Commentary

USA-Colombia Women's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-COLOMBIA EXPRESS:
Jan. 18 in Orlando, Florida
USA 4 Colombia 0. Goals: S.Mewis 4, 33, 46 (pen.), K.Mewis 86.
Att.: 2,042 (limited capacity)
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Sam Mewis scored a hat trick and her sister Kristie Mewis came off the bench to score in her second straight U.S. game. The 21-year-old Catarina Macario, who recently left Stanford to sign with the world's greatest women's club team, Lyon, made her U.S. debut after coming in at halftime. Veterans Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd returned to U.S. action for the first time in 10 months. But the Colombians played so meekly that Coach Vlatko Andonovski can probably make better evaluations on picking an Olympic roster from intrasquad scrimmages and might be concerned about the finishing ability of his team, which outshot the visitors 22-0 in the 4-0 win.

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

GOALKEEPER

Not fielding a goalkeeper would not have affected the result of this game. Alyssa Naeher may never have had less to do during a game.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 65/0 (32)

DEFENDERS

With the Colombians' attacks breaking down before they left their own half, the chance for U.S. backline players to impress was offensively. Among the four, Abby Dahlkemper stood out. Her flawless passing at all ranges included a cross-field ball to Lindsey Horan that helped create the first goal and long-range ball that Sam Mewis relayed to Horan before she was fouled the penalty kick that made it 3-0. Becky Sauerbrunn, who was honored with the captaincy before the game, contributed to the USA's 64% possession but with hardly any pressure from the Colombians. Outside backs Crystal Dunn and Kelley O’Hara were allowed to attack at will but lacked the creativity to unlock Colombia's crowded defense.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit) 133/2 (32)

7
Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG) 63/0 (27)

5
Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 179/0 (35)

 
Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns) 106/24 (28)


MIDFIELDERS

All three midfielders kept the Colombians in their own half and contributed offensively. The most defensive of the three, Julie Ertz, fed Lindsey Horan before her cross on the second goal. Horan delivered a well-timed through pass to Megan Rapinoe ahead of the first goal and was fouled for the penalty kick. The only thing missing from Horan's game was accurate shooting. She missed twice by wide margins and shot straight to the keeper. Sam Mewis notched a hat trick -- with a low 14-yard low shot, a header from two yards, and a penalty kick.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Samantha Mewis (Manchester City/ENG) 69/21 (28)

6
Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 104/20 (28)

7
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 87/19 (26)

FORWARDS

Winger Megan Rapinoe assisted on the first goal with a crisp low pass to Sam Mewis. Rapinoe was also part of the sequence that led to the second goal -- a close-range header by Mewis after Carli Lloyd nodded the ball across the goal area. Lloyd, after skipping past a feeble tackle from Jorelyn Carabali, also assisted on Kristie Mewis' goal by wisely crossing low. Lloyd sent four headers to Colombia's goalkeeper and one over the crossbar. With unsuccessful shots from Rapinoe and Lynn Williams, that meant the U.S. frontline failed to score against the woeful Colombians.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
Lynn Williams (NC Courage) 30/9 (27)

6
Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 295/123 (38)

6
Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 169/52 (35)

SUBSTITUTES

Catarina Macario won a corner kick with a deflected shot after smoothly evading Colombian defenders. She won balls roaming behind the frontline and sent a pass to Lloyd on the wing on the 4-0 scoring sequence. Kristie Mewis finished from seven yards with a left-footed volley into the corner. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Catarina Macario (Lyon, FRA) 1/0 (21)

5
Rose Lavelle (Manchester City, ENG) 47/13 (25)

7
Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) 17/3 (29)

5
Margaret Purce (Sky Blue) 3/0 (25)

5
Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit) 47/0 (27)

TRIVIA: U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski is 12-0-0 in his first 12 games, extending a record for best start for a U.S. women's national team coach. The second best start came from Pia Sundhage with 10 straight wins.

NOTABLE: The USA had won five of its six previous meetings with Colombia, which tied the USA, 2-2, in group play at the 2016 Olympics.

