USA-South Korea Women's Friendly Player Ratings

Oct. 21 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 0 South Korea 0.
Att.: 18,467.
* * * * * * * * * *

In its third friendly since its Olympic bronze-medal finish in Japan, the U.S. women’s national team on Thursday dominated in almost every box on the stat sheet — except the scoreline. The last touch was missing against a defensive-minded South Korea team that often had at least eight players behind the ball. Coach Vlatko Andonovski's squad improved in the second half with fresh energy from Sophia Smith and Mallory Pugh. The good news was that there were plenty of chances created from some good collective movement and individual play. South Korea will be happy with how it executed its game plan and earned a 0-0 tie in the first game of the two-game series.

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


Adrianna Franch did not have much to deal with but handled her duties well when she was called on. The Salina, Kansas, native distributed the ball well and made no mistakes.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Adrianna Franch (Kansas City NWSL) 10 (30)


Becky Sauerbrunn demonstrated some great footwork early on and kept the U.S. backline watertight alongside the perfectly adept Tierna Davidson. The center back duo didn’t have a ton to worry about but when they did they dealt with the danger with a calmness that reflected their experience. Casey Kruger advanced on a number of occasions and managed her defensive duties well. The U.S. backline had little to deal with, especially in the second half when the Korean side tired. Kelley O’Hara supported the U.S. attack with poise and recovered smartly on one of South Korea’s few attacks in the second half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit) 148/2 (33)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 196/0 (36)

Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 42/1 (23)

Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars) 37/0 (31) 


Rose Lavelle created some excellent chances and combined with Lindsey Horan often in front of Korea’s box. Lavelle was the engine for the USA and also had an excellent header around the hour mark cleared off the line. Catarina Macario kept possession well but failed to make a legitimate offensive impact. Horan bossed the center of the field with confidence and recovered the ball often, quickly finding U.S. attackers with line-splitting passes.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 105/23 (27)

Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 65/16 (26)

Catarina Macario (Lyon, FRA) 11/3 (22)


Alex Morgan had the best chance of the first half but couldn’t beat the excellent Korean goalkeeper Yoon Young-guelTobin Heath did well to provide service in the first half, as did Megan Rapinoe, but both did little offensively to affect the result. The starting trio pressured the Korean backline diligently but with Korea’s bank of eight defenders behind the ball, it was difficult to break them down.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Tobin Heath (Arsenal, ENG) 180/36 (33)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 189/114 (32)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 186/61 (36)


Sophia Smith impressed with some great energy as soon as she entered the match -- particularly a flashy first touch to create an opportunity for Lavelle down the right side. She continued to shine and was the USA’s most dangerous player in the second half.  The swan song for Carli Lloyd continues but she did not influence a game that perhaps needed speed rather than experience — though the crowd did cheer with glee every time she was on the ball. Lloyd did have a good left-footed shot saved by Yoon, who was up to the task all night long. Mallory Pugh, like Smith, thrived on the wing and did well when she got the ball but struggled with her end product. Her one chance came in the last 10 minutes when she danced into the box but took too long on her finish and her space was closed down.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 66/18 (23)

Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 9/1 (21)

Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) 31/4 (30)

Carli Lloyd (Gotham FC) 315/134 (39)

Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 5/0 (23)

TRIVIA: The 0-0 tie snapped the USA's 22-game home winning streak, one game short of its record home winning streak set in 1993-96.

NOTABLEThe USA failed to score for the first time at home in 60 games. The last time was a 1-0 defeat to Australia at the 2017 Tournament of Nations in Seattle, its last home loss.

Oct. 21 in Kansas City, Kansas
USA 0 South Korea 0.
USA -- Franch; O’Hara; Sauerbrunn, Davidson, Krueger (Fox 68); Horan, Lavelle, Macario (K.Mewis 46); Heath (Smith 46), Morgan (Lloyd 63), Rapinoe (Pugh 46).
South Korea -- Yoon; Choo (Jeong 90+2), Lim, Hong, Jang; Park (Yeo 63), Lee Young-ju, Ji, Cho-So-hyun; Lee Geum-min (Kim Hy-eri 87), Choe.
Yellow cards: USA -- Horan 77; South Korea -- none. Red cards: none.
Referee: Katja Koroleva (USA).
Att.: 18,467.

