USA-Canada SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings

Feb. 18 in Orlando, Florida
USA 1 Canada 0. Goals: Lavelle 79.
Att.: 3,104 (capacity limited at 4,000)
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Substitute Rose Lavelle pounced on a loose ball and struck crisply into the net from eight yards to prevent the scoreline from being as disappointing as the USA's performance in its 2021 SheBelieves Cup opener.

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


Alyssa Naeher's first-half action comprised of catching a header that went straight to her from Vaessa Gilles and conceding a corner kick when she couldn't grasp a weak Janine Beckie shot. Another big chance for Beckie, in the 54th minute, also ended with a weak shot straight to the keeper. Naeher hooved a ball out of bounds in the 59th minute despite no pressure. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 66/0 (32)


Right back Midge Purce's provided much of the USA's first-half attack, often sent down the wing by Abby Dahlkemper, who also passed well out of the back to other areas of the field. Becky Sauerbrunn thwarted a few Canadian attacks but lost track of Nichelle Prince when Canada came to life a bit in the second half. Left back Crystal Dunn's crosses didn't find a teammate in the first half but she won corner kicks with a blocked cross and a blocked shot. Early in the second half, Dunn hit a simple pass out of bounds during a U.S. attack and with an abysmal back pass presented Canada with a golden chance in the 54th minute. Purce got away with a 74th-minute hand ball in the penalty area.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Midge Purce (Sky Blue FC) 5/1 (25)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 180/0 (35)

Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City/ENG) 64/0 (27)

Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns) 108//24 (28)


Catarina Macario started badly, coughing up the ball a couple of times and shooting way off target from 14 yards with no pressure in the 20th minute, after which she rarely appeared in the action through halftime. Macario was involved in early second-half attacks before going to the bench in the 64th minute. Julie Ertz delivered a cross that led to Lindsey Horan's shot off the crossbar in 77th minute, but Ertz hardly had control of the central midfield as she usually rules. She lost the ball a couple of times in the first half and some clunky touches slowed down the U.S. attack. By far the game's outstanding player, Horan constantly fed the front line while also disrupting the Canadians when they tried to work through the midfield. Frustrating overall, and a longtime issue with the USA, was the lack of desire, or its inability, to attack down the middle, relying instead on predictable wing play and hopeful crosses.  

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Catarina Macario (Lyon/FRA) 3/1 (21)

Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 106/20 (28)

Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 89/19 (26)


Lynn Williams took four first-half shots (including header) only one which required much effort from goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. In stoppage time, she took a shot from inside the penalty area that nearly hit the corner flag. Carli Lloyd's poor touch prevented her from unleashing a shot inside the penalty area in the 32nd minute. A couple minutes later, Labbe tipped Lloyd's header over the crossbar. Early in the second half, Lloyd shot weakly to Labbe from seven yards out and in the 57th minute missed badly with a close-range header. Megan Rapinoe crashed a 4th-minute free kick into the wall. Early in both halves, Rapinoe sparked attacks, but in the 52nd minute, when Williams provided one of the evening's few purposeful passes from the wing, Rapinoe scuffed a weak low volley straight at the keeper. And before being subbed in the 64th minute, when she retreated to midfield, Rapinoe seemed overwhelmed by the task of evading Canadians. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Lynn Williams (NC Courage) 32/9 (27)

Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC) 296/123 (38)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 171/54 (35)



The USA may have gotten its goal after the subs came on -- thanks to a well-taken opportunistic strike by Rose Lavelle after a U.S. free kick from midfield bounced off a Canadian defender -- but the other vets off the bench wasted chances to turn the game into a convincing U.S. win. Christen Press shot wide from five yards with her first touch, got stripped of the ball twice within the next five minutes -- and when Kristie Mewis delivered a perfect long ball, Press' sloppy touches gave the Canadians enough time to recover. Alex Morgan mis-hit from a Horan cross and headed wide a Dunn cross. Vanessa Gilles caught up to rob Morgan after she was sent though by a long Mewis pass and in stoppage time, Morgan failed to control the ball in the penalty area when a decent touch would have set up a shot from eight yards.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Christen Press (Manchester United/ENG) 140/58 (32)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 171/107 (31)

