USA-England Women's Friendly Player Ratings

March 5 in Orlando, Fla.
USA 2 England 0. Goals: Press 53, Lloyd 55.
Att.: 16,531.
* * * * * * * * * *

The USA, which never looked sharp against weak, bunkering foes during Olympic qualifying earlier in the year, thrived against an England team whose bolder approach gave the Americans more space. The U.S. midfield's dominance over England increased after Christian Press' golazo gave the USA the deserved lead in the second half, followed quickly by Carli Lloyd's strike.

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


Alyssa Naeher reacted slow to a corner kick that Jill Scott skied over the crossbar from inside the goal area in the first half, but did well to clear the two corner kicks that threatened in the second half. Naeher also prevented Nikita Parris from converting England's best second-half chance.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 62/0 (31)


Outside backs Crystal Dunn and Kelley O'Hara stifled England's wing play. O'Hara did better going forward than Dunn, who needs to get more creative than launching hopeful crosses. Abby Dahlkemper was always well positioned to interfere in attacks. Becky Sauerbrunn had on off day, resorting to a foul in the 25th minute, passing out of bounds in the 33rd minute despite no pressure, and losing Parris in the 57th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals) 130/2 (31)

6 Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage) 59/0 (26)

4 Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 175/0 (34)

5 Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 102/24 (27)


Julie Ertz's sliding interception started the sequence that led to the USA's first goal. Rose Lavelle sparked U.S. attacks in the first half, but faded in the second half before leaving in the 70th minute. Lindsey Horan took charge of orchestrating in the second half. Horan's assist to Carli Lloyd with a wonderfully scooped pass displayed her creative side. Her ferocity appeared when she thumped Georgia Stanway in midfield in what must have been revenge for Stanway tugging Tobin Heath's ponytail earlier in the game. Neither action drew a yellow card from inexplicably lenient referee Odette Hamilton. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit) 43/12 (24)

7 Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 100/19 (27)

7 Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 84/17 (25)


The fantastic curving strike from 23 yards in the far corner of the net made it goals in seven straight games for Christen Press. She also fed Horan before the second goal. Although Carli Lloyd squandered a pair of first-half chances, her chasing down of defenders contributed to the U.S. dominance and she passed well, such as the crisp strike, after a swift pivot, to Press on the goal. And Lloyd did finish well after Horan set her up. Tobin Heath attracted a crowd of English on her first foray, and honed her delivery after a few misplays, setting up a Lloyd chance and helping the U.S. keep possession in England's half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)
6 Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns) 166/33 (31)

7 Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 292/123 (37)

8 Christen Press (Utah Royals) 135/57 (31)


Of the subs, Samantha Mewis helped most to make the latter part of the game a massive struggle for the English. Megan Rapinoe darted down the middle and fed Heath seven minutes after coming on, but stood out for a horrendously high free kick from prime scoring position and blasting far off target from 18 yards.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4 Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC) 166/50 (34)

5 Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) 26/8 (26)

6 Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage) 65/18 (27)

nr Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage) 18/4 (31)

TRIVIA: Julie (née Johnston) Ertz, who earned her 100th cap against England, debuted for the USA in a 4-1 win over Scotland on Feb. 9, 2013 at age 20.

March 5 in Orlando, Fla.
USA 2 England 0. Goals: Press 53, Lloyd 55.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Ertz, Lavelle (Mewis, 70), Horan; Heath (Williams, 70), Lloyd (McDonald, 89), Press (Rapinoe, 62).
England -- Telford; Williamson, Bright (Duggan, 71), Houghton, Greenwood; Stanway, Scott (Nobbs, 65), Walsh; Parris (Kelly, 89), White (England, 73), Hemp.
Yellow Cards: USA -- none; England -- none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Odette Hamilton (Jamaica)
Att.: 16,531

Shots: 22/8
Shots on target: 6/3
Saves: 3/4
Corner Kicks: 8/6
Fouls: 8/14
Offside: 5/2
Possession: 49%/51%

22 comments about "USA-England Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. John Soares, March 6, 2020 at 5:47 a.m.

    It was good to see USA step up (demonstrate their ability) against a top opponent.
    To get picky... choice of referee jerseys. It should not just be different, but stand out different.
    Thought Salazar did a good job calling the game... did not get chatty until late in the second half:)

  2. Hugh Seyfarth, March 6, 2020 at 6:51 a.m.

    I miss Sir Ian Darke...he is great with Foudy.

    The ref was awful. This was a game filled with passion, tackles and even a hair pull--and no bookings??  

