USA-South Korea Women's Friendly Player Ratings

Oct. 26 in St. Paul, Minn.
USA 6 South Korea 0. Goals: Horan 9, own goal 45, Morgan 69, Rapinoe 85, Lavelle 89, Williams 90+2.
Att.: 18,115.
* * * * * * * * * *

In Carli Lloyd’s last international appearance, the USA excelled against South Korea, running out 6-0 winners. Starting eight different players from the first match against South Korea that ended in a 0-0 tie, Coach Vlatko Andonovski showcased his squad’s depth, and the players eased in seamlessly to the lineup. The USA played with more possession and quicker passing than last week — peppering shots in from around the box and also looking for Lloyd to get her goal. That big moment didn’t come, but fans and players from both sides gave her an exemplary sendoff when she was subbed in the 65th minute. Lloyd’s tears were met with a “thank you Carli” chant from the St. Paul crowd.

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


Like for Adrianna Franch in the first game of the series, the night was an exercise in concentrating-in-lull for Jane Campbell. She distributed well and answered when she was called on, but had little to deal with overall. Campbell had a nice save in the 49th minute. It was South Korea’s first and only legitimate chance.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Jane Campbell (Houston Dash) 7/- (26)


South Korea was even less offensive on the night than they were last week, meaning less work for the U.S. backline. Emily Sonnett and Emily Fox advanced down the flanks and joined the U.S. attacks early and often. The center backs Tierna Davidson and Abby Dahlkemper communicated well and dealt with South Korea’s attacks easily.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Emily Sonnett (Washington Spirit) 61/0 (27)

Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 43/1 (23)

Abby Dahlkemper (Houston Dash) 77/0 (28)

Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 6/0 (23)


The U.S. midfield found space better and moved for each other more than they did last week. Catarina Macario, in particular, was decisive in front of South Korea’s box, combining intricately with the forwards and Lindsey Horan. She also had a delightful nutmeg in the 36th minute which she paid for in blood. Macario also notched an assist from a corner for the USA’s second goal. Andi Sullivan played the 6 tonight, allowing Horan to advance and participate in the offense more — which she did plenty of. Horan will take the coveted No. 10 jersey after Lloyd’s departure. Sullivan swept up plays confidently but also demonstrated great vision pulling the strings out of the backfield — it was also her header that led to USA’s second goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 106/24 (27)

Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 20/2 (25)

Catarina Macario (Lyon, FRA) 12/3 (22)


This trio was energetic from the jump — particularly Sophia Smith. The ball was on Smith’s side for most of the match and she was responsible for many U.S. attacks. Carli Lloyd did well for the time she was on the pitch, creating a few good chances and trying her best to notch that last goal. Mallory Pugh thrived in one on one situations and delivered excellent service into the box.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 10/1 (21)

Carli Lloyd (Gotham FC) 316/134 (39)

Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 67/18 (23)


Megan Rapinoe looked for Lloyd every time she got the ball but it was her exquisite outside-of-the-foot pass to Alex Morgan, who tucked away her finish, that hushed any USWNT doubters about the outcome  Rapinoe's finish on the USA’s fourth goal was superb. Rose Lavelle carried the ball well and added some good tempo to the U.S. midfield — she was rewarded by her hard work with a nice goal in the 89th minute. Lynn Williams added a sixth and final goal to cap off a great night in Minnesota.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 66/17 (26)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 187/62 (36)

Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) 190/115 (32)

Tobin Heath (Arsenal, ENG) 181/36 (33)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 197/0 (36)

Lynn Williams (NC Courage) 43/14 (28)

TRIVIA: Carli Lloyd leaves as the second most capped player in U.S. history (316 appearances) and third on the U.S. scoring list (134 goals).

NOTABLE: The USA's four second-half goals were all scored by subs: Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Rose Lavelle and Lynn Williams.

