Commentary

USA-Colombia Women's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-COLOMBIA EXPRESS:
June 25 in Commerce City, Colorado
USA 3 Colombia 0. Goals: Smith 54, 59, Kornieck 90.
Att.: 17,143.
* * * * * * * * * *

In its first of two friendlies against Colombia, the USA defeated a resilient foe, 3-0. The Americans, who squandered two penalty kicks, played most of the match in Colombia’s half and finally found their breakthrough in the 54th minute. A combination of last-ditch Colombian defending and an uncoordinated American attacking had made for an awkward, disjointed first half. The quality of the U.S. team showed in its defense and possession in midfield. In the attack, the Americans got the ball in behind early and often but were missing their shooting boots for much of the match. Colombia clogged the spine of the field with a five-woman backline and a trio of defensive midfielders. Colombia tired in the second half and the USA played some pretty soccer en route to what ended up being a comfortable win. Sophia Smith scored twice, in the 54th and 59th minute. The 6-foot-1 Taylor Kornieck scored in her debut.

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

GOALKEEPER

Casey Murphy did not face a shot against Colombia. She distributed well but was also never under pressure.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Casey Murphy (NC Courage) 5/0 (26)

DEFENDERS

The U.S. backline stood strong and imposed their physical, technical and tactical dominance over a measly Colombian attack. Becky Sauerbrunn and Alana Cook won their aerial duels and fed the ball to the U.S. midfielders early and often. Kelley O’Hara had an excellent cross to Lindsey Horan that created one of the best chances of the first half. Left back Emily Fox participated in the U.S. attack and performed her defensive duties assuredly.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

6
Kelley O’Hara (Washington Spirit) 153/2 (33)

5
Alana Cook (OL Reign) 10/0 (25)

6
Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 203/0 (37)

6
Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 14/0 (23)

MIDFIELDERS

Rose Lavelle grew into the game and her runs from deep wreaked havoc on the Colombian backline. For USA’s opening goal, she won a 50/50 midfield ball and drilled an expertly weighted through ball to Smith. Five minutes later, Lavelle stole a loose ball and played another superb pass to Smith, who scored her second of the night. It would have been a complete performance but for a bad miss in the first half and a saved penalty kick. Lindsey Horan also failed to convert a penalty kick and looked lethargic in the final third. Her halftime replacement, Ashley Sanchez, breathed exciting offensive energy into the U.S. midfield. Defensive midfielder Andi Sullivan  played a calm, disciplined game before subbing out in the 73rd minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 72/20 (27

7
Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 28/3 (26)

4 
Lindsey Horan (Lyon/FRA) 110/25 (28)

FORWARDS

It was a tale of two halves for the American strike force. Ashley Hatch struggled to find space in a busy Colombian box and left at halftime. Sophia Smith struggled in the first half — she could’ve easily had two in the opening 20 minutes — but rebounded well in the second by putting away her two one-on-ones. Mallory Pugh missed a tap-in in the first half and squandered a few other half chances in the second.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

8
Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 16/6 (21)

4
Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) 9/4 (27)

4
Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 73/23 (23)

SUBSTITUTES

Ashley Sanchez showcased some nice dribbling skills on the left flank and took advantage of a tired Colombian defense. She created several good chances for the USA and was the most exciting of the U.S. subs. Her crosses could have been more accurate. Alex Morgan won USA’s second penalty kick, which was saved after a poor shot by Lavelle. Taylor Kornieck became the 248th player to play for the U.S. women’s national team. At 6-foot-1 Kornieck is also the tallest to play for the USA. She celebrated her debut with a nice header goal, assisted by a Megan Rapinoe free kick, in the 90th minute.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Alex Morgan (OL Reign) 191/115

7
Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 8/2

6
Sophia Huerta (OL Reign) 13/0 (29)

7
Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave) 1/1 (23)

7
Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 39/5 (31)

6
Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 188/62 (36)

TRIVIA: Saturday's victory extended the USA's home unbeaten streak to 68 games (61 wins, seven ties). It outscored its opponents 258-28 during that run.

