Commentary

Australia-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings

AUSTRALIA-USA EXPRESS:
Nov. 30 in Newcastle, Australia
Australia 1 USA 1. Goals: Hatch 4; Simon 88.
Att.: 20,495.
* * * * * * * * * *

Ashley Hatch, who scored in the first minute of the USA's 3-0 win over Australia last Saturday, struck in the 4th minute. But on Tuesday the Americans, despite an edge in well-orchestrated attacks amid the lively end-to-end action, failed to strike again and the Aussies earned a 1-1 tie with an 88th minute goal.

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

GOALKEEPER

Casey Murphy's single save came on a 22-yard volley by Mary Fowler that flew through a crowd and bounced in the goal area before Murphy deflected it off the post for a corner kick. Australia's equalizer from Kyah Simon's 25-yard shot took a reflection that left Murphy no time to recover from her anticipating its original direction.


Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Casey Murphy (NC Courage) 2/- (25)

DEFENDERS

Right back Sofia Huerta, the only lineup change (for Emily Sonnett) from the 3-0 win, stifled Australian flank forays and impressed offensively by opting for precise passes rather than hopeful crosses. In the 34th minute, she spun away from her marker and delivered a cross-field pass from which Lynn Williams set up a close-range Lindsey Horan chance. In the 42nd minute, Huerta carried the ball from deep in the U.S. half into Australian territory and delivered a perfect through-ball to Midge Purce at the penalty area arc. Left back Emily Fox in the second minute served up a chance for Ashley Hatch and shortly after she robbed Hayley Raso on the other end to spark sustained possession for the USA ahead of its goal. Fox also intervened as Raso honed in on goal in the 57th minute with a swift tackle.Central defender Tierna Davidson lost the ball in the 11th minute but caught up with Raso for a clean tackle in the penalty area. She also supported Fox well in the battle with Raso, blocked a 22nd-minute shot, and passed cleanly out of the back. The other center back, Alana Cook, dominated in the air and helped shut down Sam Kerr.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 9/0 (28)

7 
Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 45/1 (23)

7
Alana Cook (OL Reign) 4/0 (24)

8
Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 8/0 (23)

MIDFIELDERS

Rose Lavelle poked the ball away from Tameka Yallop to set in motion the buildup for the USA's goal and her creative maneuvers set up a Lindsey Horan chance in the 15th minute. Horan shared playmaking responsibilities with Lavelle while supported by Andi Sullivan's defensive midfield work. The trio generally outplayed its midfield counterparts but failed on the finishing front. Lavelle's only shot went sky high, while Horan shot wide and mis-hit to the keeper from close-range. And in stoppage time, Horan would have had the gamewinner had she stayed onside for Davidson's pass.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns) 108/25 (27)

6
Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 22/2 (25)

7
Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 68/18 (26)

FORWARDS

Within the game's first minute, Lynn Williams, dribbled from the middle of her own half and burned past Courtney Nevin before keeper Lydia Wiilliams grabbed her pass toward Ashley Hatch. On the goal, Williams, after receiving the ball from Hatch, delivered a perfectly time pass to Midge Purce, who calmly set up Hatch's goal from eight yards. Hatch, who spearheaded the U.S. attack while also moving into midfield at the right moments, finished with four shots: one hit the net and two forced saves. Purce's composure helped create the goal but she squandered a one-on-one chance with a poor touch on Huerta's excellent pass. Williams forced a big save in the 58th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Lynn Williams (NC Courage) 45/14 (28)

7
Ashley Hatch (Washington) 4/2 (26)

6
Midge Purce (Gotham FC) 9/2 (26)

SUBSTITUTES

After late sub Becky Sauerbrunn headed clear a long ball, Ashley Sanchez lost a battle with Clare Wheeler, who sparked the buildup that ended with Simon's shot hitting the net off Sauerbrunn's leg. Kristie Mewis was tripped by Ellie Carpenter in the 73rd minute but didn't get the call. Morgan Weaver took part in late U.S. surges forward. Imani Dorsey made her USA debut.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) 33/4 (30)

5 
Morgan Weaver (Portland Thorns) 2/0 (24)

5
Imani Dorsey (NJ/NY Gotham) 1/0 (2)

5
Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 1/0 (22)

5
Kristie Mewis (Houston Dash) 33/4 (30)

4 
Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 199/0 (36)

TRIVIAImani Dorsey became the 10th U.S. debutant since Vlatko Andonovski took over from Jill Ellis in December of 2012, joining Casey Murphy, Morgan Weaver, Ashley Sanchez, Bethany Balcer, Alana Cook, Margaret Purce, Sophia Smith, Jaelin Howell and Catarina Macario.

