USA-New Zealand SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings

Feb. 20 in Carson, Calif.
USA 5 New Zealand  0. Goals: own goals (Moore) 5, 6, 36, Hatch 51, Pugh 90+3.
Att.: 16,587.

Coming off a 0-0 tie despite dominating the Czech Republic on Thursday, the USA in Sunday's clash with New Zealand was up 2-0 within six minutes and 3-0 at the halftime en route to a 5-0 win. Incredibly, the first three goals were own goals by the same player. The final goal, from Mallory Pugh in stoppage time, came after the USA had been playing with 10 following the 80th-minute injury to Trinity Rodman.

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


Alyssa Naeher started off with an awful boot out of bounds after a back pass from Alana Cook. She also struggled with distribution in the second half, tossing the ball to a New Zealander and seconds later kicking the ball to a foe. She was only called on to make two easy saves, but in the 45th minute snagged a high ball amid a crowded goal area. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4 Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 79/0 (33)


Central defender Alana Cook, who made stifling New Zealand attackers look easy, also passed cleanly, including the deliveries to Sofia Huerta on the second goal and to Midge Purce ahead of the third goal. Cook's central partner Becky Sauerbrunn, who came off at halftime, passed the ball to Cook on the latter. Left back Emily Fox sent the pass to Sophia Smith leading up to the opening goal, the first of Meikayla Moore's own-goal hat trick. Huerta, whose cross created the second goal off Moore's head via Purce's, assisted on the USA's fourth goal with a perfect cross. Both outside backs spent much of the game attacking and passed shrewdly.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sofia Huerta
(OL Reign) 10/0 (29)

7 Alana Cook (OL Reign) 6/0 (24)

6 Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 201/0 (36)

7 Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 10/0 (23)


Central midfielder Andi Sullivan defended well in midfield as she did against the Czechs on Thursday but against New Zealand added a playmaking component. She took the quick free kick ahead of the first goal and sent accurate passes to both wings, including a a nicely weighted long-range chip to Smith late in the first half. Ashley Sanchez's quick dribbling upfield was a major part of the U.S. attack that kept New Zealand on its heels, but she passed inconsistently and shot wide in the second half on a solid chance. She took part in the buildup to the USA's second goal after winning the ball. Kristie Mewis was fouled for the free kick on the first goal and played a big role in the U.S. midfield's cohesion.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6 Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 4/0 (22)

7 Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 24/2 (26)

6 Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 35/4 (30)


During her 45 minutes, center forward Catarina Macario contributed to the USA's possession in New Zealand's half and hit the post from close-range from a difficult angle. Sophia Smith's cross created the first goal. Her runs kept New Zealand on edge (before being subbed at halftime) and she was fouled for the first of two yellow cards for New Zealand, which would have seen more from a less lenient or more astute referee. Midge Purce helped create the second and third own goals. She combined her formidable one-on-one skills with measured passing instead of the hopeful crosses one sees too often from wingers. (Purce was subbed in the 56th minute.)

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8 Midge Purce (Gotham FC) 11/2 (26)

5 Catarina Macario (Lyon, FRA) 14/3 (22)

7 Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 12/1 (21)

Ashley Hatch scored six minutes after coming on at halftime and assisted on Mallory Pugh's well-taken goal -- a crisp shot after dribbling away from defender Claudia Bunge, who had earlier committed a yellow-card foul on Pugh. Lynn Williams kept pressure on the backline after replacing Smith at halftime. Trinity Rodman was hit hard twice, the second blow forcing her off the field in the 80th minute. In between, she squandered a prime chance at the edge of the goal area and was robbed in midfield amid a promising counterattack. Tierna Davidson set up Sanchez's big chance.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6 Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 47/1 (23)

6 Lynn Williams
(Kansas City Current 46/14 (28)

8 Ashley Hatch
(Washington Spirit) 5/3 (26)

5 Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) (2/0) 19

6 Jaelin Howell (Racing Louisville) 3/0 (22)

7 Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 69/19 (23)

TRIVIA: New Zealand head coach Jitka Klimkova, a native of the Czech Republic, coached the USA at the 2020 U-20 World Cup (a group stage exit).

