunkering teams. Central defenders Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper interfered successfully with the rare Haitian counterattack, but could have been more patient on the ball when they got it. Orchestration beginning in the back instead of the hasty approach could have made defending more difficult for the Haitians.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals) 126/2 (31)

5 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 172/0 (34)

5 Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage) 54/0 (26)

4 Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage) 97/24 (27)


When a team plays without rhythm, the midfield deserves much blame. Not new for this U.S. women by any means, the midfielders' inclination was to get the ball wide as fast possible. Attacking through the middle rarely occured, nor did a prolonged exchange of passes that could force gaps -- and fatigue -- on the opponent. Rose Lavelle struggled when she had limited space, her one-on-one acumen failing her on the evening, and she shot poorly. Samantha Mewis hit an impressively accurate pass out of the back in the first half, but wasn't immune to the inconsistency that plagued the entire team. After she darted past Haitians and into the penalty area in the 40th minute, she needed only to deliver a low, short-distance pass to one of two teammates in front of the goal but lobbed it over the entire goal area. Julie Ertz may not have made major errors -- besides an awful shot -- but one expects her to provide the leadership to get the midfield in sync.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
3 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 39/10 (24)

4 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 96/19 (27)

4 Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) 61/14 (27)


Carli Lloyd's goal, with a diving header, came a few seconds before the final whistle. Before that, her shots were weak and off target, and she couldn't pull the trigger from close-range in 52nd minute after a nice feed from Mewis because of a poor first touch. Had she converted earlier -- as a world-class center forward should with the chances she had -- the game may not have been such a grind. She made a case that the sub role may indeed suit her best. Lynn Williams deserves to be Woman of the Match, because her cross -- blitzing down the wing after losing a shoe, no less -- created the most brilliant moment of the USA's performance: Christen Press' crisp low volley for the opening goal. Williams also headed home the 67th minute goal to make it 2-0.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) 21/7 (26)

5 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 288/122 (37)

6 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 130/52 (31)


Megan Rapinoe came off the bench to deliver corner kicks that Williams and Lindsey Horan scored on -- then squandered a free kick nicely set up for her centrally, 19 yards out, by blasting it far and wide.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) 161/50 (34)

6 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 79/12 (25)

nr Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride) 41/0 (26)

TRIVIA: Ten of the USA’s last 26 goals in its last eight games -- including three against Haiti -- have been headers.

Jan. 28 in Houston
USA 4 Haiti 0. Goals: Press 2, Williams 67, Horan 73, Lloyd 90+3.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara (Sonnett, 81), Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper, Dunn; Lavelle (Horan, 71), Ertz, Mewis; Williams, Lloyd, Press (Rapinoe, 62).
Haiti -- Theus; Mathurin, K.Louis, Beaubrun (Charles 27), Surpis; Elossaint (A.Louis 88), Dumornay, Etienne (B.Louis 74), Mondesir; Juedy, Saint Felix.
Yellow Cards: USA -- Lavelle 62; Haiti -- none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Odette Hamilton (Jamaica)
Att.: 4,363.

Shots: 23/3
Shots on Goal: 8/2
Saves: 2/4
Corner Kicks: 13/1
Fouls: 12/11
Offside: 1/2
Possession: 63%/37%

16 comments about "USA-Haiti Women's Olympic Qualifying Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, January 29, 2020 at 7:35 a.m.

    Mike, I disagree with your comment about Naeher. I recall that there were two offside attackers, one immediately in front of Naeher and one running away from the center of the goal. Your comment implies that Naeher should left the player directly in front of the goal to chase the one running away from goal. Naeher's decision to stay was a factor in determining whether an offense occured. She was slowed in her reaction because she was focused on getting the AR to notice the offside players, but the AR isn't supposed to signal before the player is actually involved in the play. 

    To me it looked like a busted set piece which depended on a US player to be positioned at the post.

