Commentary

USA-Costa Rica Women's Olympic Qualifying Player Ratings

USA-COSTA RICA EXPRESS:
Feb. 3 in Houston
USA 6 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Press 4, 36, Horan 10, Mewis 63, 83, McDonald 77.
Att.: 7,082.
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In a 6-0 win over Costa Rica, the USA delivered a more polished performance in its third straight mismatch of the tournament after opening with wins over Haiti (4-0) and Panama (8-0). But once again the inferiority of the opponent ensured there'd be no drama and no real test for the world champion in this early phase of the Vlatko Andonovski era. Both the USA and Costa Rica had already clinched spots in Friday's semifinals that will determine Concacaf's qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics. The Ticas, aiming for their first Olympic appearance, rested key players against the USA. Christen Press, with two golazos, provided the most excitement on Monday night in Houston. She has scored in four straight games.

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

GOALKEEPER

So far, the USA really hasn't needed a goalkeeper in the tournament. Alyssa Naeher didn't face a single shot.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 59/0 (31)

DEFENDERS

Ali Krieger delivered the ball to Christen Press on the 3-0 strike and her pass to Carli Lloyd helped set up Lindsey Horan's goal. Her central defense partner Abby Dahlkemper also passed well, as one would hope considering how little pressure the Ticas applied. Life was easy for the outside backs, Emily Sonnett and Crystal Dunn, playing against a team without wingers. Dunn's activity up the wing lacked precision.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Emily Sonnett (Orlando Pride) 43/0 (26)

7 Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) 106/1 (35)

6 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 56/0 (26)

5 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 99/24 (27)

MIDFIELDERS

Samantha Mewis scored with a half-volley and a header. Lindsey Horan, besides her crisp finish, dominated the midfield -- winning balls and orchestrating play. Julie Ertz helped cover for fellow midfielders while also attacking.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
8 Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) 62/16 (27)

7 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 97/19 (27)

8 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 81/17 (25)

FORWARDS

Christen Press scored with her left foot from 24 yards to make it 1-0 and from closer range with an accurate blast to make it 3-0 -- both after evading defenders. Press also assisted on Mewis' goal. Carli Lloyd nodded the ball on to Press on the first goal and sent the pass that set up Horan's -- but misplayed her own chances. She was lucky not to get cautioned for her foul on Katherine Alvarado when she failed for the second time within minutes to time a heading attempt. Jessica McDonald scored the fifth goal and was constantly active on the wing, but like her teammates will need be more precise in her delivery from the wings against better opponents.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage) 16/4 (31)

6 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 290/122 (37)

9 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 133/55 (31)

SUBSTITUTES

Kelley O'Hara made a blooper reel misplay on an early touch that should have set up a scoring chance but assisted on Mewis' second goal. Tobin Heath missed from close range. Megan Rapinoe has yet to find her form since returning from injury.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals) 127/2 (31)

4 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 164/33 (31)

4 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) 163/50 (34)

TRIVIA: The USA is now unbeaten at home in 43 games -- 38 wins and five ties. The last defeat came in July of 2017 with a 1-0 loss to Australia.

Feb. 3 in Houston
USA 6 Costa Rica 0. Goals: Press 4, 36, Horan 10, Mewis 63, 83, McDonald 77.
USA -- Naeher; Sonnett, Dahlkemper, Krieger, Dunn (O'Hara, 55); Mewis, Ertz (Heath, 64), Horan; McDonald, Lloyd (Rapinoe, 65), Press.
Costa Rica -- Tapia; F.Sanchez, Coto, C.Sanchez, Rodriguez; Alvarado (Benavides, 64), Chacon, Elizondo; Herrera (Guillen, 46), Salas (Cruz, 80).
Yellow Cards: USA -- none; Costa Rica -- Elizondo 62. Red cards: none.
Referee: Francia Gonzalez (Mexico).
Att.: 7,082

Stats:
USA/Costa Rica
Shots: 20/0
Shots on Goal: 7/0
Saves: 0/1
Corner Kicks: 4/1
Fouls: 9/10
Offside: 6/0
Possession: 63%/37%

13 comments about "USA-Costa Rica Women's Olympic Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. James Madison, February 4, 2020 at 12:43 a.m.

    Polished?  Except for Press, and even some of her CKs, I would say sloppy.  Winning a semifinal will require better.  And Mewis's second goal looked on TV not to be entirely over the line.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, February 4, 2020 at 9 a.m.

    It is their pre-season. Of course it is sloppy.

  3. David Ruder, February 4, 2020 at 12:47 a.m.

    They might as well have played the local girls High School team, what a waste of time.


    S

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, February 4, 2020 at 8:58 a.m.

    It is a competition. We should show respect for the competitors.