Jan. 18 in Orlando, Florida
USA 4 Colombia 0. Goals: Goals: S.Mewis 4, 33, 46 (pen.), K.Mewis 86.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara (Purce, 72), Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn (Sonnett, 72); S.Mewis (Lavelle, 64), Ertz, Horan (K.Mewis, 64); Williams, Lloyd, Rapinoe (Macario, 46).
Colombia -- Sepulveda; Ibarguen, Carabali, Arias, Velasquez (Guerra, 77); Caro, Salazar (Reyes, 67); Robledo (K.Caicedo, 91+), Usme, Pavi (Acosta, 46); Romero (L.Caicedo, 46).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; Colombia -- Pavi 23, Romero 40. Red cards: none.
Referee: Karen Abt (USA).
Att.: 2,042 (limited capacity).

Stats:
USA/Colombia
Shots: 22/0
Shots on target: 11/0
Saves: 0/7
Corner Kicks: 5/2
Fouls: 11/11
Offside: 4/2
Possession: 64%/36%
15 comments about "USA-Colombia Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. E Velazquez, January 19, 2021 at 6:40 a.m.

    Colombia was no match for USA, The ratings are too high for Lloyd  and Rapino, they both are 
    may be 4.  Williams  saddly the worst of the team  may be 2. None of these players should be chosen for the olympics. It is urgent time to develop the  younger players. I wonder if we indeed  have a real good coach. He should have started Macario the best striker at present.  Ms. Trinity Rodman  from the U20 team is far superior  than  lynn williams and others on the first team, is she not ? 

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, January 20, 2021 at 7:18 a.m.

    I haven't seen Rodman play, but your comment is encouraging. Can she cross with her left foot? That would certainly fill a weakness.

  3. Bob Ashpole, January 19, 2021 at 8:13 a.m.

    Williams is too limited for international play. Her speed is a definite advantage, but she has no plan B. Lloyd played well, but could not finish. That is to be expected at this point in the cycle.

    Macario's skill means she can play anywhere, but one of the 10 positions is where she belongs. It allows her to dominate the larger part of the field. 

    For my part, I find it hard to beat Lavelle and Macario as 10s and Horan at pivot, Ertz at CB. The best forwards were not dressed.

    Our problem recently has been FBs. I was encouraged with Purce, but she wasn't really tested against Colombia. I was less encouraged with Sonnett. Colombia was too easy on her. Sonnett is, however, a coaching staff success. She has improved so much. One weakness to our back line has has been speed. Purce is fast. I wonder if she plays as well on the left side? O'Hara and Dunn remain our best choices for FB, but both are converted forwards.

    One thing is clear to me. Any 18 that the coach ends up selecting will be a great bunch of players, even if he picked names out of a hat.

  4. Bob Ashpole, January 19, 2021 at 8:26 a.m.

    I want to add that the 18 person roster, means 16 field players if only 2 keepers are selected. That is 10 starters and 6 reserves. This is where it gets impossible. Lets say you select 2 backs, 3 mids (figuring with our style of play they will gather the most fatigue), and 1 forward. You can't cover 10 field positions without several players doubling up. Utility is the key. Tired forwards are not what you want.

    In World Cup finals, 20 field players give you 10 reserves and a longer time between matches, but by the semi-finals teams still are struggling to field teams.

  5. Wooden Ships replied, January 19, 2021 at 10:32 a.m.

    That's some good stuff Bob. Utility or versatility is a multiplier. Also too, is adjusting your style-tactics in a game. Conserving energy through the pace of the game is a way to do that. Do we have to press high all the time, no. Do we have to go at goal with speed always, no. Those differences are yet to be tested especially with our women's team. Our alignment/formation is another way to offset fatigue in a crammed tournament schedule. 



    To keep Rose and Sam in the attacking mid roles and not have Rose and Macario square to each, I'm wondering if Rose and Mac would be more dynamic with Macario as a withdrawn 9. Against the stronger sides we don't need constant running from our striker/forwards as they need to have the stamina through 90 because you always must be ready to burst and finish.

  6. frank schoon, January 19, 2021 at 10:20 a.m.

    I have no idea ,why the ratings. The Columbian team, if you want to call it that, is very young , inexperienced, been together 10days.....My question is WHY do the MNT and WNT keep playing these weak teams. Is this suppose to raise our self-esteem that we have in women soccer.....
    I would much rather have enjoyed an Intra-squad scrimmage, to check and see how players fare against good competition which is how our women playing against each other. Or for that matter ,play Spain where they'll tough time trying to get ball possession....