USA/South Korea
Shots: 19/8
Shots on target: 8/1
Saves: 1/8
Corner Kicks: 6/2
Fouls: 9/8
Offside: 1/0
Possession: 68%/32%
25 comments about "USA-South Korea Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. R2 Dad, October 22, 2021 at 1:16 a.m.

    If neither Rapinoe nor Lloyd are going to be around for the next World Cup, why do the Nats waste minutes on them now? Are players more important than squad development? That seems to be the message.

  2. E Velazquez replied, October 22, 2021 at 11:12 a.m.

    a new coach is what  we need , don't we?

  3. R2 Dad replied, October 22, 2021 at 12:05 p.m.

    Apparently through contract or US established practice all team members from the previous tournament are included in the "victory tour" friendlies afterwards. After this set of friendlies it sounds like Vlatko will be able to drop any players he doesn't want. I don't know if he can get the best out of these players, based on what I've seen so far.

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, October 22, 2021 at 12:18 p.m.

    Yes, it's in the CBA, that is about to expire.

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, October 23, 2021 at 10:03 a.m.

    R2 Dad, you miss the point that USSF uses the WNT to promote soccer in the US. And generate cash flow. Fans turn out for the stars and hometown players. Not for new players on trial.

  6. frank schoon, October 22, 2021 at 9:26 a.m.

    I watched this game and switched back and forth to watching UNC vs Florida to keep me interested. I learned so much last night watching the USWNT, nothing to do what was going on field wise but new TERMINOLOGIES in soccer...Man, next time I can go to the nearest pub (wherever that is) and feel confident talking soccer by employing high level soccer terms like  "ZONE14", "DOUBLE 6","DOUBLE 10", THANK YOU, JULIE FOUDY!!!.

    We can't play soccer but we can whip up some mean soccer terms. These terminologies makes one look impressive, as if you know your soccer....REALLY???  You have to admit , going to these coaching classes really helps you know what soccer is all about. You come out of that coaching classroom with your new Double Whammy coaching license and visit the nearest soccer pub. There in discussion, you just say with an uppity attitude " in that game last night, I was not impressed with the action in ZONE 14".  And then you abruptly you go, leaving your discussion partners still mesmerized of your deep knowledge of the game, asking, 'who was that man?"

    The trend that has been going on for years now which is that more mechanical knowledge of the game is being taught than really inquiring a feel for the game and that is so obviously by the vocabulary employed in today's game. We have laptop coaches, soccer psychiatrists, statisticians,satellite data, tracking players on the field...But it is interesting, that none of this produces more skillful, more Ronaldos , Messis, Zlatans... This is why van Hanegem, known as the second oracle behing Cruyff stated in a column called, 'We are losing the essentials of soccer'. In his column, that we people entering in soccer that don't have or lack a real feel for this game as applied on the field.  He goes on to say that during a substitution ,for instance, you have a coach with computer, notebook, flipover charts explaining to a sub what he's got to do out there. In the Man.Utd-Liverpool game 2weeks ago, as Ronaldo was going in ,he had an assistent telling him what to do. Ronaldo never lifted his head up, looked or paid attention the material shown ,continuing to tie his shoes...You have some a rumdumb with a coaching license who couldn't take on a lamppost 1v1 telling Ronaldo what to do....
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  7. Santiago 1314 replied, October 22, 2021 at 12:36 p.m.

    Zone 14 is Near AREA 51, where all "Special" Soccer players that Don't wear a "Beep Bra", come from... Analytics will be the Undoing of "The Beautiful Game".!!!... Remember Bogicevic, Redondo, Breitner, Netzer .. They Woouldn't Make IT Today, cause they Don't "Run with their Head Cut-Off" like a Chicken... Busio is Going to have the Same Problem

  8. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:13 p.m.

