France-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings

April 14 in Le Havre
France 2 USA 0. Goals: Rapinoe (pen.) 5, Morgan 19.
* * * * * * * * * *

On Tuesday, in its latest Olympic preparation game, the USA outshot France 16-3 and won 2-0 in a significantly improved performance from its 1-1 tie over Sweden last Saturday. After going down early, the French found no solution to a strong and smart U.S. defense.

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


Just one save, a routine stop, was required of Alyssa Naeher. When she failed to grab a high cross near her goal line, she at least managed to bat the ball into a safe area.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 68/0 (32)


Central backs Abby Dahlkemper and Becky Sauerbrunn did remarkably well at anticipating French attacks. In the middle of the first half, Sauerbrunn headed clear a corner kick and intercepted two passes on three consecutive French attacks. Left back Crystal Dunn fed Megan Rapinoe in the buildup to the penalty kick for the first goal. Dunn flew down the wing in the 35th minute and forced a good save from French keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin, and her defensive play included smoothly controlling the ball to prevent a corner kick and hitting a precise pass to Alex Morgan. Dunn also did well when with a ball near the goal line when a bad touch would have sent the ball into her own goal. The right back Kelley O’Hara linked well with Rapinoe and defensively she frustrated Eugénie Le Sommer.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit) 136/2 (32)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 184/0 (35)

Abby Dahlkemper (Manchester City, ENG) 66/0 (27)

Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns) 111/24 (28)


Rose Lavelle's composure on the ball was a key to the USA controlling the midfield while Julie Ertz, who also spurred counterattacks, thwarted French attacks down the middle and won plenty of balls. Sam Mewis was part of the buildup on the second goal but was plagued by poor touches. Late in the game, she whiffed on a shot and headed straight to the keeper from close range.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Rose Lavelle (Manchester City/ENG) 53/14 (25)

Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars) 110/20 (29)

Samantha Mewis (Manchester City, ENG); 72/21 (28)


Megan Rapinoe started and finished strong. She set up an Alex Morgan chance that culminated in the penalty kick Rapinoe converted -- and before being subbed in the 63rd minute kept the pressure on down the left flank, including orchestrating an attack after winning the ball in the U.S. half. Morgan, whose foot was stomped on to earn the PK, finished sharply after set up with a precise pass from Christen Press. The U.S. frontline, which included some playmaking from Press, kept enough pressure on the French to prevent their outside backs from entering the attack to any effect.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Christen Press (Manchester United/ENG) 144/60 (32)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 175/109 (31)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 175/57 (35)


The subs helped prevent France from ever looking capable of a comeback, but Carli Lloyd's touch was off and when she mis-trapped a ball, she clattered into Eve Perisset to earn a yellow card. Sophia Smith shot wide shortly after arriving but earned a corner kick with her second attempt. Lindsey Horan covered lots of ground and added further frustration to the French attempt at cohesive play.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 92/20 (26)

Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 4/0 (20)

Carli Lloyd (Nj/NY Gotham FC) 300/124 (38)

NOTABLE: France, No. 3 in the FIFA World Rankings, and No. 2 Germany did not qualify for next summer's Olympics. UEFA uses the previous World Cup to decide qualifiers. At the 2019 World Cup that France hosted, it fell to the USA in the quarterfinals while Germany fell at that stage to Sweden, which went on the finish third and qualified for the Olympics along with fourth-place England/Great Britain and the runner-up Netherlands. 

NEXT: The)

April 14 in Le Havre
France 0 USA 2. Goals: Rapinoe (pen.) 5, Morgan 19
France -- Pevraud-Magnin; Torrent (Kazadi, 62), Tounkara, De Almeida, Perisset; Asseyi (Gauvin, 46), Geyoro (Palis, 46), Jaurena; Dali (Khelifi, 62), Katoto (Baltimore, 46), Le Sommer.
USA -- Naeher; O'Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn; Lavelle, Ertz, S.Mewis; Press (Smith, 75), Morgan (Lloyd, 76), Rapinoe (Horan, 63).
Yellow cards: France -- Torrent 36, Kazadi 73; USA -- Lloyd, 83. Red cards: none.
Referee: Lina Lehtovaara (Finland)

Shots: 3/16
Shots on target: 1/7
Saves: 5/1
Corner Kicks: 5/4
Fouls: 6/8
Offside: 2/5
Possession: 45%/55%

7 comments about "France-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. R2 Dad, April 13, 2021 at 6:41 p.m.

    Combination play inside the 18 was much better, with the exception of Ertz and Lovell who can't help themselves from shooting at distance. Lloyd played 14 mintues, but after 7 she was carded. Handwriting--it's on the wall.

  2. James Madison, April 13, 2021 at 10:37 p.m.

    Although the US played noticeably better than against Sweden, Mike's player ratings are too generous. With nothing ast stake, France was playhing essentially (a) to be a worthy sparring partner and (b) to check players out.  The real France would have been a more formidable opponent.

  3. Barry Ulrich, April 14, 2021 at 6:52 a.m.

    Does no one care about the inconsistent passing by this team?  Long diagonal passes are invariably intercepted by the defense.  So why does the coach allow such play?  Passes are sent to open spaces, but there seems to be a disconnect between the passer and the intended recipient who has not made a run to the open space.  And don't get me started on off side.  Surely, a striker looking across the field can see whether they are on or off side!

  4. R2 Dad replied, April 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m.

    The US program has always struggled to string together passes. Our ladies are used to passing to feet so are bad at runs off the ball much less 3rd man runs. Our best passer is a center back--lame.

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, April 14, 2021 at 4:57 p.m.

    Long diagonal passes are not a problem. Inaccurate passing, tactically slow play, and bad positioning are the problems, regardless of the length of the pass. In short most of our international players have poor fundamentals. Our coaches throughout development tend to pick elite athletes based on physical ability.

  6. Bob Ashpole, April 14, 2021 at 4:52 p.m.

    Yes, they better executed their ancient style of play against a less challenging opponent in a friendly. Don't expect me to cheer about it. This is a missed opportunity to try to improve our play. That, however, is not what USSF wants, and they have the coach on a leash.

  7. Santiago 1314 replied, June 1, 2021 at 9:16 a.m.

    Bob, I would have to Disagree with you on what they Implemented in this Game...
    Tiki-Taka and Gegen Press where Employeed to a High Level of Success...
    Tactically, Technically, and Fitness wise, the Game was a Success...(High Altitude Training for Nations League in Denver on Thursday)
    What is Lacking is the PSYCHOLOGICAL aspect of "WHY" are these Guys Playing for the USA.??
    I know you, as a Lawyer, are Probably a Great Reader...
    I urge you to get the New Book by Steven. G. Manis; "What Happened to the USMNT"
    Outside of the Fact that the Book should have Started with the '88 Olympic Team, instead of the '90 WC Team... It is SPOT ON, in what is Wrong with the DRIFT in the Program from then Until Now.... 
    I will Look forward to Discussing the issues Raised once you have Read it.
    "WHY, How, Who"

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