June 25 in Commerce City, Colorado
USA 3 Colombia 0. Goals: Smith 54, 59, Kornieck 90.
USA — Murphy; O'Hara (Huerta, 61), Cook, Sauerbrunn, Fox; Lavelle (Kornieck, 73), Sullivan (K.Mewis, 73), Horan (Sanchez, 46); Smith, Hatch (Morgan, 46), Pugh (Rapinoe, 77).
Colombia — Perez; D.Arias, Carabali, Ramos (Acosta, 68); C.Arias, Montoya (Morales, 75), Bedoya, Vanegas; Salazar (Ospina, 59); Santos (Caicedo, 75), Usme (Bahr, 63).
Yellow cards — none. Red cards — none.
Referee: Carly Shaw-MacLaren (Canada)
Att.: 17,143.


Stats:
USA/Colombia
Shots: 22/1
Shots on target: 8/0
Saves: 0/5
Corner Kicks: 5/0
Fouls: 7/17
Offside: 0/0
Possession: 72%/28%

29 comments about "USA-Colombia Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Bob Ashpole, June 26, 2022 at 1:08 a.m.

    I didn't see much difference in the two halfs. The only difference was the substitutes with their fresh legs added some much needed energy.

    The problem I saw was that the team was playing down to the oponent's level. Playing too slow. Especially in the final third and taking too many touches inside the penalty area. Same problems in the second half. Too slow, too many touches. Some bad positioning, especially in the second half.

    On top of that Pugh just had an off night. Don't know why, but it happens sometimes. You can't be your "best" all the time by definition. You put it past you and focus on the next match. 

    Regarding Horan's rating, you should take into acount she was double teamed constantly and had 3 defenders on her whenever she received the ball. 

    Not mentioned about Alex Morgan was that she was the decoy runner on the successful 3rd goal restart play. She cleared out 2 defenders to leave space for an unmarked Kornieck to score. That deserved as much credit as the others got for the 3rd goal.

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 1:12 a.m.

    I want to explain about Horan. The double team on Horan means that the other 9 field players were playing 9v7, but they moved so slow that they didn't punish Colombia for the unbalanced defense. I think that helps explain my comments.

  3. Kent James replied, June 26, 2022 at 11:16 a.m.

    Yeah, subs can really bring life to a game.  

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 3:25 p.m.

    Kent: Putting in "fresh legs" to have them run up and down the field at top speed adds energy, but it is a brain dead coaching move. That is conventional college coach thinking. I expect something more from the national team coach of the defending world champions.

    At the very least I would have wanted the coach to lite a fire under the other 9 field players at half time. Apparently it didn't happen. Is the coach satisfied with the way they played? Mr. Moore-Bloom appears estatic over their play.

  5. Charles Allen replied, June 27, 2022 at 7:37 a.m.

    so right about Alex on Korniecks goal.  Finally someone astute enough to recognize her off ball play/contributions. 

  6. Kent James replied, June 28, 2022 at 11:04 a.m.

    Bob subbing is not just about fresh legs.  It can be tactical (creating mismatches in the offensive third, taking off a defender and putting on an attacker), or it can be just someone's having an off-day. But the point is subbing can change the dynamics of the game.  It can shake things up. And often, that's a good thing (at least for the spectator, not so much for the team trying to hold onto a lead).

  7. Bob Ashpole replied, June 28, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.

    Kent, your comment agrees with mine.

  8. Santiago 1314, June 26, 2022 at 9:15 a.m.

    Got to watch most of the Game, Was really more Focused on the u20 game.... Without Marcario, Looked a Lot Like the "Old" team... Too Slow and Plodding... Maybe the "New" Generation is being "Dumbed" Down by the "Old" Generation that was Brought In.???

  9. frank schoon, June 26, 2022 at 9:16 a.m.

    First to start out with is the color of the shorts which should be WHITE. The US color scheme is too dark. Just like wearing white socks appear to make you look faster. We are the better team and colors should reflect our presence. The columbian team had yellow which was nice...But wearing dark socks and dark shorts in an already dark team jersey doesn't do it....

    I saw nothing on the USWNT that I was impressed with. No changes, or additional details of the game,a new way of bringing sophistication of play...It is the same ole' stuff. We don't seem to build from the previous cylce. For example, there is no 3rd man of the ball ,movement and passing.

