Spain-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings

Oct. 11 in Pamplona
Spain 2 USA 0. Goals: Codina 39, Gonzalez 72.
Att.: 11,209.

* * * * * * * * * *

The USA lost, 2-0, to Spain and its second consecutive game for the first time in over five years. Players looked tired and lacked tempo — especially in the second half — and failed to create quality looks at goal.

Missing for the USA were a half dozen players normally in and around the starting XI — including Catarina Macario, Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh up front and Emily Fox in concussion protocols after exiting in the first half in Friday's 2-1 loss to England. For Spain, 15 players asked not to be called up due to an ongoing dispute with the Spanish soccer federation concerning Coach Jorge Vilda's treatment of his players. Also missing: injured stars Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso.

The first 45 minutes presented the USA with the bulk of the ball and most of it was spent in Spain’s half. Plenty of dangerous balls were swung into the box, but few good chances were created. In the second half, Spain grew in confidence and scored a superb team goal finished off brilliantly by Esther Gonzalez in the 72nd minute to clinch the win.

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


Casey Murphy played out of the back well and was let down by her defense on Spain’s two goals. She did well to back pedal and save an errant cross that was going in. Murphy parried away a cross poorly in the second half and was lucky there wasn’t a Spanish attacker to capitalize on her error.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Casey Murphy (NC Courage) 10/0 (26)


Hailie Mace made some good attacking forays with the ball, especially in the first half. She dragged players out of position often on her inside runs but coughed it up a couple times when she was under little pressure. Alana Cook was solid in possession but failed to organize her backline on both of Spain’s goals. Becky Sauerbrunn retained the ball well but was caught ball watching on both of Spain’s goals. Carson Pickett, who arrived in camp on Saturday as a replacement for Fox, slipped on the corner that led to Spain’s opening goal and missed her second chance to clear the ball. She struggled to combine with Megan Rapinoe on the left side.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Hailie Mace (KC Current) 7/0 (25)

Alana Cook (OL Reign) 18/0 (25)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 210/0 (37)

Carson Pickett (NC Courage) 2/0 (29)


Rose Lavelle started her game strong, winning fouls and finding space around Spain’s five-deep backline but then faded from the game as the USWNT opted to bypass the midfield and look for balls over the top. Andi Sullivan was calm in possession and covered the defenders behind her well, but could not break down Spain’s defense with many line-breaking passes. For the second game in a row she was left isolated by Lindsey Horan and Lavelle against a ball-loving team. Horan won several attacking headers but could not get them on frame. For her standards, she was sloppier in possession than usual.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Rose Lavelle 
(OL Reign) 82/22 (27)

Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 35/3 (26)

Lindsey Horan (Lyon, FRA) 120/26 (28)


The frontline looked best in the first half, when it was fresh and had the ball in Spain’s half for long periods of time. Megan Rapinoe had three threatening crosses and overhit two corners. Her lack of pace forced her into a bad tackle that resulted in the game’s first yellow card. Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman, who combined well on Friday against England, did not create high-value chances though they did have plenty of the ball. In general, the USA attack was disjointed and tame, especially in the second half when Spain had the lion’s share of the ball.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age

Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) 9/2 (20)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 196/62 (37)

Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 25/11 (21)


Ashley Hatch had the USA’s two best chances of the second half. Her second was a top-of-the-box shot that bounced harmlessly in front of Spain’s goalkeeper. She did well to take a good first touch and shot inside the box minutes before, but it was blocked. Sam Coffey did not improve play when she replaced Sullivan as the defensive midfielder. She lost the ball multiple times without much pressure on her. Crystal Dunn got burned on Spain’s build-up to the second goal. Alyssa Thompson had a couple good touches but could not make an impact on the game. Sofia Huerta (playing on restricted minutes) and Ashley Sanchez also had little impact.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) 14/4 (27)

Crystal Dunn (NC Courage) 125/24 (30)

Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns) 3/0 (23)

Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 23/0 (29)

Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 16/3 (23)

Alyssa Thompson (Total Futbol Academy) 2/0 (17)

TRIVIA: The loss marks the USWNT’s first back-to-back defeats in which it conceded multiple goals since 2001.

NOTABLE:  The attendance of 11,209 at Pamplona's Estadio El Sadar was the highest for a Spanish women's national team home game.