Feb. 20 in Carson, Calif.
USA 5 New Zealand 0.  Goals: own goals (Moore) 5, 6, 36, Hatch 51, Pugh 90+3.
USA — Naeher; Huerta, Cook, Sauerbrunn (Davidson, 46), Fox; Sanchez (Pugh, 67), Sullivan (Howell, 55), K.Mewis; Smith (Williams, 46), Macario (Hatch, 46), Purce (Rodman, 56).
New Zealand -- Nayler; Bott, Moore (Stott, 39), Bunge, Riley (Anton, 73); Hassett (Cleverly, 22), Percival, Bowen; Satchell (Hand, 73), Wilkinson (Rolston, 73), Chance (Rennie, 46).
Yellow cards: USA -- none; New Zealand -- Bott 12, Bunge 70.
Red cards: none.
Referee: Maria Belen Carvajal (Chile).

USA/New Zealand
Shots: 19/6
Shots on target: 4/1
Saves: 2/2
Corner Kicks: 10/1
Fouls: 5/9
Offside: 1/0
Possession: 58%/42%

18 comments about "USA-New Zealand SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings".
  1. James Madison, February 20, 2022 at 8:41 p.m.

    IMHO, IMHO, another disappointing match---Lots of athleticism, but poor decision making, hasty and sloppy passing, dsiconnects---all of which leads to inflated numbers regarding the individual performances.  Sullivand and Mewis, deseved 6's, but no one earned more than a five; and Macario and Naeher not even that. At this stage, the younger set is not even close to the previous generation.

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, February 21, 2022 at 6:34 a.m.

    Only got to watch the 1st half of this Game; haven't seen the Czech game yet .... JM has got it Correct...
    "At this stage, the younger set is not even close to the previous generation."

    And; The Previous Generation was NOT even Close to the "PREVIOUSER" Generation, which was NOT as Good as The "PREVIOUSERER" Generation ... SEE THE PATTERN.!?!?!?
    NOT Looking Good for WORLD DOMINATION, as Occurred under Previous Generations.!!!!

  3. Hal Barnes, February 20, 2022 at 11:55 p.m.

    The above is just another negative comment by a troll. Using aged players gotnus what in Tokyo?  

  4. Kent James, February 21, 2022 at 12:48 a.m.

    I haven't seen a lot of these players before, but they sure looked pretty good. In the first half they were coming down the left wing relentlessly.  I feel sorry for Moore; 3 own goals for a team in 20 minutes is bad, much less for a player.  And they weren't horrendous errors; the US put relentless pressure on the box, and when you do that, good things happen.  I hope Moore can shake it off.  I also thought the younger generation looked pretty good.

  5. Santiago 1314 replied, February 21, 2022 at 6:41 a.m.

    I thought it was Pretty Cruel of the Coach to take her Off before Halftime; therefore Subjecting her to the "Screen Shots" on TV, of her Crying, that were sent around the World... Would have been better to wait until Halftime to takes her Off.

  6. frank schoon, February 21, 2022 at 9:04 a.m.

    I"m not impressed by what we had to offer on the field and what the US coaches are teaching our girls/women and it shows, BADLY!! Furthermore, the bad aspects of our game will not come to light quickly due to the competition we play.  The' We believe Cup' is fit and tailored for the US to win. 
    First of all, we can't build out from the back, PERIOD!. Our centerbacks,  Cook and Suarbuns are not good with the ball and lack good decision making how to build up, PURE AND SIMPLE! Yes, you can blame the coach, but I blame the P*SS POOR coaching of women soccer as a whole. These are professionals, have played on the better teams throughout their developmental years, including college, and are the better players of the player pool, so I would assume they would have been taught to do it right. That means Andonovski  with his player pool selection has only to pick the players.

    The only aspect I fault him for is picking the centerbacks who both lack good decision-making and who CAN'T DO ANYTHING WITH A BALL. Saurbuns is a DISASTER with the ball that MEANS you have to hide that particular negative aspect by having a player next her who is GOOD with the ball, IT IS CALLED BALANCE or hiding a negative!!! Well, Cook certainly won't solve that problem, she's the lesser of the two. This is why in Holland we judge defenders how good they with and without the ball, for what is good is it to win the ball and then screw it up, losing play continuity. In Italy, they only care how good you are in defending and not creating, and likewise in the US it is similar for they don't find creative backfield players. This is why at Ajax they want defenders who were formers attackers or attacking midfielders for they bring something extra to the game. Look at Barcelona in their glory days, Puyol, Alba, Dani Alves were former wingers....