    Their passing is so inefficient around midfield line. They pass to soon without fully making the opponent commit. For example, Fox or the left centerback has the ball, lets say. An opponent appears to come but the ball is quickly passed negating the opponent's commitment and the open space that would result behind the opponent to be used by us. The ball is pass sides square, to next open teammate who perhaps has open opponent not too far away, thus giving the opponent  time to rush our other receiver of the pass forcing us to go long, or square back to the initial passer. The Golden rule of building up is the pass should 'beat' the opponent, instead we get tons of square passes or back to the goalie.  In other words these types of passes don't create or do anything, or create a solution. They pass with the attitude in mind of just shifting the problem to the next player as if to say " you go do something with it".  WE JUST HAVE NOT PROGRESSED ONE IOTA IN OUR SOPHISTICATION OF PLAY...

    We are poor in long balls, as far as accuracy and touch, the crosses are awful, or the direct kicks. Even the penalty kick by Horan was taken poorly. Her initial positioning behind the ball was OK ,but as she made her approach to the ball she was directly in line behind the ball, which made it more difficult for her right kicking leg, making it more predictable where the ball will go. If I was to execute in that fashion I would have employed the outside of the right foot, making it go in the opposite direction or you toe it giving it a clockwise spin....

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  10. frank schoon, June 26, 2022 at 9:58 a.m.

    None of the women seem to have a touch on the ball when passing ,especially medium to long balls. They all pass employing hip motion instead of upper thigh allowing the leg to follow through..It is like when you try to catch egg thrown at you by following through with touch instead of catching it, it won't break. I would expect women who are more sensitive than men to have that ability, to have a better feel on the ball in the passing category. But unfortunately their touch on the ball like a pre-WW2 Russian tractor, like you see with the men's touch in the MLS...American players as a whole lack touch on the ball, this is why our man going to Europe to play are the worker bees, Turbo stars, contruction workers, fighters, which you do need but that's the types are produced as a whole mostly.

    Even left footed players are known for having a better touch on the ball than right footed , that is why left footed players are worth their weight in gold in soccer. It seems that a leftfooted player is more leftfooted than a right footed player is right footed. This is why, great left footed players were not speedy or turbo types, but ones who a creative feel and touch. This is WHY you want a lefthalf to be leftfooted and don't let him make the throw-ins, for he is the balance mechanism for attacks on the rightside of the field, he expands the vision of field view for the right flank as well the tempo of attack. A leftfooted lefthalf has more passing options than a rightfooted lefthalfback, and since we don't follow that concept of play, it just bares out why Pulisic is limited on his attack penetrating-wise.

    Look at Lavel, who is an engine on the field, she thrives when she moves, that's her makeup. She was the star of last nights game, for without her this game would have been 0-0. Our front line was useless on attack without her.  But here is where Lavel is weak, she can't even score a goal with her right foot 3meters from the goal, for which twice she had the opportunity....I don't just don't get it... This is a reflection on poor coaching and training she's gotten from supposedly top coaches...I would be embarrassed as a coach, if she had played for me, in how she failed to score for that was a simple technical execution to learn which should not happen at this level....Likewise, I would be embarrassed as a coach to see how Morgan fails to position properly ahead of time to score. She needs to study Gerd Muller, in how to score, for he likewise was no technical Rembrandt in soccer but knew how to position ahead of time


  11. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 11:07 a.m.

    Frank, on the generally inaccurate passing, I am not sure if it was just a bad night for the entire team or a lack of skill. It was mid-season for them, but they were playing like it was pre-season. I know some of the players had not been getting many minutes with their clubs so I expected them to be off.

    Re Lavelle, yeah I cringed when she played that tap in awkwardly with her left foot instead of her right. That is correctable and her coaches should be jumping on that today. It may take a 1000 strikes in front of the goal, but sooner or later her brain will be rewired for in front of the goal to use whatever foot is quicker. 

  12. frank schoon replied, June 26, 2022 at 11:31 a.m.

    Bob, You mean to tell that finally at the age of 27 sees is going to be told, by the national team coaching staff about this flaw....if that will  even happen , especially when you look at what happened to Morris being placed on the left flank by a US coaching staff twice without realizing what a strategic that decision... 