Oct. 11 in Pamplona
Spain 2 USA 0. Goals: Codina 39, Gonzalez 72.
Spain — Rodriguez; Hernandez, Codina, Galvez, Andres, Carmona, Lopez, Oroz (Azkona 90, Zornoza, Redondo (Del Castillo 56), Gonzalez (Cardona 82).
USA — Murphy; Mace (Huerta 62), Cook, Sauerbrunn, Pickett (Dunn 62), Lavelle (Thompson 73), Sullivan (Coffey 62) Horan, Rodman (Hatch, 46), Smith, Rapinoe (Sanchez 64).
Yellow cards:
Spain — none; USA — Rapinoe 51, Thompson 74.
Referee: Deborah Bianchi (Italy)
Att.: 11,209.

Shots: 8/10
Shots on target: 3/2
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 7/4
Fouls: 10/15
Offside: 0/2
Possession: 52%/48%

Photo: Brad Smith/ISI Photos
39 comments about "Spain-USA Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Santiago 1314, October 11, 2022 at 9:28 p.m.

    Humm.???... Can't beat a u15 boys Team and Now can't Beat a u17 Spanish Girls Team.!?!?!?... Not Looking Promising at the Moment.???

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, October 12, 2022 at 4:10 a.m.

    Match analysis is not my strong suit, but for what it is worth here is my impression. I thought Smith and Rapinoe were ok in the first half. What I am not seeing enough is the team connecting. 

    I saw too much north-south and east-west direction of play. Predictably, the north-south movement clogged up with players running away from the ball. The east-west passes were too risky. Missing was the diagonal passing and movements that pull apart the defenses.

    The other thing I sensed was that the "pivot" was missing. The team was disconnected. If the team was a body, the hips were not connected to the upper torso, making the team shape uncoordinated movements.

    Here's an example of what I mean. A back was trailing in support of a midfielder with the ball, but the back was trailing directly behind the midfielder instead of offset to one side or the other. The midfielder couldn't locate the trailing back and made a bad back pass under heavy pressure. That is what I mean by too much north-south and what I consider bad positioning on the part of the trailing back. An adult professional player. Fundamentals! This reflects poorly on the coaches too. The coach needs to eliminate the bad habits or not select the player. Selecting players with bad habits is a problem that better coaching would have avoided. Too many coaches select physical size over skill and brains.

  3. John Sabala replied, October 12, 2022 at 4:30 a.m.

    You are stating a lot of the same things from what I saw and put in my post. Unlike you I am a total left brain guy who does analysis with everything.  There was no passing with a purpose..aka this pass is meant to break lines, create space or penetrate.  As you stated players are not positioned correctly and as a professional players this is inexcusable.  It then leads me back to lack of leadership in the coaches and on the pitch. There was no visible plan of how we were going to attack Spain. Unless we thought we would just roll over them since their first 17 players (15 in protest and 2 with injuries) were not even in the stadium.  Either way this falls back to coaching and leadership again.  Don't think teams are not paying attention to this to see how to break and score on the US.  It is coming.  It is amazing how both teams men and women are both inept offensively and defesivley despite having superior talent.....again takes me back to coaching and leadership.  After halftime Spain beleive they were going to win the game and played accordingly.  I plan to travel to Australia this next summer on vacation and plan to catch a couple of group games......not looking like a good proposition at this point.

  4. Philip Carragher replied, October 12, 2022 at 10:47 a.m.

    I think the team looked tired. Their legs looked tired, no bounce in their step. I was excited to see Smith again, and her legs looked heavy. Very different than her spriteness against England. This reminded me of when my son's U14 team went to the midwest playoffs and for some reason the coach had them train exceptionally hard the morning of a late afternoon game.? Crazy, they could hardly move and lost. As far as Rapinoe goes, she had some superb crosses and one that should have been finished. Also, how many players, men or women, do you know that are really good with both feet? Maybe having her in a different position or handled differently would accentuate the superior skills she has and disguise some of her conditioning shortfalls. But that's above my pay grade.

  5. Chance Hall, October 11, 2022 at 9:55 p.m.

    How long before they figure out it's time for peeno to go?  Another game showing her lack of speed. Time to bring in a younger faster better player. There are lots to choose from. Do the right thing. No more politics - time to play soccer!

  6. Scott Chaney, October 11, 2022 at 11:40 p.m.

    Rapinoe is so slow. Time to go! Smith has no field vision at all. Coach, teach your defenders how to mark-up properly. They are lazy and lost. Worse, your lineup is weak. Wake up. 