    Notice there was NO CONNECTION from our centerbacks to our midfield line..Yes, we only had long balls  because we had no intermediate options ,causing most of these long balls to be 50/50 balls with our players trying to receive with their backs facing downfield with a man in their back.....
    The other option was to pass it square in the back or to the a back ,who is standing waiting to come to the feet. BACKS ARE NOT TO RECEIVE THE BALL UNLESS THEY GO ON ATTACK!!!! How often do you see a back receiving the ball, and begin to run wit the ball forwards with it....WRONG!!! 
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  7. frank schoon, February 21, 2022 at 9:39 a.m.

    So the back receives the ball in his own half ,a la Antonee Robinson, and wants to's too late for by the time the ball shifts to the flank the opposing team is shifting defensively to block. So the back decides to run 40 meters with the ball, if has the space, the opponents have enough time to put a Swanson's tv dinner in the microwave to set up defensively....

    Isn't this taught to those who seek high level coaching license at the coaching academy???of how stupid the backs are used in the build up. The secret is not pass to a back in your own half on attack but let him run without the ball until he gets to the opponent's third, then pass to him. First, not only makes it easier on him for not have to run with the ball full speed, but also he doesn't draw attention; and ofcourse the team, at the same time keeps the ball away from him more in the middle or towards the other side. Then all of sudden you make that cross pass to the back, resulting in the opponents have hardly any time to adjust and in that transistion mistakes in defense can be had....

    One good thing I saw was that our left wing had a left foot and vice versa, meaning the cross would not only bend away from the goalie and going towards our attackers but it forced the opponent's defenders having to choose between watching the man or the ball can't do both. All in all our wings could reach the endline better, thus making it more difficult for the defenders.....

    Macario, if she's to play the #9 then she should play behind the wingers, not in front, like the #6 behind the outside mids. She feels more comfortable facing the goal with the ball in front of her.
    One mistake she makes is to run to the flanks, WHY?  All that means we lose one good ball handler in front of the goal and it makes it easier for the opponents to mark her ,for she not only has her back facing the field but also places herself far away from the goal.....

    We have 3 axels, 2flanks and the midlane. WE DOMINATE the flanks, so WHY do we need to sacrifice another good player ,Macario, to go to the flanks, SHE'S WASTED THERE!!! Macario can receive a ball in front of the penalty box, shielding it well, with her back to the goal and then pass it off again to a player she's facing. I think this is where we miss the oppontunity for a give and go for a midfielder to make a run through or a shot.

  8. frank schoon, February 21, 2022 at 10:09 a.m.

    I'm worried that Macario is learning some bad habits from our style of ball. She's beginning to rely on Turbo more. For example, in the beginning she receives the ball in her own half around midfield and proceeds to make a full run downfield trying to outrun a few defenders with the ball and ofcourse fails. And another time she makes a full run from midfield 3v1 but holds on to the ball, until the penalty box ,then tries to pass but loses it while running....This is not smart.. This is the problem you have when playing with Turbo players , you pick up bad habits and no one is able to teach this to her

    I find the passing in women's soccer, not good, they lack a feel or touch in their passing. A lot of that is due to inadequate coaching and training...They employ too much power in mid-range passes and not enough in long range passes...They have difficulty ,for example, in medium range pass like from centerback toward midfield line that requires the pass to go over the head of opponents. They lack the touch or feel, rather. Because they lack touch it makes it more difficult to build out from the back because in good ,succesfull buildups you need a third man off the ball to make run upfield to receive the one-touch pass from the teammate ahead of him.

    In this game, Fox  was wide open on the flanks at times but could not get the ball from Cook for it was too far , so Cook elects to pass medium range straight up to a midfielder with a man in back and created ball loss.

    The problem is in training the players spend too much with passes that are short, hard and with the inside of the foot. It's a necessary pass , one of many types. It is seen as the quickest and shortest between 2 points. But I think, many forget that you have to consider "OPEN SPACE" as well, and that might not necessarily by the shortest and fastest but the most UNEXPECTED PASS!!!!! This is what soccer is all about, making the action that is unpredictable. 

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, February 23, 2022 at 11:41 p.m.

    Frank you have just identified one of the biggest problems with player development in the US. (Except you left out that they use the inside of one foot.)

    Typically coaches care more about winning matches than developing players.

  10. John Soares, February 21, 2022 at 1:22 p.m.

    Considering there was only one field "starter" from just a year ago.
    I thought the team  did very well.
    Most showed real promise, (maybe short on experience) and will fill in the gaps as older players leave.
    In future games performance should improve as there will be a better mix of  senior/experienced players on the field.
    Can't help  but feel bad for  Moore, agree with earlier comment. Coach should have waited another 4 minutes until halftime.