  3. April Heinrichs, March 6, 2020 at 10:01 a.m.

    I've thought this since you first started rating players, almost every time you rate players, and it's especially highlighted before, during and after the WWC. So ater last night's game v England and your low ratings - I'm compelled to share my thoughts. I think you are way OFF with your player ratings and you need to re-evaluate your criteria and bias. You are watching the BEST soccer in the world when you rate the US WNT. They are back-to-back World Champions. We should see 10s, 9s and 8s when they play well, and, 7s, 6s and 5s when they don't play to their world-class standards. Leave the 4s, 3s and 2s for low executing, low passion and gaffe-filled performances.

    To help you recalibrate your ratings, below are my ratings from last night's 2-0 win over England.

    Ertz - 10
    Lloyd - 10
    Press - 10 
    Lavelle - 10
    Dahlkemper - 10
    Dunn - 9 
    Heath - 9
    Naeher - 9
    O'Hara - 8
    Sauerbrunn - 8
    Horan - 8

    Remember we can't control the quality of the opponent so rate our players using the Top 11 players in the world as the gold standard. I recommend you rate male players with the same scale and compare to Top 11 male players world-wide.

    One final note, a 10 isn't 'perfection' as people are not perfect, especially when using their feet and playing under pressure. Last night was an exceptional performance versus one of the top teams in the world and these ratings reflect it respectfully!  

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, March 6, 2020 at 10:07 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope USSF and the rest of us see and hear more from you regularly.

  5. Michael Saunders replied, March 7, 2020 at 3:15 p.m.

    Pleased to see you join the discussion Ms. Heinrichs.   As a retired former professional national referee, I am very aware of your soccer pedigree and the contributions you have made to the game.   Having said that I must disagree with your suggested change to Soccer America's rating system.  

    Although you are essentially rating players similar to this publication's, it fails the litmus teat of providing differentiation on those individual performances.   Providing more startification, coupled with the context behind how the ratings were derived, clarifies the rationale behind the number for the average reader.   To that end, the principle that all players start with a "5" rating is going to at least meet expectations at the professional level, with ">5" above expectations, and "<5"below, provides the nuance one can easily understand. 

    For example, you  stated that your rating of "10" does not mean perfection.  From an optical perspective, that by itself is confusing.  Most fans will take for granted that the highest number (whatever that may be in a sport) is just that... perfection.   Most important is that from a comparitive perspective one can determine quickly the performance of players in similar positions.    


  6. Karl Sonneman, March 6, 2020 at 10:48 a.m.

    Thank you.  I trust your comments more than the editors.

  7. Kevin Leahy, March 6, 2020 at 11:13 a.m.

    Don't agree with April. Sorry! The 5/6 range is for playing to the level you are capable of, 7 & up are for standing out with, 4 & below for failing to meet your standard. Just my opionion but, really believe that should be closer to the standard. These women are all exceptional I have the utmost respect for them. Admire what they do and their male counterparts!

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, March 7, 2020 at 1:23 a.m.

    I believe April's point is if they play exceptionally well, the rating should be exceptional rather than average because we expect US players to be exceptional every time.

  9. frank schoon, March 6, 2020 at 12:41 p.m.

    I don't know why we even bother with rating the players for I find it serves little purpose for it really doesn't tell one anything about the quality of the game or the level of QUALITY the players exhibit. The less sophisticated one looks at the game the higher the players ratings and vice versa. What I do think is in order is the ratings of announcers for they absolutely produce nothing insightful but are full Mundane garbage...

    Looking at this game for the first 35 min, the consistent patterns low level play is present everywhere. For example the build up for both teams is poorly executed breaking many of the Golden Rules. The first pass out of the backfield from the goalie needs to go  deep but instead it goes square to the least technical players the CBs, whose have little creative technical ability. For example, the right CB passes to the right back O'hara who not only is positioned wrong for a follow up pass, facing the CB or goalie, receiving it on her right therefore has to make movements to pass it forwards. The initial pass to O'hara is wrong in the first place you DON'T pass to a back in the build up only if she goes on attack. To add further to the problem, she's positioned in her own third whereby O'hara's right flank is totall blocked up by the English defensive shift, which results in our team being outnumbered 7vs10 due to our whole left flank being out of the game. This scenario continually happens in the game. 

    One of the Golden Rules in the build up is that you don't pass square in your OWN backfield; both teams are guilty of it but it is more prevalent with the English. At Ajax a pass like that when Rinus Michels coached meant a quick seat on the bench, just like a straight pass from a back up to the wing is a quick way of being benched. But today if you ask a player what is wrong with such a pass they wouldn't even have the intelligence to give a good answer...