  7. R2 Dad, October 11, 2022 at 11:52 p.m.

    Better get used to it--this is what it's going to look like in the knockout stages of the next world cup. 

  8. Denny W, October 11, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.

    They played all of those patsy teams and talked about how good they are and how the young players are so advanced. Now they play some competition and they don't show up. Julie Foudy is two sided. They pound the patsy teams and she is thrilled how the young players played.  Today she makes excuses for them because they are young. Their first touch is horrible they can't hold on to the ball. They have time to improve but I'm not holding my breath

  9. R2 Dad replied, October 12, 2022 at 7:10 p.m.

    "Their first touch is horrible they can't hold on to the ball. " Your comment reminded me the Nats have always known this fact but have done litte-to-nothing about it. Still calling in the same profile players with the same characteristics. Still shifting blame on the player pool, saying they can only pick from what clubs have to offer. Other FAs in other countries are proactive, getting into communities, demonstrating desired skills to players and coaches, ignoring coaches who talk about winning over player development (not fast-tracking them), tracking all players and not just the early bloomers. Are our U17's playing better/different from the WNT, or are long balls, kicking and running still the focus? When Spain scalps Vlatko (again), or we don't get to the semis, changing the head coach is not going to be good enough. I'm gonna want heads further up the chain. Real change will be needed, USSF, not "these aren't the droids you're looking for" kind of happy talk we have always gotten.

  10. Wooden Ships replied, October 13, 2022 at 1:25 a.m.

    Excellent R2. This goes back decades, style-technical abilities of players, who we identify and bring aboard. How Catarina has slipped in there is the exception. We are and have been deceived in understanding what a player should be. I've witnessed it first hand since the 60's/70's. Those in charge have been parochial and exclusionary. It's finally being exposed. Discussion of an alternative to the USSF is imminent, tragically may come to roost after this next year. Folks, there's been a real decline in technical-creative soccer in this country, at least with national teams. 

  11. John Sabala, October 12, 2022 at 3:25 a.m.

     Again Coaching Preparation,
    If England was not the wake up call USSF needed, the loss to Spain's full B team should be the exclamation about the needed change in leadership.  First half, Spain sat back in a low block and countered, but realized after the first 45 they could exploit the US.  The lack of connecting play was even more apparent in this match.  Again the left side of the defense was shown to be inadequate with most attacks coming down that side.  We once again resorted to our long ball approach.  Again Horan should have played the #6 with both Sanchez and Lavelle playing as the attacking midfielders.  Our outside backs are inadequate both defending and in the attack.  Mace just fouled players relentlessly, Pickett managed to break up some plays, but could offer nothing in connecting to the midfield or front three.  THe US is not going to be able to just physically dominate opponents anymore.  Europe has caught up to us in this regard.  Next on the plate is Germany so hold onto your hats and look for more consecutive losses coming up. This is the first time I can think of where there was no leadership on the field that took charge of the team, to will the group to play, a lot of individual action taking place.  This should be a major concern for us as who will be the general on the pitch in a match.

  12. Santiago 1314 replied, October 12, 2022 at 3:57 p.m.

    Full "C" Team... 17 players OUT,
    Plus, some of the "B" team were probably Injured, or Out "Mysteriously".
    Might have been the "B-" Team at the Best, or "C+" Team.

  13. frank schoon, October 12, 2022 at 9:21 a.m.

    This is a wake up call for women's/girls soccer....We've played Japan, England and Spain and the one thing you can say is that they have SURPASSED us in soccer.  This was coming but I didn't think this fast. You can only do so much when you rely strictly on talent and athleticism. We've ruled the roost in women's soccer for the past 30 years but not due playing great soccer, far from it. The other countries were behind us and if it weren't for the UNITED STATES they probably would not have invested and build a women's/girls soccer program, themselves. This is what I love about America 'we initiate', we are a pro-active nation and a special nation although some don't think so, but as a European ,myself, this world would be one damn boring place without an Americana and its culture on this planet.