    Did you watch the Ajax-Dortmunt game....skill vs turbo....Haaland was 6inches taller than the two centeback munchkins of Ajax.....Haaland couldn't get decent ball from the flanks and the only ball he got vertical with his back facing the goal, with two munchkins on. One them was a 19year old. You've got to watch this game....Paramount+ gives you a 7day free trial.... 

    Check this out, Glen Hoddle, another one that some brains and skill bought wasn't appreciated

    Glenn Hoddle vs Man City 1980/81 ● Amazing Performance - YouTube

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, October 23, 2021 at 2:03 a.m.

    I believe "zone 14" is a European term for an area in front of the penalty box. Just pointing out that the US doesn't hold a monopoly on redundant terminology. 

  10. frank schoon replied, October 23, 2021 at 8:34 a.m.

    Bob, I understand that the term "Zone 14" is of European origin for the soccer coaching academy of the USSSF  follows and ass kisses whatever comes out of Europe for we don't have the stature to venture new ideas on soccer since we're not respected in those European soccer circles. It is like  women soccer they follow whatever the men do in soccer and not other way around.

    Although it is of European origin, I've never heard of it used considering I've have a lot connections in Holland as what is going on in soccer via internet info, reading info,coaching info, newspaper, mags, interviews, Youtube soccer shows based in Holland. There is very little that escapes me . But I"ve yet to hear of this....

    Foudy applying that term was a little too much for me to take for obviously she was trying impress the listeners with the new up todate soccer 'jargone'.  For us peasants sitting there on the couch with horns and tooters, all she had to say was that is lack action around the penalty area in front of the goal. She ,I guess , felt she was giving a coaching course to a group of coaches...

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, October 24, 2021 at 12:52 a.m.

    I have seen the term on English language fan sites and "coaching" sites run for profit. I suspect that is not what you spend your time reading.

  12. frank schoon replied, October 24, 2021 at 9:19 a.m.

    Bob, damn you're one up on me on this. I had no idea you were familiar with this term  :)
    That was very insightful deduction on your part that don't I spend time reading fan and coaching sites...

    As far as I"m concerned all this sites,specially the coaching site give info which is the same 60years ago but using a different color package... Remember the old, old ,old system, WM or rather 2-3-5 system which I grew up in learning to play....This system hasn't changed ,its still used...You have 2centerbacks in the middle,(2) the next line is the withdrawn #6 with the two backs(3) and the frontline consists of the 2 outside midfielders, called in my days 'inside forwards', with the 3 attackers up front totalling (5).

     Nothing has really except ,all the same principles are still applied as far as passing, moving off the ball, one on one upmanship,etc. That is why the principles of dutch soccer later identified as 'Total Soccer' which was really an amalgation of soccer knowledge from the past blended into what Cruyff and Michlels came up with.. Like Cruyff stated ,"there is nothing new under sun in soccer"

    The coaching institution is trying to sell old fish wrapped in today's newspaper wrappings so it looks fresh.........

    I have seen the term on English language fan sites and "coaching" sites run for profit. I suspect that is not what you spend your time reading.

  13. frank schoon, October 22, 2021 at 9:55 a.m.

    There are so many things that you can only sense with a feel that can't be qualified. So the less you have a feel for the inner qualities of the game the more you want to break this game down by identifying it by the numbers. Remember 'Garanimals' for those who have difficulty dressing by mataching style and color and therefore need to folllow chart....That's what we have today seeping into our supposedly library of soccer know-how.

    The only person I saw on our team that looked like a 'footballer' was Horan. I wish she would develop a good shot outside the penalty area. With Horan playing at #6 , you have more penetration in the middle for she is a much better ball handler than Ertz. I also noticed that none of our players took real shots outside the penalty area...