    The Columbian team looked a High School All Star team picked to play the WNT for a scrimmage.
    This team obviously is not ready to play against our Turbo-bunnies...We took it took them ,giving them no space to breath, we outran and outmuscled them and outplayed them....I did, however enjoyed watching the Columbian goalie , wishing she was 6 inches taller, she would be one of the better goalies... After the second goal, I turned the channel. 
     
    This morning ,I watched a little bit of the second half and saw Lavelle. I would like to see Lavelle play the #9 position and see what happens. We have Lloyd, Rapinho and Morgan who are aging and Lavelle should be given a chance with Macario playing behind her. Two things will happen: One, Lavelle is quick ,can play 1v1, and can shoot, and Two she can take a defender with her creating space for Macario to operate in.


  7. Wooden Ships replied, January 19, 2021 at 10:35 a.m.

    Frank, I was thinking the same except I had Macario as the 9. Could be either way.

  8. frank schoon replied, January 19, 2021 at 10:45 a.m.

    Sure, the only reason why I did it that way was ,can you remember the combination, Tostao, Pele. Pele played behind Tostao ,giving him more time to look at the options for he had better, more skills. Similarly that's how looked at macario/Lavelle for Macario has more skill to put into use. Lavelle is more explosive and her proximity to goal would benefit that situation....But who knows it depends what's best as the game goes on....

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, January 19, 2021 at 10:55 a.m.

    I was thinking along the same lines. The question is left wing. Frank is partly to blame for my thought (because of his comments earlier). I would rather see Lavelle on the wing subbing for Rapinoe, then Macario. Sam Mewis is not Lavelle, but has here own strengths. She could come off the bench and then Lavelle shifts to winger to replace Rapinoe.

    We have 3 forwards who did not dress. We have plenty of people to play the 9 position. Also a withdrawn 9 with 2 10's makes things a bit crowded. When Lloyd gets her crispness back after a couple more matches, she is perfectly suited for anykind of 9 you could want.

    Some commentators think Lloyd played poorly because she didn't finish her chances. What they ignore is she has 6 chances and, if she were sharp, those chances would have been at least 3 goals. Getting chances is most important. Finishing will come.

  10. frank schoon replied, January 19, 2021 at 10:59 a.m.

    Ships, just read your suggestion to Bob of  the withdrawn #9, for Macario which is fine but then have Lavelle to run into that space if one of the centerbacks comes up to challenge Macario. That's how Neeskens was employed when Cruyff left the #9 space open....You know what though, so many teams that we play will pack it in, park the bus , therefore the withcdrawn false #9 doesn't really add much as a result we need to rely a lot on crosses into the middle.  Note how the Columbians allowed our teams to have control of the flanks for crosses. Columbia has little players that can't compete in the air and therefore their coach made the mistake of not allowing our girls so much space on the flanks to cross.....

  11. frank schoon replied, January 19, 2021 at 11:06 a.m.

    Bob, realize Lavelle on the leftwing will tend go inwards, for she is right footed and has no left foot for good crosses, which means she brings in more defender into the middle. A player like Macario needs space not company, for the fewer defenders near her the better she can operate. Lavelle could play right wing which means the opponent's left centerback won't have the leftback's support. Lavelle on the right has the ability of keeping the backline spread out which she can't do on the left wing

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, January 20, 2021 at 7:05 a.m.

    I agree with you Frank. I said Lavelle "on the wing" rather than "on the left wing". Most of our wingers are comfortable on either side, but most are right footed. Macario could be in the right 10 spot which may see her more room.

    Right now the good thing I see the USWNT doing is going with 2 10s and a pivot. I would see a change in that to be a step backward for the WNT given their dominance of the competitions. They very much need to be putting a foot forward and shrink the field for opponents.

  13. beautiful game, January 19, 2021 at 6:06 p.m.

    Playing a minnow like Colombia is meaningless, so why such suffocating banter. 

  14. E Velazquez, January 19, 2021 at 6:22 p.m.

    gentlemen : no need to speculate. Macario is better than Morgan Press and Rapino , he needs a coach with soccer wisdom to  give her the right opportunities, do you agree  ?

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, January 20, 2021 at 7:09 a.m.

    Agreed. I would like her in the 10 position where she has the chance to have more play on the ball.

    Of course in practice she may be more effective in a particular match elsewhere, but a 10 in theory is the least isolated position.

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