  2. David Browne replied, January 29, 2020 at 8:33 a.m.

    There is no offsides on a corner kick. It could only be offsides if one Haiti player played it forward to another. It appeared on replay that it wass adirect header. It also did not appear that the Haiti player playing in front of Naeher interfered. We used the same tactic with Lynn Willimas always in front of the GK on corner kicks.

  3. Bob Ashpole replied, January 29, 2020 at 10:38 a.m.

    I agree with some of what you said. When the header was struck, the player near Naeher was in an offside position. 

  4. David Ruder replied, January 29, 2020 at 12:51 p.m.

    There is something about beating a girl's team from the poorest country of the world where the team looked undernourished.

  5. Seth Vieux replied, January 29, 2020 at 2:21 p.m.

    Bob the player near Naeher was not in an offside position as it was a corner and there IS NO offside position on the field at the time the kick is taken. As there were only two Haitian players remotely involved in the play, the woman taking the kick and the player flashing to the near post that may or may not have touched the ball directly off the kick...there is no way possible that offside is a law in effect. As hard as I've worked on not nit-picking refs as a coach, had that call been made by a 13 year AR I would have immediately addressed the referee to ensure that a child referee's clear mistake was over ruled. Whomever is responsible for the licensing and trianing of both that AR AND the referee should be requiring strong retraining before they step foot on even a U9 match again.

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, January 29, 2020 at 5:45 p.m.

    Seth, the ball was last touched when the header was made, not the restart.

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, January 29, 2020 at 5:50 p.m.

    To be absolutely clear the issue is whether the player by the keeper was "involved in active play".

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, January 29, 2020 at 6:01 p.m.

    David, I have no idea why you replied to my comment about the offside call. Haiti is very poor, but there are a significant number of countries even worse off--not that makes Haiti's circumstances less terrible.

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, January 30, 2020 at 12:22 p.m.

    I just watched a highlight that contained a wide angle view of the Haitian goal. In that view is was obvious that the goal should not have been called back. In the broadcast I watched they only showed short tight views and I was mistaken as to which attacker headed the ball and where players went prior to the kick.  

  10. R2 Dad replied, January 31, 2020 at 1:30 a.m.

    That's really poor officiating from that crew--center gets a 4 for allowing and not challenging her own AR (who gets a 2). A goal that would have changed the result going into the lockers at the half is just not good enough. CONCACAF--we are displeased but not surprised.

  11. Dan Gautieri, January 29, 2020 at 7:46 a.m.

    How is it possible that so few people attended the game? Had the game been played in NJ, there would have been three times that many people, even if the game were played in a snowstorm.

  12. R2 Dad replied, January 29, 2020 at 11:05 a.m.

    Tickets are (only) $25-$60, so no obvious price-goughing. But it's a mid-week match so turnout from kids/families is lower. The real test would be US vs Mexico, but we are playing Panama and Costa Rica over the next few days. Yes, you would expect more support.

  13. Jim Dudley replied, January 29, 2020 at 11:08 a.m.

    Maybe because they feel like I do.  I used to take 15-20 girls to a game,  I could afford to pay for a few that couldn't themselves.   I could select seats so that we could sit as a group  (two or three rows with seats grouped.    Now I get "told" by the computer where I will sit   (near the top of the stands because all 15 have to sit in a row.  No way to make a group work.   I complained once and wow,  there were seats available where I wanted them.  But still no effort on US soccer part to make selecting seats easy (or afforable) and I refuse to call and complain everytime I want to go to a game.

  14. frank schoon replied, January 29, 2020 at 4:13 p.m.

    R2, $25-60 WOW!!!  That's shocking!!! I haven't been to a game and paid for tickets in a long time. But I'll tell what, paying this much to see this game is like paying to watch my trashman pick my recycables.....

  15. Wooden Ships replied, January 30, 2020 at 5:22 p.m.

    Lol, Frank. 

  16. Santiago 1314, January 29, 2020 at 12:21 p.m.

    Low Crowds... Look at How Poorly the Dynamo Treat their Fans... i Quit going after their Managment LIED to me

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