    Also what I find poor is the passing to the teammates, it lacks tempo and forethought of what the receiver should do next with it. For example every pass is made to the feet with the receiver standing stationary. It looks like Subbuteo soccer out there. They pass with no intention of thinking of how the pass should be made in order to improve the receiver's play of continuity, thus making it easier for her/him to move the ball quicker to the receiver's next station; but instead the pass is made with the intention of I got rid of it now you do something with it. And that is so plain to see out there and therefore you don't see 3rd man off the ball runs becuase the whole game is played in duo's not trios.   NEXT POST

  10. R2 Dad replied, March 6, 2020 at 1:34 p.m.

    "the whole game is played in duo's not trios" EXACTLY!

  11. frank schoon, March 6, 2020 at 12:59 p.m.

    Notice, the passing in the backfield when building does not  beat an opponent. The OBJECT of the passes in the build up is to beat an opponent thus making it one less opponent to face, but instead the passes are as stated before as just a way of shifting the problem to someone else. The whole idea behind the build up is to create the extra free man at midfield. By finding and creating the extra players at midfield forces the opponents at midfield to make a choice to leave her man and pick up the extra attacker at midfield with the ball. THAT IS THE WHOLE REASON WHY YOU ATTEMPT A BUILD UP!!! This whole concept is so overlooked and therefore you see the results of what all goes wrong in these build ups....

    The game itself was not boring the quality of it was.  We have one good individualist who is good at one on one play and that Heath. I do think for a wing she drops back too much but instead stay as deep downfield as possible, thereby creating more running space for O'hara for she performs better in open space rather than in small spaces. I do like Lloyds blue collar hustle and play, as a matter of fact I prefer this front line to previous coache's front line.

    I do think the women's team needs to be coached by a man who especially has played at a much higher level than the women. The English did well in choosing their coach has played at the highest  level and therefore can impove and raise the level of play of the women....I do think technically the woman need to improve their medium to long range passes by being able to pass a ball with nice back spin thus giving the receiver more time on the run if needed. Too often the women passes are made with too much pizzazz or power on the ball it needs more of a velvet touch and care which the men also need to work on...

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, March 7, 2020 at 12:50 p.m.

    Some might incorrectly think your views sexist, but the views aren't. What you recommend is a coach who has played at a much higher level, i.e., at the best level of the game in the world. Up until now, and in the forseeable future, the highest level is found at a few men's professional clubs.

    Our goal must be to elevate the level of play in women's soccer to rival the best men's soccer. So far women have not been allowed to coach at the top level of men's soccer in Europe or Latin America. I would love to be wrong, but I don't see that changing. We will have to elevate both the men's and women's games here.

    Up to now our WNT program has been very much a legacy of Anson Dorrance. His approach worked and still continues to work, but it is expedient, not ideal. The problem is that we have perfected that style of play, and it prevents us from improving.

    I would go farther than you, Frank. I say we need coaches that understand positional play, not simply any player that played at the top level. Perhaps a majority of teams reject attacking soccer altogether.

    I suspect the reason that US coaches have difficulty understanding positional play is because we see the games as having 4 moments of play and "formations" as having attacking and defensive units. As a group, we need to see the game differently.

  13. frank schoon replied, March 7, 2020 at 2:30 p.m.

    Bob, I wlll certainly never qualify my opinions and waste my time in first having to justify what I say in case some idiot projects his/her own biases towards  me in terms of sexism ,or racism or whatever 'isms' goes.... I consider that's their problem....I'm just strictly a soccer guy who explain views soccer in a manner of how best to improve it.

    I firmly believe that for women's soccer to improve is to have a male coach who has played at the highest level, level certainly higher than what any women has played. There is a reason women benefit more by playing with men than with women, for it can raise their level of their play much better in all aspects of the game.... just look at Michelle Akers, Sissy of Brazil,etc. You have to play with better players in order to play better, that's the secret of street soccer, MIXED AGES, for the younger ,the lesser will improve playing against better. It is a shame there is no pickup soccer with women. If I had a daughter,  I'd bring her with to every pickup game  in order for her to learn. When I coached in Springfield youth team, you're stamping grounds, I took one of my 13year olds and placed him on my men's team....he later was chosen All Met in DC area and was the star at Lee HS.  