Nov. 30 in Newcastle, Australia
Australia 1 USA 1. Goals: Hatch 4; Simon 88.
Australia -- Williams; Carpenter, Nevin, Catley; Raso (Gielnik, 71), Van Egmond, Cooney Cross (Kennedy, 71), Yallop (Wheeler, 86); Simon, Kerr, Fowler.
USA -- Murphy; Huerta (Sonnett, 86), Cook, Davidson, Fox (Dorsey, 77); Sullivan (Sauerbrunn, 86), Lavelle, Horan; Purce (Mewis, 70), Hatch (Weaver, 70), Williams (Sanchez, 81).
Yellow Cards: Australia -- none; USA -- Horan 81. Red Cards: none.
Referee:
 Seijin Park (
South Korea)
Att.: 20,495.

Stats:
Australia/USA
Shots: 8/16
Shots on target: 2/7
Saves: 1/6
Corner Kicks: 3/6
Fouls: 5/9
Offside: 3/1
Possession: 50%/50%
17 comments about "Australia-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. E Velazquez, December 1, 2021 at 6:02 a.m.

    williams deserves the lowest ranking for missing several goals  due to her poor soccer skills. Sauerbrunn should not have played and the press (MW) says nothing , is he protecting a player with minimum skills ? . Women's soccer is boring in general, and worse when the coach  has no natural ilumination to make  better selection of players. Fortunately we will have Trinity Rodman who is far superior than williams and we will also have Macario for future games.  Andronoski should  wake up promptly and remember that the world cup is nearing rapidly. Like to ask  SANTIAGO  any comment ?

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, December 1, 2021 at 4:16 p.m.

    I didn't find the uswnt boring or predictable while Ellis was coaching. She was a great coach, especially at managing tournaments. Over her years she took a team playing through a target forward and moved them toward positional play driven by skilled midfielders. I enjoyed watching the progression. 

    With both Ellis and Hendricks gone, I don't think anyone left at USSF has a clue as to what Ellis was doing and certainly they do not have positional play as the ulitmate objective for the program. As Frank notes below the program has backslided under USSF control.

  3. E Velazquez, December 1, 2021 at 6:05 a.m.

    tHE GOAL OF AUSTRALIA  APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN AN OWN GOAL CAUSED BY SAUERBRUNN, wasn't it !

  4. R2 Dad replied, December 1, 2021 at 10:26 a.m.

    Deflections happen, the keeper had no chance so there isn't much to be made of the late goal in a Friendly.

  5. Michael Saunders replied, December 1, 2021 at 11:31 a.m.

    It was not an own goal.... a deflection  

  6. Bob Ashpole replied, December 1, 2021 at 4:06 p.m.

    I think the murky difference between own goal and deflection is whether the shot before deflection appeared to be on frame. A silly distinction imo.  

  7. frank schoon, December 1, 2021 at 11:37 a.m.

    I just watched this game on ESPN+. Wow, we are getting ready for Turbo soccer. Run and gun counter attacking soccer. Everybody comes back to defend and leave one up front. Play compact as far as the linies or lines go. Purce, Williams are race horses who lack technical sophistication in small spaces.

    Horan showed better than the previous game for she didn't have to do so much defensive work as #6 in her own half, instead the work was left up to Kennedy who is tough but stiff, and is not good in small spaces....Fox ,although very tough lacks good touch on the ball ,especially when crossing the ball...A Russian tractor has more has more touch and feel on the ball.
    I would like see to Fox as a centerback for as an outside back she needs more capability on the ball when attacking.Would also like to see Horan employ her left to shoot on goal.

    I find the women's overal touch on the ball to be lacking. How often do you see a pass coming into the opponent's third and rolls out of bounds across the endline because it was hit too hard....Fox ,for example, passes the ball like she's kicking it to a player, bang! Here body ,leg wise is too stiff when passing. It is not only her, Kennedy a few more,  I see it so often. This is why one-touch passing  are not that great among the women. 

    Everything is run in straight patterns. No zig-zags, slow down ,speed up, it is Zoom-Vroom off to the races. There is such lack of creative play/movements with the ball. So often you see an attacker running trying to outrun the opponent next to her without changing her pattern of movement. Lavelle is the only one I see capable of switching her pattern to throw off her opponent.