  11. John Soares, February 21, 2022 at 1:22 p.m.

    Considering there was only one field "starter" from just a year ago.
    I thought the team  did very well.
    Most showed real promise, (maybe short on experience) and will fill in the gaps as older players leave.
    In future games performance should improve as there will be a better mix of  senior/experienced players on the field.
    Can't help  but feel bad for  Moore, agree with earlier comment. Coach should have waited another 4 minutes until halftime.

  12. Santiago 1314, February 21, 2022 at 2:35 p.m.

    Finally got around to watching Both Games Completely:
    Unfortunately, My Analsis from Olympic Debacle Holds True; 10yr Gap and Nothing in NWSL

    1. Santiago 1314 replied, August 2, 2021 at 4:10 p.m.

      Thank God It's Over... It was like Watching some Greek Tragedy... Sad to see so Many "Heroes" go Out as LOSERS...  I Blame the "Gods" of USSF, and Pay-to-Play Youth Coaches.... Giving Players Year-Around Contracts to Play, meant Complacency by Players and Coaches(No Promotion/Relegation Allowed)... Youth Coaches that have "Beaten" the Individual Abilities out of our Younger Players... There is NO Way that so Many Players on a National Team should be so Old.( But I Fear a 10 year Gap between Older Players and New Crop)(Just like the Men).... We will have to Go Younger and get the Best Players into Pro Acadamies and Overseas Teams to By-Pass current Issues(Just Like the Men Have Done)

    2. Santiago 1314 replied, August 2, 2021 at 5:22 p.m.

      Hal.... I haven't really watched much of the NWSL ... Could you(Or Anyone Else) Give us a List of "Up and Coming " players to Watch.???... Gracias, Santi
      p.s.(i'm being a little bit Sarcastic, because I dòn't think THEY are Out there.???...I hope you Prove me wrong)

  13. Santiago 1314 replied, February 21, 2022 at 2:48 p.m.

    I actually "Forced" Myself to watch NWSL after I made that Comment...
    I could only take about 3 weeks worth... Did NOT find any Up and Coming USA Talent;
    That will Improve the Immediate Situation...
    Rodman Crying on the Field and the Bench... Leaves her Team (1) Player Short for Last 10 minutes of the game, after Knee Knock and Elbow to Face.... Rub some Dirt in it and Play ON.!!! It was Not a Twisting/ACL type Injury

  14. Bob Ashpole replied, February 23, 2022 at 11:48 p.m.

    I disagree in one aspect. I blame the coaches, not the players. For generations now, players play how the coaches tell them. Also players are what the coaches make them in development. It isn't just skills, its attitude too. It isn't the same game as when we were young. I greatly regret the law changes that allowed coaching from the sideline. That along with the addition of substitutions  allow coaches to control play on the field to the detriment of the sport. 

    Given who Rodman is, I bet she hasn't had one coach that didn't coddle her.

  15. R2 Dad, February 23, 2022 at 12:14 a.m.

    Go watch the Spain/Germany highlights from the Arnold Clark Cup tourney, to see what we are up against. Spain dominated Germany, which is a stand in for the USWNT. 

  16. Santiago 1314 replied, February 23, 2022 at 10:34 a.m.

    Yes R2, I saw that game also... Spainish Women, who I have Long Criticized, are on the "March" to being the Best Team in Europe... They "ManHandled" Germany... I think the and France would be a Good Game... Lots of Twitch and Turns and Taps and Flicks... Worth Watching.!!!

  17. Bob Ashpole, February 23, 2022 at 11:33 p.m.

    I am so disappointed in Vlatko. This match set back US Soccer 20 years. In short, the US play was artless. Vlatko turned the game into a track event. No possesion, just kick and run like watching 99% of the "elite" youth club teams. Playing exactly like the college teams I played against in the mid-80s.

    Why am I disappointed in the coach? Because the only thing he could possibly be evaluating is how well the players do kick and run soccer. This should not be the direction that the future of US soccer goes.

  18. Santiago 1314 replied, February 25, 2022 at 1:56 a.m.

    Bob, You get what you Pay for.!!!... Vlatko makes 1/3 what Ggg makes and LESS Than what the USSF paid Ellis as an "AMBASSADOR."!?!?!?... WTF is that about.???

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