    Blaming this coach for our lack of development as compared to what you see now watcing Japan, England and Spain is rediculous. The NT coach chooses the best from the player pool that is offered to him. The product is not lacking, the players are not well developed. If you're going to blame the coach then blame the USSF Coaching School, who license coaches whose main weakness is in the TECHNICAL side of the game. Blame those coaches who coach and train the girls from the age 16 and up, who work with the elite side, the more talented girl teams.  These coaches have done a LOUSY job and they are getting paid for producing an inferior product... But they are licensed coaches, and they have license to ruin your kid...that's how I see it. These coaches also are more concerned  winning instead of developing....

    It's not only the USSF coaching institution, American soccer journalism has not picked up their game,either. The readers  are not giving more inside details, interesting aspects about the game, instead we get heart-warming, human interest stories in coaching interviews, about character building,....blah , blah. These are fine and it belongs in soccer but that's about par for the course....For example, why hasn't Pepi been interviewed ask questions, like what difference did you find in the play of between German and dutch soccer players, what difference is stressed in their training procedures, what aspects have improved your game , how do the players think the game compared to Holland versus Germany....what do you think our American players need to learn from what you have in Europe....etc....Simple questions which can aid the readers and coaches....
                                               NEXT POST....


  14. frank schoon, October 12, 2022 at 9:44 a.m.

    Listening to Judy Foudy's excuses like missing players and injuries and get this, how the latest soap 'goings-on' in the pro women's soccer is influencing their game. She's clueless. Albeit her excuses, she can't explain why the Spanish team that is thrown together at a moments notice is out playing us. Santi mentioned about U17...if that's true that's really bad.

    The real question how can the Spanish, with a thrown together team outplay us....It has nothing to do with the team, it all has to do with Spanish being better soccer players. For example, they pass harder and faster than us, their first touch and control receiving  the ball is better no matter how hard the ball comes at them they can receive it,  their speed of ballhandling is so much faster, they win just about every 1v1 dribble and can evade with the ball faster under pressure than us , their long ball passes are of a much harder quality and more accurate, they can possess ball longer able to knock the ball with no problem.  Those qualities all these Spanish women have we lack makes it easy for them to make a formidable team and can only improve with time. You would not have know that this team has recently been thrown together unless it was told.

    You see where I'm getting at is that a good technical players can fit in any team that's he/she never played for. And this is what you see with the Spanish, for they are able to OPERATE AS INDIVIDUALS and still FUNCTION as part of the team. Our coaches are more concerned with the team 'operations' then the individual player operations which requires more TECHNICAL KNOW-HOW, than tactical know how. This aspect is what miss in our American coaches. This is why the Spanish throw together a team in no time and play decently without really having played together...This is why I often say most of our coaches couldn't take on a lamppost 1v1, meaning they lack reading the technical abilities of players and even lack the ability to demonstrate...

    The Spanish played a 5-3-2 and it should be an eyen opener to us that we should never attempt this joke of a system. The dutch had to played it in WC'14 in half their games for we lacked a good defense,  we were lucky to have 2 players up front a van Persie and Arjan Robben. 
                                                  NEXT POST.....

  15. frank schoon, October 12, 2022 at 10:11 a.m.

    The 5-3-2 system slowed much of the attack down, especially when the transistion to ball control near our third slows because we lack someone on the flanks up front to pass to, instead we have to wait and hold to the ball for support to follow. I won't go into the weeds with this system but if you want to play fast soccer that means the movement of the ball but if you don't have players to pass to have to wait then you're defeating the purpose of fast soccer.

     Our major weakness, in a nutshell, is ball possession, in TWO ways: One, what is the possession time after winning the ball...not good; Two, we can have the most talented players but if the opponents can hold to the ball with no problem as is seen in the last 3 games, our talent is useless for we end up chasing a ball around defensively.

    Horan, did not play a strong game although better. She should NOT be placed in a 1v1 way out near the endline . Her strength is not optimum there....She needs to have players in front of her in the opponent's third she can pass to.

    Our crosses are pathetic, on corners or on the run. That cross by Mace, I thought was going to land in the parking lot.... When you reach 18 and you can't cross and a place it decently than it reflect the poor coaching/training by the elitist team coaches. Again, a poor technical aspect of our players. We need to learn to shield the ball like the Spanish.

    Not impressed by Rodman, she has size ,strength, can run, that's about it, just Turbo who lacks nice dribbling skills on the wing....Heath is much better...