    There is no getting around it and that applies to coaching a well. The men play at a much higher level than women and  therefore have experienced soccer at higher level . And therefore, it is  those types of players like a Gary Neville, who played at highest level, who have done wonders in such a short time with the English women. The women will learn more because due to their coach having played at a much higher level. This is why Cruyff recommends coaches for the National men's Team must have played for the National Team as well, for their experience is much higher than a coach who has only played club ball...This is why van Gaal never really did well with the Dutch National Team for he lacked the experience as compared to as a club coach. NEXT POST..


  14. frank schoon replied, March 7, 2020 at 3:06 p.m.

    As far teaching the positioning goes, you have point. For example, not every player who played pro ball has game intelligence..Cruyff proved that for you would often see him telling his teammates what to do, where to go. But regardless of that he fully supports former pros like at Ajax to teach the players and not some licensed coach for he sees them as too theoretical and more interested in the team not so much in developing; and besides with youth it is not about coaching but developing ; and who is not better to teach than those who have the experience. 

    Cruyff had stated that perhaps only about 3% of the coaches in the world are good enough to teach the position game, who have the real knowledge, the deep insight to teach it. I wish you had the availibility of info that I have concerning what Cruyff has talked about in the past 50years; or the books about what van Hanegem states about the game. I keep hoping his books would be translated into English. Whenever I read Cruyff's and van Hanegem's commentary and insights about the game, I realize how little I know the game. 

    As Cruyff states the positional game is actually a collection of many game situations. In other words it is not just about where one stands or positions in order to make the ball move fluidly, keeping it away from the opponent, lets say, but it can pertain to corners  like where to position for secondary ball, or where to position in order to effect the opponent's defense strategy. Or who should go where , positionally after or before the cross.

    Cruyff also talked about how to play positional game when the opponent have one less field player...

    He talked the positional game in relation to how a non-defender types like Guardiola or Ronald Koeman at Barcelona 'Dream Team' did so well considering that exhibit no speed , no size were 50% of defense in the back, and only employed their positioning game; realize that the Barcelona "Dream Team" usually played near the midline and thereby gave away a lot of space. There is so much more about the positioning game that we need real expertise to come over to teach those insights to our coaches. 

  15. James Madison, March 6, 2020 at 2:56 p.m.

    jersey tugging = caution, or should.  Hair pulling should also, but didn't.  If Horan took out Stanway, because the CR failed to caution her, more's the credit.  Heinrichs is to be foregiven her bias, as she not only played on, but also coached the WNT, but the ratings were generally accurate.  Not a bad game by the US, but not the best ever.

  16. Hal Barnes, March 6, 2020 at 8:26 p.m.

    Thank you April.  

  17. Bob Ashpole, March 6, 2020 at 10:16 p.m.

    England played an excellent match, especially the keeper. And this wasn't a friendly. More importantly, both teams played hard and to win. It looked like a grudge match to me.

    Congratulations to the team and their new coach.

  18. frank schoon replied, March 7, 2020 at 4:45 p.m.

    Michael ,I understand. Ratings are used in Holland as well in some magazines. I'm just not a fan of it,especially here ,for I find here like the announcer's expertise of the game on the level of the player ratings given here. Lets face it, ratings in Holland given the years of expertise in soccer at all levels has much more credibility, although I ignore it, as compared to what we have here.
    And certainly, If it makes some happy, go for it. I just find at this stage of our soccer development here the ratings deserve much gravity on the matter.

    Cruyff once stated that you can actually be the best player of the game by never having touched the ball the whole game.....Food for thought, LOL

  19. Michael Saunders, March 7, 2020 at 3:25 p.m.

    Hey Frank ..... You are discussing different thoughts here.  Youir description gets into th weeds of the game which is fine; but the average fan does get into that level.   Pundits ratings allows fans to gain a sense of the performances of players.   It is done all over the world.   ANd if you do not believe that players care how their performance was perceived..... you are wrong.  Check this article:



  20. frank schoon replied, March 7, 2020 at 4:46 p.m.

    Mike , sorry my reply was placed above you....

  21. Nick Gabris, March 8, 2020 at 12:18 p.m.

    Let's be honest here. Loyd, Heath, Rapino, too slow of todays fast pace play, they consistantly loose too many balls, need to gracefully retire from the WNT. Give some younger players a chance at some glory. 


  22. R2 Dad, March 8, 2020 at 2:05 p.m.

    I really liked the pass to Lloyd for that second goal. Instead of just shooting willy-nilly like they might have done in the past, they're looking for a better shooting solution. This shows the difference in Vlatko's emphasis in the final 3rd (if I'm not reading too much into it).

    Lastly, would like to see a score for the coach/manager, since substitution choice and timing should also be rated.

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