    There are four players that I"m impressed with, 4 Australians, Kerr, Powers, Carpenter and van Egmond who I think is the best player. On our team I see Horan in the same light as van Egmond.
    Having all those aforementioned play together on the same team would be interesting to see.

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  8. R2 Dad replied, December 1, 2021 at 2:13 p.m.

    Don't worry, Frank. Spain and France are developing players who do have those skills. We'll see at least one of them in the next WC final.

  9. frank schoon replied, December 1, 2021 at 2:43 p.m.

    Hopefully so, R2. but i have great doubts for I don't even see with our boys

  10. frank schoon, December 1, 2021 at 11:55 a.m.

    The Australian should not have played a 1-3-2-4. Having Kerr up front made her too isolated against 4 US defenders. The problem is that she would have to hold the ball to wait for her teammates to come for support. That gives the Americans likewise time to set up defensively. That was her only option other taking on 2 or 3 defenders. What I'm saying is that in women's soccer that formation does not do well or rather is the most functional.

    The problem I find that the passing in women soccer as I stated is not the greatest ,not diverse enough in quality and method thereby making it even tougher for that single individual up front. Their lack of touch and feel on the ball, the manner how they pass which is straight forward and too predictable. There is never an outside of the foot pass that flies over a defender and drops for the attacker to run on to. Look at Kerr ,every pass to the feet, back facing the goal with defenders behind. The passes given also does not allow time for a flank run for they too far back....That lack of diversity of passing, being able to pass in a manner allowing the third more to reach the spot further down the field to attack....This level just is not taught to the women, AND MEN. 

    Look at how often a centerback has to take two/three steps more to pass a ball from one side to the other because they can't hit/pass the ball with the outside of the foot. This is why the formation 1-3-2-4 is not suited for fast attack, or BALL MOVEMENT, horizontally, which forces the defender to spread out and thus weaken their support of each other.....This is just another step seeing soccer going more in a Turby style due to lack of good technique....

  11. Peter Bechtold replied, December 1, 2021 at 9:47 p.m.

    Frank,
    i agree with almost all of your observations. But when you say "Womens Soccer" in commenting on this match, you are using a broad brush for a narrow space. If you substitute "Anglo-Saxon Womens Soccer", then I am with you completely. Not only the US and Australia, but also New Zealand and Canada play the same style. To some extend, so does Sweden(and maybe the rest of Scandinavia). But no longer Spain; see the Barcelona women destroying everyone in their path.
    Frank, I am reminded of architecture when school buildings or office buildings, or sports stadia look very similar because their architects went to graduate school at the same period,and sometimes the same school. Womens soccer in the US traces their coaching to a handful of successful English coaches, e.g. Anson Dorrance, Jill Ellis' father, Clive Thomas(?)at U Portland, etc. all coming over and coaching boys and girls, then originally men and women when they moved on to Colleges. Same style, what you call Turbo. 
    Look also at the EPL: the financially wealthy clubs on top of EPL all have foreign coaches and foreign born play-makers in the skills positions because they realized that Turbo no longer works if they want to compete in the continental cups. The clubs with limited financial resources in the EPL are near or at the bottom of the league(and all over the lower divisions in UK) playing turbo

  12. frank schoon replied, December 2, 2021 at 8:43 a.m.

    Peter, yes ,you are right, Not Spain. I'm talking in general terms about the teams that rule the roost, so to speak.  Having watched Spain, they don't play Turbo, that's true. I haven't watched Barcelona play, since I really don't watch women's soccer. But I'm willing to bet there are quite a few foreign women playing for Barcelona. How many Spanish players are playing on the US women teams?? The difference in style of play between the Spanish WNT and Barcelona women's team would be interesting to see.

    Your statement on Turbo in the EPL ,parts of it I agree like seeing more turbo in the lower division but that is due to the quality of English players and the English style. I'm afraid that TURBO is coming back in the EPL as well, just look at Liverpool, and Chelsea that are Coached by German coaches, who have been successful. And I'm afraid turbo is starting to come back and this will seep into college soccer as well,for it is easier to coach. PSV in Holland is likewise coached by a German coach Schmidt and he likewise has instituted more turbo soccer. The dutch as a whole will never be  Turbo due to a different philosophy of how to play soccer which is promulgated by the way Ajax plays. That's why I enjoyed watch the clash between Ajax and Dortmunt, skill and control vs Turbo...

    I'm not happy with that for coaches are judged on success and if they see that turbo can be successful, like with Chelsea and Liverpool, you will see more teams trying it. And what does that mean in the future, less skilled ,technical players since less skill is required needed to carry this out.  In the long run that's not good for our youth development.

