Commentary

USA-Mexico Women's Olympic Qualifying Player Ratings

USA-MEXICO EXPRESS:
Feb. 7 in Carson, California
USA 4 Mexico 0. Goals: Lavelle 5, Mewis 14, 67, Press 73.
Att.: 11,292.
* * * * * * * * * *

The USA cruised to a 4-0 win over Mexico that was more scrappy than stylish to book a spot at the 2020 Olympics in Japan. With Rose Lavelle's opening goal, the USA has scored within five minutes of kickoff in all four of its games at the Concacaf Women's Championship. The USA faces Canada, which qualified with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica, in the final on Sunday.

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

GOALKEEPER

Alyssa Naeher scooped a short-hopped 20-yard shot by Kiana Palacios in the 52nd minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
5 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 60/0 (31)

DEFENDERS

Crystal Dunn delivered an excellent cross-field pass to Rose Lavelle in the 25th and a fine cross to Christen Press in the 71st minute, but could have done better with a few other passes from wide. She was defensively flawless, as was the other outside back, Kelley O'Hara, who played a big part in the fourth goal by alertly intercepting a pass and sending Press down the wing. Becky Sauerbrunn and Abby Dahlkemper had it easy in the middle, with the latter thwarting a rare Mexican first-half attack and flying into Mexican territory in the first half to feed Tobin Heath.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals) 128/2 (31)

7 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 57/0 (26)

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals) 174/0 (34)

6 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 100/24 (27)

MIDFIELDERS

With the USA's wing play marred by inept crossing, Julie Ertz and Rose Lavelle play through the middle proved particularly crucial. Ertz, who won a clearance with a diving header to help set up the first goal, passed accurately to many parts of the field. Lavelle's dribbling unsettled Mexico frequently and she struck superbly from 22 yards to open the scoring. Samantha Mewis scored with a crisp first-touch close-range shot and a searing 18-yard free kick.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
7 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 41/12 (24)

8 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 98/19 (27)

8 Samantha Mewis (NC Courage) 63/18 (27)

FORWARDS

Carli Lloyd's center forward performance, which included shots into the stands, was an area that didn't trouble the Mexicans. She twice missed a teammate in front of the goal with a bad pass. One of Tobin Heath's few good passes was skied over the goal by LLoyd early in the second half. Heath was fouled for the free kick that Mewis powered into the goal to make it 3-0. Megan Rapinoe hitting two passes in succession into a Mexican defender was indicative of how off her game was. She started the half with a shot far over the crossbar and managing to commit a handball and be offside on the same play. It wasn't a complete disaster because she delivered a nifty back-heel to Lavelle on the first goal and the low corner on the second that reached Mewis, although thanks to atrocious Mexican defending. The two assists to Rapinoe's name didn't come close to justifying a start over Press.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
4 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 165/33 (31)

3 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 291/122 (37)

4 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) 164/50 (34)

SUBSTITUTES

Four minutes after coming on, Christen Press scored to give her goals in six straight games and she became the USA's most dynamic forward of the evening. Lynn Williams served Lloyd up for yet another squandered opportunity in the final minute. Lindsey Horan added more misery to Mexico's feeble attempts to get through the midfield but ended the game with an awful shot.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 134/56 (31)

6 Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) 24/8 (26)

5 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 82/17 (25)

TRIVIA: The USA will aim to become the first nation to follow up a World Cup championship with an Olympic gold medal.

Feb. 7 in Carson, California
USA 4 Mexico 0. Goals: Lavelle 5, Mewis 14, 67, Press 73.
USA -- Naeher; O’Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Ertz, Lavelle (Horan, 76), Mewis; Heath (Press, 69), Lloyd, Rapinoe (Williams, 69).
Mexico -- Alvarado; Sierra (Robles, 69), Farias, Orejel, Lopez; Espinosa (Mercado, 69), Mayor, Nieto, Palacios, Ovalle (Evangelista, 83); Cuellar.
Yellow Cards: USA -- none; Mexico -- Sierra, 66. Red cards: none.
Referee: Borjas Pastrana (Honduras)
Att.: 11,292.

Stats:
USA/Mexico
Shots: 26/6
Shots on target:11/1
Saves: 1/7
Corner Kicks: 5/3
Fouls: 10/10
Offside: 4/1
Possession: 63%/37%

8 comments about "USA-Mexico Women's Olympic Qualifying Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, February 8, 2020 at 8:51 a.m.

    Despite the scoreline, Mexico impressed me. They have made much progress over the past 10 years. The NWSL helped and now Mexico has the Liga MX femenil. 

    Costa Rica is harder to judge as their reserves started against the US.

  2. Bob Ashpole, February 8, 2020 at 8:53 a.m.

    Mike, I think your ratings are influenced by the coach's game plan.

  3. Kevin Leahy, February 8, 2020 at 9:48 a.m.

    Have to agree with Mike about Rapinoe. One back heel pass doesn't make a game and from her play in the tournament is not deserving of a starting role. Maybe her & Lloyd should be coming of the bench & Press & Horan starting. It wouldn't surprise me to see one or both cut for the 18 team roster @ the Olympics. Neither can match the pace of any of the attacking players available! International soccer is not nice to players that, have age working against them.

  4. Nick Gabris, February 8, 2020 at 11:16 a.m.

    Agreed Kevin. Loyd needs to retire from the WNT, she added nothing to these games. Sad part is she is taking a very important spot on the team that should be given to someone that deserves an opportunity. She has had a very storied career, but now she is totally selfish to want to stack her numbers. Rapino has not been playing up to the standards that she set at the WC. She can play in the NWSL until she gets back to the standard needed by the WNT.


     

  5. John Soares, February 8, 2020 at 12:24 p.m.

    Both Lloyd and Rapinoe have been below their " norm".
    Bad timing especially for Lloyd. I really wanted to see her score 8 more goals and pass the great Prinz.
    These relatively easy games would have been a great opportunity to get close.
    Criticize the players for their performance not for being in the lineup.

  6. Bob Ashpole, February 8, 2020 at 2:53 p.m.

    From a coaching standpoint I liked what I saw. Andonovski is using much the same tactics as Jill Ellis, and his game plan has some elements of positional play. His approach looks different, but it is the same principles.

    As for Lloyd she has been on a hot streak. Nobody can maintain that constantly. Has nothing to do with age. 

  7. John Soares, February 8, 2020 at 3:14 p.m.

    Bob, totally agree. We get a little spoiled with the WNT. Expecting perfection. 
    If only we had the same problems with the Men's team:)
    Still hope Lloyd gets 8 more.

  8. James Madison, February 8, 2020 at 6:07 p.m.

    Lloyd and possibly also Rapinoe and Heath should have the grace to retire from national team play.

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