    What Rose Lavelle did in this game is not a reflection on the National team coaches in this case but upon pisspoor coaching and development of women's soccer  for her to make such a simple technical mistake at this stage of her playing career....

  13. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 11:01 p.m.

    Yes Frank, but you know better than me how many older players reinvented themselves to extend their career and how the best players never stop working to improve.

    What I am talking about is exactly what national team training camps are supposed to be about.

    You know the coaching situation and I don't, but I can't believe that any decent coach would not help a player improve. And all my complaints about national team coaches is because they aren't perfect. I expect that they are all competent decent coaches. It is just this team isn't a Sunday beer league team or even some national team ranked #150 in the world. Merely decent and competent aren't good enough.

  14. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 8:45 a.m.

    Bob, in soccer you can't reinvent yourself. After the age of 20 you basically have become the player you are...Your moving with the ball, your control, all the kinetic stuff is basically set. What you can do at times is to improve your left foot crosses, or left foot shots, the singular type of action. For example ,Cruyff's goal against Brazil in WC'74 came from a cross from the left back, Ruud Krol, who is in fact rightfooted, but he practiced 30min. after practice for a long time to be able to make a leftfooted cross. Cruyff pointed this out and thanked Kroll for his effort and work paying off....

    Or just by playing as you get older you pick up nuances that improve one's read of the game. But you can't reinvent yourself....That's like asking Maradona, to change his role and play as leftback.
    As you get older, players begin to make difficult things look more simple, because of their playing experience. But Lavel at 27 makes something so simple look difficult. How can a player with her backround and experience, this close to the goal not able to use her weak foot....Nobody needs to tell you by the age of 27, for if you haven't been able to figure that one out by yourself that you have a problem shooting the ball from 2-3 meters that close to the goal, then you're either lazy to improve oneself, lack intelligence to figure this out , and or Bad coaching.......Take your pick for that's where it's riding on...

  15. Bob Ashpole replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:02 a.m.

    Franz Bechenbauer is the most famous example that came to mind. Ryan Giggs successfully moved to CM at age 35.

    Ben Olsen was the first player that came to mind. (He was a winger that switched to holding midfielder after a horrible injury while on trial with an English club caused by a "teammate" not in a match.)

    Carli Lloyd turned into a goal scoring machine after she turned 30. She even hired personal coaches to help her improve. 

  16. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Those changes involved less running and more passing the off....Playing wing takes a lot out of you. Beckenbauer began as winger ,than moved back to midfield which required a lot of running for that what Germans do and then moved to sweeper. Remember in the old day a great player would back to defense as a sweeper, La Blance, and many more...did that. I can't think of the German who played for Bayern called Matteus? a midfield attacker who ended up as sweeper...It is easy to change to another position if it required less work.... Hennie Cruyff ,as his brother joked, ,once told me he could play sweeper to the age of a hundred...."

  17. Bob Ashpole replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:27 a.m.

    Lothar Matthaus. I didn't mention him because he only switched right before he retired. Definitely not in the same class as Beckenbauer.

    You know alot more about coaching than I ever did, but my view is that this type of change depends heavily on the players mentality more than anything else. It takes a special person to change after a lengthy period of success. Change is a risk.

  18. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:33 a.m.

    Bob, it is not a risk, if you can do the job that is less required of you...Soccer is a simple game, and the older guys see the simplicity with much more fluidity...Look at Zlatan at 40, know exactly what he needs to do with the thrills...and if we still have a libero he could play that with no problem....


  19. frank schoon, June 26, 2022 at 1:10 p.m.

    Bob, it is not that you have an offnight on passing this about the general technical of women passing...they lack a certain which they always have a problem with....I think women, like the men, here should spend an inordinate amount of time doing passing games , like tennis soccer 3v3, or against the wall. Where do ever see girls play tennis soccer or pickup....never...
    Girls are trained by going to practice, making them too formal, and lacking good intuition....This is why you see girls get injured alot because they are not careful or anticipate enough..

  20. Bob Ashpole replied, June 26, 2022 at 11:19 p.m.

    Frank, I think I am dated. I think Horan is the best passer in the current pool. For an obvious reason she is not a turbo player and didn't develop that way.