Oct. 26 in St. Paul, Minn.
USA 6 South Korea 0. Goals: Horan 9, own goal 45, Morgan 69, Rapinoe 85, Lavelle 89, Williams 90+2.
USA -- Campbell; Sonnett, Dahlkemper, Davidson (Sauerbrunn, 72), Fox; Sullivan (Heath 71), Horan, Macario (Lavelle 55); Smith (Williams 72), Lloyd (Morgan 66), Pugh (Rapinoe 55).
South Korea -- Kim Jungmi; Kim Hyeri (Cho Mijin 73), Hong, Lim, Jang; Choo (Lee Jeongmin 90+3), Lee Youngju, Choe (Jeong 26), Cho Sohyu, Ji; Lee Geummin (Son 51).
Yellow cards: USA -- Sullivan 41; South Korea -- none. Red cards: none.
RefereeKaren Abt (USA).

USA/South Korea
Shots: 29/2
Shots on target: 13/1
Saves: 1/7
Corner Kicks: 8/0
Fouls: 10/13
Offside: 4/1
Possession: 67%/33%
18 comments about "USA-South Korea Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. John Sabala, October 27, 2021 at 6:34 a.m.

     Thanks Carli for a Great 17 Years,

    There are few players in any professional sport that rise to the pinnacle of greatness.  Lloyd will go down as one of those in the entire world of soccer, a generational player.  Here dedication, work ethic, and humbleness is something that is harder to find in modern athletes of this day.  One of her things making her so great, was being the best in clutch and highest pressure moments.  Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Wayne Gretzky, Roger Federer or any other sport great you want to list, she will be in this category.  It has been great watching her over the last 17 years.  I only got up at 2am to watch her play her final match. Andovnoski should have left her in the entire match.  Now to the game.

    The thing that should encourage USWNT fans is the play of this youthful squad.  Particulary between Macario, Pugh and Smith.  The intricate and movement and passing in the box was excellent.  This is a complete break of overpowering play from the wings or trying to just beat a backline with pace and playing direct over the top.  This is the direction the USWNT needs to move with offensive tactics and style of play. Korea is well organized defensively and played 9 behind the ball, but the movement and passing created space and chances not normally seen from this team.  After the substitutions of Morgan, Rapinoe and Williams it was back to the old style of play with use of pace and much longer passes.  This can still work, but we need to have a variety of ways to break teams down.  The one issue I see is the lack of a true #9 for the USWNT.  Lloyd evolved her game and showed this in the match connecting with the wingers and attacking midfielders in and around the box.  We now lack a #9 that can hold play and pass in tight spaced like Lloyd could do.  A. Morgan does not possess this in her game.  C. Press is the closest due to be able to play with her back to goal very well and can likely evolve her game.  Time will tell.

  2. John Elliot, October 27, 2021 at 8:36 a.m.

    I never liked her play. She had a cannon for a shot and was a good header but against top level teams she lacked so many other skills it was irritating to watch her. In the second half of her career she was like an aging B-52 bomber when the team needed stealth fighters. 

  3. frank schoon replied, October 27, 2021 at 9:54 a.m.

    John, your description reminds me of the old type of 2nd division English strikers , 'the storming ram' types. That brought back some memories and I tend to agree on your analysis of her....

  4. uffe gustafsson replied, October 27, 2021 at 10:29 p.m.

    John why you feel to say such things of a player that been such a force in women's soccer. I never understood the criticism of players that done such important steps of evaluating women's soccer to what it is.
    she have such a nose for scoring goals maybe not in the way you see it. But kind of remind me of Zlatan he is also a physical player with an awesome shot and equal header.
    every game have both players that can score. 
    I think it's fair to say the game have both kind of players that's technically as well physical and that's part of the game.

  5. Kent James replied, October 30, 2021 at 10:57 a.m.

    Well said Uffe.

  6. uffe gustafsson, October 27, 2021 at 5:41 p.m.