  5. frank schoon, February 4, 2020 at 9:36 a.m.

    I didn't watch the game. But looking at the stats tells me we lack discipline on this team. I would go nuts to see my team being called offsides 6 times against such a weak team. That tells me there is lack of self-discipline of the players and seem just want to run and score AND DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY ARE OUT THERE FOR.  And guess what, you think that is bad, just look at the stats against Haiti, we were offsides 13 times!!!!!!!!!!!! 
    THIS IS NOT GOOD......

  6. Seth Vieux replied, February 4, 2020 at 10:27 a.m.

    Frank I only watched the extended highlights, but other than the two goals from Press, there was only one highlight, a nice through ball directly through the center of defense from Lloyd to Horan (that Horan somehow didn't even make a touch on - likely thought she was offside?), that didn't involve bombing down the wing and launching crosses into the mixer.


  7. Seth Vieux replied, February 4, 2020 at 10:27 a.m.

    Frank I only watched the extended highlights, but other than the two goals from Press, there was only one highlight, a nice through ball directly through the center of defense from Lloyd to Horan (that Horan somehow didn't even make a touch on - likely thought she was offside?), that didn't involve bombing down the wing and launching crosses into the mixer.


  8. frank schoon replied, February 4, 2020 at 11:24 a.m.

    Seth , what it tells me when you play such a weak team ( 20/0 shots on goal), then as a coach I would tell the players to play a thinking, controlled smart game,pass the ball around ,circulate it than see how each pass effects their defense and if you see a weakness, quickly strike at that moment.

    This is like when you have boys 14 year old team scrimmaging a 12year old team. You know they can beat the team but you want them to  play real "football' , more thinking ....But what happens as you well know, the older kids see blood in the water and come very undisciplined for everybody wants to get into the act to score, maybe even the goalie  wants to score and as a result the team loses sight what they are suppose to do..
     
    What  this means that you won but you actually lost for the team failed to follow a disciplined approach which is important to the concept you want to play in....I'm shocked that we were 13 times offside which tells me we don't have maturity exmplified on the field by certain players to keep things in control....Realize we are playing such weak teams and all I can say the weak teams like Haiti and CR had the ability to us out of our game...


  9. Bob Ashpole replied, February 4, 2020 at 12:17 p.m.

    Frank, they played their reserves, 541, bunkered and rarely left their defensive third. CR did not defend well so there was still lots of space. It was kind of like all the leaders were on the bench. The keeper was poor, but she had little help from the 5 backs. For the most part, it was a bit like a half-pressure drill for the US. The officiating was inconsistent--not biased--just inconsistent. For the last 60 minutes it appeared that the referee thought her role was to end the game as quickly as possible.

    The CR manager rested the starters to maximize their readiness for the semi-final, which makes sense. Winning the semi-final is everything as far as qualification goes. Gutsy move.

  10. frank schoon replied, February 4, 2020 at 1:26 p.m.

    Bob, if they bunkered down along with playing 541, then how in the blazes can the US be so offsides so many times when there is hardly any room behind the defensive line to even run into space and still be offsides.
    You stated CR did not defend well and left lots of space, fine, but that still doesn't excuse the fact that we were offsides so many times.....How do you explain being offsides 13 times against Haiti....There is something wrong here....

  11. Seth Vieux replied, February 4, 2020 at 7:02 p.m.

    Bob in a ten minute highlight I saw a very good game for the Costa Rican keeper. I'm a big fan of the USWNT, but think they are over-reliant on crosses into the box. Definitely has to be a part of the game plan when you have strong wings and big athletic girls in the middle, but if that's all there is Ms Renaud from France as well as the similiarly tall and athletic Dutch and Canadians become far bigger risks to upset us. Again I'm really not trying to piss on the parade, but without LaVelle opening up the interior of the defense I'm only seeing Horan being able to do so, but as Frank says that has to actually be the team's plan. Absolutely believe they can continue to dominate the great majority of teams in the world with these tactics, but think developing a more incisive attack through the middle against these minnows would be very beneficial against stronger teams in the future. Sky certainly isn't falling!

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, February 4, 2020 at 11:21 p.m.

    Guys, I was just explaining what happened. It wasn't meant as a justification for anything.

  13. Alvaro Bettucchi, February 10, 2020 at 12:40 p.m.

    I disagree, with the low score given to Dunn. She is the best fullback in the world, and in the game against Canada, proved her worth. She is a true atacking fullback, great in anticipation, her passes are quick and direct, and is able to view the field of play to her advantage. Every player, in a 90 mintues of play, will make mistakes, but Dunn desired (in my oppinion) an eight (8). Also, she is still a young player, and will be making a comeback, but I will hope to see Pugh back into the team.

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