    In the 1980s and 1990s it was different. The best of those women played with and against men both organized and pickup. So they were competing against bigger stronger faster players. And in adult soccer those are the women that I played against. I can personally attest that April Heinrichs had great ball skills. I am pretty certain that many of the others did too.

    For the last generation USSF has locked players into a rigid development environment structured by age and gender and limited to USSF teams. Now the player pool is paying for that.

  21. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 9:17 a.m.

    Bob, whether Horan is the best passer on this team, I can't say..I would really have to study this. You see passing is more than just showing good execution.
    Part One; Lets take the most simplest pass ,a short 10meters pass with the inside of the foot. Lets his execution is excellent! Next step, ACCURACY; Next, does the ball go to the correct foot, meaning too the far foot away from the defender or to the correct foot, whereby she only only touches it to the 3rd man off the ball on the run; Next, does her passes have the right velocity,always.

    Here comes the second part.  NEXT, does the manner of the pass she gives not slow down the tempo or speed of the game. For example does she try to pass in a way that can speed up the game, like always passing in front the opponent on the run. Next, does pass with the intent of going on attack,forwards, or does she pass off only because doesn't want to lose the ball and therefore shift the problem to the next player. Next, does she pass to a player that's open to shift the run of play....

    The third part is to go back to Part One, and ask if the simple pass, the inside of the foot pass ,that is perfectly executed, is that the best pass to give. Should that have to another player that would have contributed better movement of the ball. So these Idiots with their computer program can say , 'he made a 100 perfect passes ,also executed well, but was it the best pass ,should it have gone somewhere else that would have opened the game up.....

    So this is why I say, I'm whether she is the best passer because I really haven't studied to say she is. You're right, she's not Turbo and therefore her passes 'show' better and perhaps they are better executed because from a more stationary setting....From the look of things we don't have good passers, and perhaps Horan might, relatively speaking....

    A good passer can be a playmaker, who exhibits various passing skills....


  22. Bob Ashpole replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:20 a.m.

    Frank, Horan is just coming back from a knee injury. She was out for several months. So she isn't 100% yet. 

    Why I said that was because she is tactically fast, smart, good vision, with accurate, timely, well placed passes to feet. While I suspect you could find a lot of room for improvement, she compares well against the other players in the US pool. This is why the US coaches have used her as both attacking mid and holding mid.

  23. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 11:36 a.m.

    Bob, yes , I would place Horan higher than the others ony because she is less turbo and thereby it makes her game easier to play and execute for she has others running with foam on the mouth

  24. James Madison, June 26, 2022 at 1:52 p.m.

    The ratings fot the subs are more than generous, except that Korniec deserves a 6, i.e., a plus one for a nice goal.  Pugh was awful. Why she takes CKs and DFKs when she cannot clear the first defender is a mysterry. Lavelle, who was otherwise brilliant, over-thought her penalty. All she needed to do was plan ahead for one low corner or the other and then strike the ball well. it will get past the GK even if the GK guesses correctly

  25. Wooden Ships, June 26, 2022 at 3:11 p.m.

    Spain 7-Australia 0. That was womens international news of the day. 

  26. uffe gustafsson, June 26, 2022 at 3:12 p.m.

    I saw 3 players w great dribbling skills, labella, smith and sanchez. And rapino showed her pieces skills the light touch to the rookie header goal. And the freekicks just outside upper corner. Second half was fun to watch.
    this new crop of players will continue the team to be a real force.

  27. Lucian Dajdea, June 26, 2022 at 3:18 p.m.

    First half no position all around the ball plenty of freel space on the  other side of the field.W hen VLatko got up ...position of players changed
    .Morgan excellen decoy but not to good for controlling the ball.Sanches will be next best future player


  28. Wayne Norris, June 26, 2022 at 3:44 p.m.

    Same comment as most recent games......how do you rate players when the opponent is so overmatched?

    More important ..... how does coaching staff evaluate how players will perform agains Sweden, England, etc from games like this?

    No blame.....just USWNT current situation...

  29. frank schoon replied, June 27, 2022 at 9:19 a.m.

    Wayne, I don't even look at the ratings of these players....this whole exercise is a joke....Like you say playing these minnows throws things out of perspective

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