    This is comment to frank but also to the others that like to berate rapino. Frank always complained that US player men and women don't have the skills to use outside foot to pass/shoot. Well yesterday you saw a US player do just that a beutiful outside foot pass/thru ball to morgan that scored on that pass. 

  7. frank schoon replied, October 27, 2021 at 8:39 p.m.

    Uffe, the outside of the foot pass should be a natural pass no different from any other pass like it use to be. That you actually saw one occur proves my point.  I hope you recorded the game in order you can show your friends you ACTUALLY saw one occur for they are becoming extinct..... 

  8. uffe gustafsson, October 27, 2021 at 8:57 p.m.

    Yep kind of you saying that rapino is a rare footballer that actually use it in a game and with precision.
    so I think we are on the same playing field.
    and yes u are correct I don't see it often enough.
    hope all the young girls that watch the game start to practice the outside foot shoots. You see that as young girl and then say I can do that. 

  9. frank schoon replied, October 28, 2021 at 8:35 a.m.

    Uffe, that you don't see it enough is just the tip of the iceberg of the lack of other skills women exhibit in soccer...As far as Rapino goes, I'm not a fan of her as that analogy is yours not mine....

    As far as young girls having watched that game to begin employing the outside of the foot....good luck with that....In order for a kid to learn something it has to be seen continuously in order to make an impression upon her and need a coach to instill it.....Well as far as that goes for a coach to instill it....good luck with that for we don't it anywhere being applied....

  10. Bob Ashpole, October 28, 2021 at 12:22 a.m.

    Heath impressed me in the midfield. She was calm, connecting, accurate, quick, and in the right place at the right time. 

    She didn't get much camera time because the ball was there and gone too quick. The producer was using shots of where Heath's pass was going.   

  11. R2 Dad replied, October 28, 2021 at 1:25 a.m.

    Bob, I definitely prefer Heath to Sullivan in that 10 spot, though often Sullivan would come back as a 6 in order to advance the ball. I've noticed the men and women now playing with two box-to-box 8's (Adams/McKennie on the men's side)--what do you think of that? The dogma now is that 10's are obsolete in the international game. I like watching Macario/Smith/Pugh/Lloyd trying to figure each other out in tight spaces at the top of the 18. There was some good interplay, but this is just the start of that development--their efficiency is poor as you might expect as this is a new tactic Vlatko wants to implement.  There is still too much playing to feet in the attacking 3rd--hope we see more runs against the grain in order to stretch out the defenders in the box. There are still too many balls over the top and from back line to front line, for my taste. We can get away with playing directly against a poor S. Korea team, as there will always be more chances. But against a Spain or France, we will need to learn to become more clinical around the 18 and shoot less from outside the box.Still, there was some improvement and these friendlies weren't a complete waste of time.

  12. Bob Ashpole replied, October 28, 2021 at 7:10 a.m.

    Three comments.

    1. I believe that the labels are what is obsolete.

    2. It appeared to me in the first half that the coach's game plan intentionally allowed the opponent time to bunker to increase the opportunities for attacking a bunkered defense. This lead to a lot more play in tight spaces than is usually seen in the WNT games. Good training under match conditions. 

    3. One of the benefits of possession is that constantly defending is exhausting. After the half break, Korea came out high pressing, which opens up the field and is exhausting for a team. 

  13. John Sabala replied, October 28, 2021 at 2:50 p.m.

      Bob, I concur that Heath looked much better in midfield versus the forward position.  This may be a way to prolong her career as being able to take on defenders 1v1 has now passed with age and injury.  Our best #10s though are (not in any order) S. Mewis, R. Lavelle, and Marcario now.  Horan has the #8 spot sealed I think. The #6 is J. Ertz until she can't play anymore.  Sullivan can be a good #6 too as we need more depth here for the future.  A great problem to have with too many talented players.  C. Dunn needs to be moved back to forward.  Another player that is better in tight spaces with enought pace that fit in well with M. Pugh and S. Smith.  