    I would like to see a player like Lavelle as CB, who has pace, can quickly go on attack with the ball, her quickness of movement will surprise the opponents in our half... We lack that in our backfield, we have two trees as reflected in today's soccer....I much prefer to see Tyler Adams as one of our CB because he has pace has midfield which would add to our backfield capability instead of having TWO TREES. The problem with out CB's in our girls and men program is the lack of balance of play, it is tooooooo similar in with our CB's 

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, October 12, 2022 at 1:02 p.m.

    Frank, you are correct of course. There is no short term fix. US coaching, both development and senior, has failed the players. This is not an easy or quick fix. Expecially since USSF has grabbed complete control of player and coaching development, especially of elite player development. That means the problem persists from top to bottom level of the game is can't be fixed unless USSF first fixes itself. USSF, however, doesn't even admit that they have a problem.  

  17. frank schoon replied, October 12, 2022 at 1:17 p.m.

    Bob ,you're right until they recognize it , it won't be fixed....

  18. ARISTIDES SASTRE replied, October 12, 2022 at 4:48 p.m.

    Frank one item that you mentioned here that I did not see before was the pace of our passing,  particularly from our backs. There was a clear difference between our passes and the Spanish passes. It made a tremendous difference in terms of their counterattacks. I had noticed this difference in a number of the other games but it was never so evident as it was in this game.

  19. frank schoon replied, October 12, 2022 at 5:03 p.m.

    Aristides, PASSING is not a strong point of the 'American game that is why we lack a good possession game  as well as the technical execution and placement

  20. Wooden Ships replied, October 13, 2022 at 1:36 a.m.

    Goodness Frank, you and I both remember it being better 50 years ago (passing) and other skills. Eric Wynalda was taking umbrage with this being the US Golden generation. And he's right. The majority of soccer and coaches don't understand. And, in this country, God forbid that the younger generation learns from the older generation. They don't know the history  and they side with science, lol. What a gullable group or "Collective." 

  21. frank schoon replied, October 13, 2022 at 8:35 a.m.

    Ships, You're so right!  I totally agree on the 'Golden Generation" umbrage of Eric's,LOLOLOLOL
    The passing , dribbling, THINKING was so much better 50 years ago...We were so lucky to have been a part of that... Geez, the only answer is to learn from the older generation, to either copy or improve.....That's the only way to learn....

    At Ajax ,that's all they use is players from previous genertions to teach the upcoming talent..Here we employ laptop coaches, with their computers on their laps sitting on the bench along with their assistant coach, mental coach, athletic coach, goalie  coach,dietician coach along with more goofballs. They almost need an extra bus for all the extra coaching braintrust. Even with these extra coaches the players have not gotten better, but worse....

    There seriously needs to be something done at the USSF and throw some of these jokers out of there. Hey ,where the president (FORGOT HER NAME) on this...I haven't heard a peep from her...

  22. Bob Ashpole replied, October 13, 2022 at 8:45 p.m.

    Frank, this is why I complain about USSF taking direct control over both coach and player development. USYSA had a panel of expert advisors that was respected world wide. But USSF pulled the rug out from under them. Didn't even use any of their materials or advisors. Pulled the rug out from under the former NSCAA too. Undercut their ability to educate and license coaches. Ditto for USSF "started from scratch". This is how USSF prevents the older generations from influencing the younger. It puts the actual USSF instructors and coaches in an impossible position choosing between pleasing USSF and promoting good soccer. 

  23. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2022 at 8 a.m.

    Bob,check this out....Didi ,one of Pele's mentor , one of the greatest centerhalf, ever. check out his shooting skills ,with the outside of either foot....This is the kind people our kids should be learning who can demonstrate ,teach and learn from..

  24. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2022 at 8:03 a.m.

    Bob, Sorry ,try this.

    (1) Didi, Mr Football | Passing, Skills and Goals - YouTube

  25. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2022 at 1:16 p.m.

    Thanks Frank. The link made me smile.

    It also got me thinking about your use of the word "stiff". Watching Didi, I was impressed with his agility and grace. He was obviously strong and fit too. I used to talk about the concept of "useable" strength--the idea that muscle bound strength was useless. Strength/Power without agility and grace is useless. "Stiff." I wonder if today's rash of soft tissue injuries can be blamed on the use of strength machines instead of traditional bodyweight to a lesser degree free weight training. It is so easy for strength training to be counterproductive. 

    Conventional wisdom talks about athletes being ruined by weight training, but I suspect the problem wasn't increased power, but rather that the training was counterproductive because of poor execution and poor program design, particularly in the selection of exercises.