Rose Lavelle (Manchester City/ENG) 49/14 (25)

Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) 19/3 (29)

Casey (née Short) Krueger (Chicago Red Stars) 33/0 (30)

Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit) 49/0 (30)

TRIVIA: The USA has played Canada more than any other opponent. It has won 51 of the 61 encounters, lost three and tied seven. 

NOTABLE: The USA is 14-0-0 since Coach Vlatko Andonovski took the helm.

Feb. 18 in Orlando, Florida
USA 1 Canada 0. Goals: Lavelle 79.
USA -- Naeher; Purce, Sauerbrunn, Dahlkemper, Dunn (Kruger, 82); Macario (Lavelle, 64), Ertz (Sonnett, 81), Horan (K.Mewis, 81); Williams, Lloyd (Morgan, 64), Rapinoe (Press, 64).
Canada -- Sheridan (Labbe, 11); Riviere (Carle, 64), Gilles, Zadorsky, Chapman; Rose (Viens, 59), Quinn (Schmidt, 55), Fleming, Scott, Beckie; Prince (Leon, 71).
Yellow cards: none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Francia Gonzalez Martinez (Mexico)
Att.: 3,104 (capacity limited at 4,000)

Shots: 29/8
Shots on target: 10/3
Saves: 3/9
Corner Kicks: 13/5
Fouls: 10/12
Offside: 2/1

9 comments about "USA-Canada SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Bill Dooley, February 18, 2021 at 11:58 p.m.

    Tough grader!  But the best American on the field was Beckie (Colorado born and, mostly, raised). 

    How ridiculous is it that the USA could put the Morgan-Pres-Lavalle trio on as substitutes?

  2. R2 Dad, February 19, 2021 at 2:24 a.m.

    There is no creativty in the middle because we have Ertz box to box. Yet Macario is on the wing, I guess in an attempt to duplicate the Rapinoe left side contribution on the right, going around the constipated midfield. I would prefer Vlatko put Macario in the middle to go THROUGH the congestion, which breaks lines, rather than a dozen crosses into the mixer. But that doesn't seem to be the vision of our coach, who doesn't want to give up the run n' gun. I'd rather 3 shots with 1 goal than 20 yielding 1. This current approach will work against all but the best teams. There will never be a "good time" to change our style of play, Coach V.

  3. E Velazquez, February 19, 2021 at 11:22 a.m.

    overall poor demostration of soccer by " the number 1 in the world". Do you agree that the coach and players need to improve  substantially  in order for the fans to remain elated  with our team ?
    Morgan can not run, Rapino too old, Sauerbrunn too old, what do we do ?

  4. John Soares, February 19, 2021 at 12:07 p.m.

    It was not their finest hour (90 min).
    But there is little wrong with the actual line up.
    On another day the score could have been 4-0 with the same players.
    While I think the defense played better than the ratings indicate 
    The mid field and forwards lacked energy and teamwork.
    A very forgettable game 
    Give it a week... and it will be.

  5. frank schoon, February 19, 2021 at 12:48 p.m.

    Canada , although not the better team, because we have more horses, blew 2 good chances. Their #15 ran circles around our defense. She blew one goal, going 1v1 and passed it off to her open teammate who decided to make 2touches on the ball, instead of shooting, thus giving our goalie a chance to move and cover the near post space. There was another chance by #15 1v1 coming up to our goalie but she instead move her body to the other side of the ball, taking 2 more steps which the goalie extra time to cover.