     R2, we possess true #10s with Macario and S. Mewis who are creative on the ball and pass very well.  You can see the US playing offensive with only one #6 and using Macario, S. Mewis, R. Lavelle as attacking Midfielders.  The question is who starts and who sits?  Then that leave Horan off, who brings size the midfield, but is slower than the other players listed.  A reason she played the #6 when Ertz was out.  Horan bring presence in the box and distributes the ball well.  Again, a great problem to have.  You have K. Mewis still on the bench and some younger players coming through.  Much like the USMNT the Fullback positions are the biggest questions marks, well right back.  Casey Krueger (Short) should have the left side locked in, the right side is the question mark.  Unless Vlatko opts to go with a 3 back to get more of his midfielders on the pitch.  I look forward to seeing the new team play the top clubs in the world.

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, October 29, 2021 at 12:07 a.m.

    That isn't what I said about Heath, John.

    While it is nice, wings don't have to beat players 1v1. They have to penetrate, create separation, and cross accurately. 

    I think the team needs a holding midfieler (a deep lying playmaker) not a "defensive midfielder". Ertz energizes the team when she runs forward, but that works better as a CB than as a holding midfielder. Horan is much better than Ertz in that role, because she is an excellent passer and passing is not Ertz's strength.

    I will pencil in Dunn in your list of "10s". I remember only one match in which she played a bit in that role. She was excellent in playing in the gap. Need to see more to know better.

    Horan is an excellent all around midfieder. She would do well in any midfield role. Too bad we can't clone her. :)

  15. John Sabala replied, October 29, 2021 at 8:56 a.m.

      Bob, Heath is far too predicatble now and always made her living going 1v1 on the wings. She has to evolve her game has Lloyd did over the years.  Heath can't really create separation anymore.  I agree Horan is the best all around midfielder on the USWNT.  I saw a her video tribur to C Lloyd and something I noticed. She is heavy.  Maybe the loss of weight would help with a bit more quickness and allow her to be a box to box players.  She is just too slow for that.  Great on the ball, calm, very good vision and passing, just too slow though.  Dunn has showed she is the most versatile player on the men's or women's team.  FB, F, Mid. She plays all of them at a excelled level.  She needs to be moved up the field.  As I said our weakest areas are fullbacks.  Fox showed some versatility in the game and I have not seen her much.  The USWNT is still very deep and shows some great young talent.  It is the coaches job to get these up and coming players moving the next level. The days of dominating the top 10 teams in the world are over.

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, October 29, 2021 at 2:36 p.m.

    Weight has nothing to do with quickness. (Being overweight requires more energy so it may hurt endurance. Everyone has an optimal playing weight, but it varies widely with the individual.)

    Also you can't evaluate women like men. Women need at least 10% body fat to remain healthy due to physical differences. So they should look fat if you are expecting a six-pack of abs.

    Horan has never been a "turbo" player to use Frank's phrase. Horan plays fast because she is tactically smart, well positioned, and technically skilled. You could improve quickness with training, but she isn't built for running like a Lynn Williams body type. Fortunately, the world's greatest game has room for all body types.

  17. frank schoon replied, October 30, 2021 at 11:23 a.m.

    Bob, Exactly, speed has nothing to do with being an athlete ,but with Brains, game savviness, and ball handling. It is all about knowing and thinking a step ahead....

  18. John Sabala replied, October 31, 2021 at 3:59 a.m.

      Bob and Frank,
    I agree with both of your comments and as I stated I concur Horan is the best all around midfielder we have.  However, in her case some weight loss will be most beneficial as it will make her quicker.  She will never be a turbo player as she does not possess that speed.  The ability to start and stop quicker for her will take her to the next level as an elite player.  It will also help her endurance as she will not be lugging the extra weight around the field, help with recovery defense and really be better for her knees and other joints as she gets older and help prolong her career.  

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