    Even more than 10 years ago the information was widely available on intelligent, effective strength and conditioning training. But how many "soccer" coaches know the basics? The pro teams has strength and conditioning coaches on staff, but I think the demonstrated differences between program results, particular the soft tissue injury record, speaks for itself.

  26. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2022 at 3:41 p.m.

    Bob, good point about weight training... I'm not a believer of it myself. I do believe that using a sandvest at times which Happel did might help for your are playing having some weight on you and that is equally distributed and tied in with all your body movement, whereas sitting and lifting your leg on a knee machine or whatever is so isolated to the overal body movement of play...I was never keen on weight training for it doesn't make one a better soccer player or thinker....Van Hanegem at one time became coach of Sparta, a rival of Feyenoord in Rotterdam. The first thing he did was closed the weight room and the key away. He stated if you want to go to the beach to look fine, otherwise don't bother. The older generations didn't use weights this only a new thing. I remember back in the 80's the Schwarzenegger movie about weight training ,which I never, really effect kids in high school for all of a sudden the kids worked on lifting weight and it really showed on the soccer field, visually, not in better play however...

  27. frank schoon replied, October 14, 2022 at 3:45 p.m.

    Bob, did you see him kicking a ball employing the outside of the foot of either leg....This is the kind person the kids need to have as coach/facilitator,who can demonstrate so much to them. His technical prowess in incredible. Can you imagine every youth having a guy like that guiding them. As I you say the don't need a licensed coach but someone who can show them and who are in awe of.  There is no way these kids would have 'burn-out' problems

  28. Bob Ashpole replied, October 14, 2022 at 8:15 p.m.

    Frank, I was a 2-footed player so I can't imagine not teaching kids how to strike with all parts of both feet. 

    The real advantage of using the outside of the foot is that you get more surface contact with the ball for better control. It is like using a paddle instead of a bat. I expect good amateur players to be able to bend balls right and left. Today I don't see many good passers at the professional level. How many times must we watch CBs strike long passes upfield with the right foot that bend to the left--and that is all they can do.

    At the bottom of the pyramid you end up with 1-footed players who can only pass to one side of the field. They might not even realize how limited and predictable they are after a decade of play. (How many right footed players can you hide on the right touch line?) It is crazy but I see the same limiting technical flaws making professional soccer predictable.

  29. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2022 at 9:59 a.m.

    Bob, everything he does on the field against opponents is immediately followed up with Shielding the ball with his body.....The secret is that you have to outrun your opponent to beat him for you establish the tempo of speed yourself and before the opponent react to the situation your body shield prevents the ball loss....That's the difference with players today, they don't realize that...

  30. Bob Ashpole replied, October 15, 2022 at 4:02 p.m.

    When I played against college teams with outstanding sprinters, I used my acceleration and endurance advantages to dominate them. I would see how many yards it took for them to catch up to me from a standing start. Usually 30 yards. Then all my runs would be shorter so the opponent was always chasing the play and never catching up. All they would see is my back. Then I would make enough extra runs to keep him winded too. If I had to go farther than 30 yards, I would run dog legs which doubled as checking runs. Sprint speed is highly over-rated. Acceleration is what you need. The first steps are the most important.

    I suspect that every good athlete knows how to exploit his advantages.

    The other trend in playing that is similar today is the widespread fixation on players standing in the box waiting for a cross. That is surrendering the advantage to the tall centerbacks. If you force them to move, they lose the advantage of their height. I have seen 5'5" amateur players jump (moving) with their head over the bar. When I used to defend the post on corners, I couldn't jump too high or I would hit my head on the crossbar. I was average height. 30 inch vertical jumps are not uncommon for athletes playing basketball and soccer. Which means just about every adult male player jumps higher than 8 feet. 

    Of course technical skills and brains are required to control those situations. How many accurate crosses do you see today? Coaches who replace player skill and brains with technical direction are never going to succeed as coaches. I see examples beginning with the earliest age of organized soccer.

  31. frank schoon replied, October 15, 2022 at 6:52 p.m.

    Bob check out the wing dribbling moves from 11:36 to 11:48
    Such simple movement back and forth...but you don't it today

    Pele The Master and His Method


  32. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 11:55 a.m.