    The individuals you mentioned that contributed to Turbo in our soccer can be basically summed up by saying in general teams the great influence and control English and German, who ran soccer here...


  13. Peter Bechtold, December 2, 2021 at 12:26 p.m.

    Frank, I appreciate your comments and want to add another observation. Watching the last match described above, I could not help but notice that the USWNT was almost all White, looking like a team from suburban America. You will never find pickup soccer there with which you and I grew up.
    The women who are emerging as new stars are mostly ones growing up as what were called Tom boys and started playing with their brothers in grassy backyards, then moving up to play a limited version of pickup ball in teams that permitted exceptional girls to play alongside boys up to a certain age. But once they get to HS , the coaching falls off, not because of a commitment to British style play, but most coaches know only conditioning as I have observed at my old college. According to SA, there are 50% more women's teams playing NCAA soccer than men,s due to the effects of Title IV. The US women will soon be passed by, like the British men.

  14. frank schoon replied, December 2, 2021 at 12:48 p.m.

    Peter, you know it is what it is. Yes, there are a lot of middle class white faces. But didn't we grow up playing street soccer the same way, same color and I never thought about color, I just wanted to play....I'm not going to worry about the color representation of our players in the NT. If anything, street or pickup soccer should be easier seen played more in poorer neighborhoods for it costs nothing to play with a ball. But you don't see it neither in the middle class or in the poorer sections. That tells me it is a cultural problem not a color problem. 

    I don't think about the color out on the field and if it is majority white , so let it be, until then....My main concern is the quality of soccer being played not the mixture, ethnicity of the players....

  15. Peter Bechtold, December 3, 2021 at 2:11 p.m.

    Frank, you misunderstood me or did not read my comment to the end. For me, it is not about race but family upbringing. FWIW, I have coached 2 top league teams in Africa where every player was "Black". Those players all learned to play what you recommend again and again, pick-up soccer. In the US American context--and the other Anglo-Saxon countries--you will not find pick-up soccer in the mostly white suburban neighborhoods. You will find highly organized, somewhat expensive and regimented practices which produce a form of soccer suitable to these middle-class families. It is good enough to get many young women into colleges on a soccer scholarship, but not for young men.(Just look at the make-ups of college teams,M & F.)
    BTW, the USMNT recently played with only 2 white players, something J.Klinsmann was pushing for early in his time with USSF. (Not because of race, but social structure).

  16. frank schoon replied, December 4, 2021 at 9:35 a.m.

    Peter, Sorry, If I misread your post. I agree we don't have pickup here for it is not part of the culture; and that can be seen at all levels of income range in our society. You say that our form of soccer ,highly regimented and suitable to these middle class families seems to be good enough to get many young women into colleges on soccer scholarship, but not for young men. Do you mean young men ,referring to 'black' young men? If that is the case, their outlet is basketball.. just go see how many blacks are over represented playing basketball in college. 

    You also mentioned that middle families have kids trained in highly organized, expensive, regimented practices....Well that is how soccer is being taught everywhere. That is why coaches are being licensed in order to coach train, regimented theories of soccer to kids. In other words, if soccer is taught to lower incomes families they would likewise receive regimented coaching and training....And that is what I've basically been complaining about all this time ..
    I wish pickup soccer would become part of our sport culture for then it would definitely put a big dent into 'pay for play'. 

    Furthermore , I'm not one for social engineering either as a factor of race or social structure or anything, I believe you take the best of what is there to offer ...This is why you don't see me complain that the NBA is not representative of America and all that rot because one race is way over represented....It is what it is.....


  17. Ross Stewart, December 30, 2021 at 1:35 p.m.

    The moment when people actually start giving Lavelle the credit for her box to box contributions as the best defensive midfield presennce we have is really going to be something. I won't hold my breath. Somehow people think Horan is that presence. In actuality, Horan is often standing on the ball, giving it away and then simply does not have transitional pace to account for those errors leading to silly fouls and yellow cards. Horan's future, in large part due to those mistakes and inability to track back effectively and make up for them from midfield, should be as a #9 if anything. She has the technique and physical presence for that role. Lavelle and Mewis are the two dual 10's with Sullivan sitting behind them that give the WNT the most complete package - both offensively and defensive transition - in the midfield over the static, mistake prone new #10. For all her faults, Ellis understood this in the 19' world cup re: selecting Mewis and Lavelle as the 10's in the biggest moments. Vlatko, after Japan and the recent friendlies, I'm not so sure he does and it's part of why we've been exposed so often the past year. 

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