    Lavelle, and O'Hara, were strong but I wasn't impressed with Macario. I got a feeling she's not used right and she needs to work on shooting power from outside of penalty area.. Heath , is getting too predictable in her actions and she's going way too far back into her own half calling for the ball and when she does receive the ball in her own half with her back facing downfield....THAT'S WHY YOU NEVER PASS DOWN FLANK TO A WING, IT SHOULD BE COMING FROM A MIDFIELDER NOT A BACK......

    Heath has decent 1v1 skills but should always have an outlet for combinations for she's not a turbo player like on the other side...I wish she would develop a shot with her left as well. 

    I was impressed with the Korean's abilities in quickly turning with the ball in small spaces. Too bad they don't have a front line.

  14. Michael Saunders replied, October 22, 2021 at 11:51 a.m.

    Frank .... While I do not agree with you at times, this is certainly one post that is hard to find fault with. 

    So learning the new nomenclature regarding analytical performance is really not the issue but how one applies it to explain and/or constructively criticize. By that not only point to the issue but sugest a solution. 

    I concur wholeheartedly with your observations on individual players.    I would add that Morgan fails the litmust test of a striker in the purest sense of the word.  Considering that the team often uses the flanks to attack, I am astonished at the lack of players anticpating crosses into the 6 yard box.  Even  Foudy said as much during the match.  It's as if they are in a set piece mode waiting for the cross to be made rather than providing options for wingers and the like to pose a threat.  Indeed, when was the last time time one saw Morgan slide into a ball for a scoring attempt in the 6 yard box?  It has been missing for some time in the WNT.  Sure aiming for the trailers needs to be an option, but unless Morgan becomes the player she was years ago, or a new clinical striker comes on board, it will be a tough transition.     





     midfield per se with the exception of Macario is what keeps this team 

  15. Wayne Norris replied, October 22, 2021 at 12:14 p.m.

    Frank, I have been saying same thing regarding Ertz. Absolute leader and warrior out there but not great with ball for MF. 

    Never understood why she moved from CB to MF. She was perfect there. Then Hiram would have started more consistently as well.

    Since USWNT could win regardless it was never really an issue...

  16. R2 Dad replied, October 22, 2021 at 12:16 p.m.

    I only watched the first half, but wasn't impressed with how they played. Not sure how everyone got those ratings--they all seemed 1 to 3 too high, especially since no one scored. The way Vlatko has them playing this 4-3-3 is really more like a 4-2-1-3 with Horan the 10 and Macario and Lavelle coming back as 6s to receive from the back line. The fact that Heath came back for service tells you not all is right. This team just wants to run and kick, with the back line launching balls over the top to the front line. That has to end if the US is to win their next tournament. But I don't see Vlatko the one to do it.

  17. Seth Vieux replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:22 p.m.

    The never ending terminology changes amuse me as well. I do use 6, 8(s), 9, 10 in common parlance with my teams and other fans, but zone 14, and even to some extent 'the half-spaces' I just don't find much use for. Players may thrive in these areas and they are certainly important areas of the game, but harping on them leads to static and unimaginative players that don't read and anticipate the entire game and don't actually understand SPACE at all. It leads to this overly programmed mindset that manifests in straight lines and robotic movements. It is a free-flowing game, and there in lies its beauty. 

    On Ertz, Wayne I could not possibly agree with you more and have always lamented her move from CB, where she was a special player, to DCM, where she battles and is generally 'good.' She does not possess the ball skills, vision, or range of passing ability to be remotely special there. She is only a ball-winning destroyer that disrupts the team's overall ability to possess the ball and create strong goalscoring opportunities. They moved her further up the pitch and  her goalscoring output disappeared (remember she used to score an impressive amount of goals for a CB?) and she cannot execute effective progressive passes, let alone the final pass. 

  18. Wayne Norris replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:40 p.m.

    Seth, stated even better. 

    btw, I meant Horan......for some reason she gets autocorrected!!

  19. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:51 p.m.

    Hey Michael, You're right about Morgan, she's doesn't have the striker material. Actually I don't know if we even have a striker....You know more about the girls soccer situation than I do but can't think of anyone filling her place. 