    Frank, You know what "They" would say about Didi today.???
    He only has a Right Foot, He always makes the Same Move with the Outside of his Right Foot,
    He "SHOWBOATS" by Flicking the Ball over the Opponents Head or thru their Legs...
    I'll bet he Danced after he Scored also...!!!
    What a Bunch of BUZZ KILLING, DROID PRODUCING Soccer Systems we Live in today.

  33. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 12:04 p.m.

    Bob, Passing to any Particular part of the Field, Never seemed to be a Problem for Maradona, Beckenbauer, Messi...etc...etc...
    Being TWO footed is WAY OVER-RATED... It takes too much time to Un-Train the Brain, Dum-it-down, to Force it to "Use the Other Foot" when the Brain Knows, that it could have done it "IT's WAY" and the Techinique would have been Applied and OVER and DONE With...
    Mission Accomlished WITOUT Having to Think about it.
    Too Much THINKING Going on in the Modern Game...
    Do I use the Left Foot or Right Foot, or Inside or Outside of the Foot, or do I Position myself here, in the Tiki-Taka "Positional Play" Sturcture of 30 Grids or how is my "Beep Bra" reading that Last Recovery Rate on my USELESS RUN down the wing, so the Coach on the Bench or Back in USSF Headquartes can see on the Graph Paper that my Heart Rate is Recovering Fast, even though I Centered the Ball 12 feet BEHIND the Goal.!!!

  34. Matt Cardillo, October 12, 2022 at 12:22 p.m.

    Kudos to SA for its player ratings as compared to other sources. SA's ratings are spot on. USWNT earned those low marks.

  35. Chance Hall, October 12, 2022 at 2:04 p.m.

    Bob I could not agree more with your comment I here: (Too many coaches select physical size over skill and brains).  I have often commented on that.  Thank you for having the courage to say that.  Everyone sees it but will not admit it.  Also agree that the wake up call has sounded with the last two games.  The younger players have added fun and speed to the game.  But they can't do it alone. The coaches need to identify the weaker players like peeno and replace them with other younger faster better players.  England and Spain identified that weakness and went through her time after time beginning their attacks.  The defense also has some real problems.  England and Spain ownedt he midfield and moved the ball quickly with purpose.  Our defenders allowed them to drive deep into our third just giving ground..  Yes I know it's easier to criticize than to offer
    suggestions to fix things. Lots of work to do, not a lot of time to do it.  One last comment.  We sure could use someone like Hope Solo in the goal.  Big loss... .

  36. Aris Protopapadakis, October 12, 2022 at 6:41 p.m.

    As I watched the Euro elimination rounds, it seemd to me that there were 3 or 4 teams that looked better than what I've seen from the USWMT. These teams were more technical, more coordinated, with a better sense of tactics and we excellent players.
    At that time I was thinking thatthe USWMT will be found tobe very wanting come the worlds cup. They already have been...
    This cannot be done in less than a year but the USWMT needs a thorough revamp in tactics, field awareness, and technical ability, including being able to connect with long passes.
    Megan is well past her prime and I can't imagine that she'll be a starter if the USWMT has a more or less full complement of their players...

  37. Kevin Leahy, October 14, 2022 at 11:41 p.m.

    Was just able to watch both games back this weekend. It still blows my mind that players at this level can't put the ball close to where they want it! The technical ability is what separates the US from the rest of the world. Saurbrunn & Rapinoe are too slow for international play. Rapinoe is not even striking the ball well. How is it that on corners that, there is no one to close the back door. I see this in the mens game too. Horan and Lavelle are the only two players that, show any creativity. The inability to handle pressure is what separates the women & the men at the international level. Would like to see Lavelle tried at the 9. Sofia Smith is a great talent that needs to progress faster. If you feel that Saurbrunn & Rapinoe add something to the locker room, make them assistant coaches. 

  38. John Soares, November 11, 2022 at 12:45 p.m.

    I am not concerned that they have lost 3 friendlies against 3 top teams 
    I am concerned that they only scored 2 goals against 6 allowed 
    When if ever has that happened 
    Very promising forwards... but little consistancy 
    There is still time 

  39. John Soares, November 11, 2022 at 2:09 p.m.

    I am not concerned that they have lost 3 friendlies against 3 top teams 
    I am concerned that they only scored 2 goals against 6 allowed 
    When if ever has that happened 
    Very promising forwards... but little consistancy 
    There is still time 

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