    The problem, I find with the US team, is that nothing ever changes , they rely upon horses, and Turbo. You,ve seen them play once ,you've seen it all. The one bright spot on the US team ,who I consider is a level above everybody else, and is NON TURBO type  is Lindsey Horan. I enjoy watching her play, of all the women, for she has in her movement with the ball, her positioning off the ball, her poise when receiving the ball, and exhibits a certain presence, better than any women player.  She could play Ertz's position and show even more variety and she can play wing and halfback. 

    Try to compare Horan to Macario. Macario was not even noticeable out there at mid and that is because she needs to be closer to the goal to be of any use, she was used wrong. Horan's value and strength, isn't required to be near the goal, for she has a better of the field vision.  Did anyone notice the nice outside of the foot pass on the run, which you don't see in women's soccer, especially on our team because they either lack the ability and due to their turbo way of playing.
    I wish Horan would work on bending crosses with the left, the ones  bending away from the goal. Her left footed cross are to direct and need to place more feel into the ball.
    Horan's technical abilities fit into her mode of movement, which is a slower type of gate giving her more options. Like Cruyff states that the more you depend on running the less technical and cerebral the player becomes.
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  6. Robert Haynes, February 19, 2021 at 12:53 p.m.

    The is little to no attack coming up the middle and some of the starters (Llody, Rapino, Morgan) are showing their age. Is there not another left back on the roster? Dunn is a nightmare and that soft pass back to should have been an easy goal for Canada. Horan played well most of the time but the midfield gave up too many connecting passes when attempting to break a line and long balls to outside mids rarely provided quality opportunites in the box. Why not give some of the younger women an opportunity to get quality time on the pitch as subs in the 2H? Sophia Smith has the opportunity and is the future up top and you cannot tell me her skills and goal scoring ability are any less than that of Press. Smith just needs quality mins with the first team. 

  7. frank schoon, February 19, 2021 at 1:59 p.m.

    What I also continually notice, is the BAD form as a related to passing techniques exhibited by the women. They all look like they had hip replacement surgery. Their bodies are so stiff. Often when they pass, their upper body is stiff and straight, leaning a little forwards, causing a  'lock' on the passing leg moving forwards. The pass becomes very restricted as far as distance, power and height which increases the reading predictablity of the pass.

    This locking process I notice often with young players and it is not corrected as they develop and can be seen in the older players, even on the NT. The body should have more freedom of movement in the execution. This is why we see so few passes, that have a bend,  traveling over the opponent's head, dropping on to the feet of a breaking teammate. Or a nice bend curving, with  just enough pace around an opponent's side. Or on the dribble a medium range pass with back spin so that his teammate doesn't have to increase his speed to get to the ball.

    Today, I find the over-emphasis of inside of the foot passing restricting player development . It is very direct and functional but also at the same time it makes the player predictable. For example, you see SO OFTEN, the pass from the right back to the right centerback and on to the left back. 
    The passes are all made with inside of the foot, which takes longer for it requires taking more steps and easy to read where the ball will be going via the body positioning.

    If the right centerback receives the ball with the left-foot and immediately passes it with the outside of the rightfoot. It is much quicker, takes less time, and you have more options, like to the right halfback or any other player at mid. This all requires one or two touch, that's it and most importantly, it SPEEDS UP THE BUILD UP FROM THE BACK. But that's is not what happens, everything is slowed by overemphasis of inside of the foot passing


  8. Chance Hall, February 19, 2021 at 2:51 p.m.

    Finally the US women had some competion.  We need some more new blood on the team.  Morgan will soon be back in shape, but peeno needs to go.  No speed, no creativity, and she's not a threat so no one has to guard her.  Press should be starting, and needs more game time in the position.  Have always felt that the Olympics is for younger players looking to move up to their national team and the WWC. Time to lower the team's average age in time for the Olympics.   

  9. Larry Leinenbach replied, February 19, 2021 at 3:48 p.m.

    Rapinoe needs to go.  She reduces team to 10.  Can't defend.  Opposition can ignore her.  Several replacements could improve team play.

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