    I prefer the right flank with Heath, Lavelle and O'hara, that's a strong flank the left flank to me is just turbo, which is fine and it balances off the rightside for you don't two similar style of flanks attacking. I prefer Horan over Ertz, but the only thing I want Horan to do is to work on is tempo change for she plays in one tempo. I like for her to accelerate her motions thus throwing off her opponent.  Heath is getting up there in age and therefore she needs ALWAYS an option to pass to off the ball and that forces her direct opponent to back off knowing she might pass .

    As far as the terminology goes , I'm from the old school, I've seen it all come and go.  These socalled New Ideas, it is really the same crap wrapped in different color paper... Bottom line with all the new stuff, the players have not improved technically. As Cruyff states comparing players when he played rated them technically an 8 compared to today a 5. 

    Players today can't even make a decent cross. Everthing has to be told and pointed out to them Blah, Blah, Blah, which you probably already know......well, anyway, Good luck to you on the other side of the Potomac.....

  20. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:52 p.m.

    Michael , I accidentally put my reply down below...sorry

  21. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2021 at 1:57 p.m.

    Wayne, good point, I don't remember Ertz ever playing CB and maybe she needs to go back there. She is just too much meat and potatos at midfield , we need someone with a little more pizzazz...I 
    find that Horan is much better under pressure and is more confident in her ways of doing things....

  22. frank schoon replied, October 22, 2021 at 2:12 p.m.

    Seth, I still use the old fashioned terms, #6 to me I call centerhalf, # 8 righthalf, and #9 centerforward, #10  a shadow striker....Also I never use say 1v1 but one on one, for example  I tell a player take him on or go one on one on him...

    One time I heard the term 'Dropzone" on the field by one of the coaches....You being former military should appreciate that....
    The coaching academy KNVB would sent a student going for his A-license to Ajax to do a practice session. Cruyff and Keizer and the rest of the Ajax would roll over of laughter when they hear him using these classroom terms that real players don't use for they have their own language and terms of expression. This is how you can always tell a coach who is licensed...

    For Example , The student was instructing the Ajax players to cross the ball, but that is a meaningless term for players would say 'spoon it' or 'slice it' for that tell tell you right away how the cross is made and which post it will go to ,etc....

  23. Seth Vieux replied, October 23, 2021 at 4:03 p.m.

    Frank, I've definitely never heard 'drop zone' used on the pitch LOL. I'm struggling and laughing even trying to imagine it's application. 

    Just like using acronyms to great excess in the military, and brevity codes/terms on the radio, for me using 6,8,9,10 is faster to say and genuinely, I hope that training players to rapidly understand something short that would otherwise take longer to explain, has application in helping them to think and decide faster on the pitch to improve their speed of play. 

    One of my teams primarily plays 4-3-3 so 6, the two 8s, and the 9 are so important to our patterns of play. I encourage the 8s to play interchangeably as the game dictates so I do not assign one as left 8 and one as right 8, they can figure that out for themselves. Of course I want all players to be able to interchange with others but these two in particular must be able to do it very often. I just call wings L/R wing, L/R back. I do assign the two center backs as L/R at the begininnjng of a half, but expect them to interchange as required to maintain defensive organization. Both are right footed players with solid left feet, and I generally assign them to L/R based on the strengths/weaknesses of the fullbacks they must provide cover for and combine with in build out.

    Spoon and slice are not familiar to me, but are easily understood in context!

  24. Seth Vieux replied, October 23, 2021 at 4:06 p.m.

    Ertz (can't remember her maiden name back then), was a long-time CB partner to Sauerbrunn and I thought they complimented each other extremely well. Sauerbrunn always the disciplined organizer and Ertz able to roam forward into the attack to provide another scoring threat in good possession and especially on set pieces.

  25. James Madison, October 27, 2021 at 2:06 p.m.

    The future was on display last night and then the past.  Sophia Smith is good, but will be a menace if she can be coached to the point she is willing to peak and pass to a teammate with a better shooting opportunity

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