Commentary

USA-Germany Women's Friendly Player Ratings

USA-GERMANY EXPRESS:
Nov. 13 in Harrison, New Jersey
USA 2 Germany 1. Goals: Smith 54, Pugh 56; Brand 18.
Att.: 26,317.
* * * * * * * * * *

The USA recovered from a 1-0 deficit and a miserable first-half performance to beat Germany, 2-1, in New Jersey on Sunday. Coach Vlatko Andonovski made two changes from Thursday's 2-1 loss to the Germans: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher for Casey Murphy and central defender Becky Sauerbrunn for Alana Cook. Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg made seven changes to her starting lineup.

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

GOALKEEPER

Alyssa Naeher stumbled after trying to anticipate Sophia Kleinherne's shot (blocked by Sofia Huerta) then couldn't reach the low shot from Jule Brand that wasn't particularly well hit from 11 yards for Germany's 18th minute goal. Naeher snuffed Lina Magull on a breakaway and her quick throw sparked the counterattack that created U.S. momentum ahead of the 1-1 equalizer. Distribution with her feet was less impressive and included kicks out of bounds and up the middle to Germans.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 86/0 (34)

DEFENDERS

Within the first 15 minutes, Noami Girma twice denied the Germans a close-range shot by sliding to poke the ball away. She won an aerial battle with Alexandra Popp while getting fouled by the German in the second half, and along with central partner Becky Sauerbrunn brought composure to an initially overwhelmed U.S. team. Left back Emily Fox was out of position ahead of Germany's goal. Sauerbrunn moved wide and blocked Svenja Huth's first cross but not her second. Fox and right back Sofia Huerta struggled with tasks simple and challenging in the first half before getting a grip in the second half.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

5
Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 25/0 (29)

8
Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave) 10/0 (22)

6 
Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 211/0 (37)

5
Emily Fox (Racing Louisville) 22/0 (24)

MIDFIELDERS

Rose Lavelle had two chances inside the penalty area to provide the USA an equalizer before halftime time but neither shot, despite no nearby German pressuring, came close to the Germans' goal. She prevented her performance from being a complete disappointment with two crisp touches getting the ball to Sophia Smith on the equalizer. Lavelle's last miss, an even riper chance than her first two, also went wide, but at least missed close to post. Andi Sullivan pounced on a loose midfield ball to serve Mallory Pugh on the gamewinner. It's hard to imagine the USA pulling off the comeback without Lindsey Horan's unrelenting midfield toil, which prevented the Germans from maintaining momentum and was accompanied at times by the clever pass.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

4
Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 84/22 (27)

6
Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 37/3 (26)

7
Lindsey Horan (Lyon, FRA) 122/26 (28)

FORWARDS

The speedy attackers — Mallory Pugh and Sophia Smith — singled out for praise by German coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg ahead of the two games — flattered to deceive until they each scored within three minutes early in the second half. Smith scored the equalizer and Pugh the gamewinner as the German defenders seemed surprised following a first half in which they constantly robbed American attackers of the ball. Pugh especially became more menacing. Lavelle, Alex Morgan and Horan could have scored from her setups. That the lenient referee cautioned Kathrin-Julia Hendrich for a foul on Pugh demonstrated the Germans resorted to desperate measures to stop her. Morgan shot high and wide on a half-volley from outside corner of goal area in first-half stoppage time. Her next best chance came in the second half when her poor right-footed first touch on a good pass from Pugh set up a weak off-balance left-footed shot.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

7
Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 28/12 (21)

4
Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave) 200/119 (33) 

8
Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars) 83/25 (24)

SUBSTITUTES

Coach Andonovski kept his starting 11 together until the 83rd minute. Taylor Kornieck made a couple forays that kept the Germans preoccupied while seeking an equalizer. Referee Marianela Araya Cruz will find it impossible to explain why she didn't red card German goalkeeper Almuth Schult for a violent foul on Kornieck 10 yards outside the penalty area. Schult didn't even get cautioned.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

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

nr
Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 46/7 (31)

nr
Hailie Mace (Kansas City Current) 8/0 (25)

TRIVIA: The USA avoided losing four straight games for the first time in history.

Nov. 13 in Harrison, N.J.
USA 2 Germany 1. Goals: Smith 54, Pugh 56; Brand 18.
USA — Naeher; Huerta, Sauerbrunn, Girma, Fox; Lavelle, Sullivan (K.Mewis, 83), Horan; Smith (Mace, 90), Morgan (Kornieck, 83), Pugh.
Germany — Berger (Schult, 46); Anyomi, Hendrich, Nusken, Kleinherne (Simon, 62); Dallmann, Oberdorf (Hagel, 33), Brand (Krumbiegel, 78); Huth, Popp, Lattwein (Magull, 46).
Yellow Cards: USA —   none; Germany — Kleinherne 15, Hendrich 84.  Red cards: none.
Referee: Marianela Araya Cruz (Honduras). ARs: Chantel Boudreau (Canada), Mayra Mora (Mexico).
Att.: 26,317.

Stats:
USA/Germany
Shots: 15/15
Shots on target: 5/3
Saves: 2/2
Corner Kicks: 5/4
Fouls: 8/14
Offside: 2/1
Possession: 41%/59%

Brad Smith/ISI Photos

20 comments about "USA-Germany Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. R2 Dad, November 13, 2022 at 10:46 p.m.

    Naeher has never been a real #1, and now she is older. Why does Vlatko keep her around? Give Murphy the reps.

  2. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 10:55 a.m.

    Agreed

  3. Jeanine Valadez, November 14, 2022 at 2:43 a.m.

    Our midfield was our weak battery in this game. Girma is a future star. She and Sauerbraun make a trustworthy pair. Morgan was underrated by the author. She worked very hard off the ball and got Germany to cough it up quite a few times.  Horan was overrated...pretty ineffective the entire game and repeatedly failed to check to the ball, which ended up intercepted as a result.  I admit she did step up defensively at the very end. Lavelle, my typically favorite player, was nowhere, same as last game.  

  4. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 10:57 a.m.

    Did you miss the Assist RL had.???
    She's just so Smooth, that she goes unNoticed.
    Could have done better with her Shooting

  5. Scott Chaney, November 14, 2022 at 7:26 a.m.

    Morgan is old and slow...time to go! Wake up coach! 

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 10:59 a.m.

    Never got any Service... But, you may be Correct.
    We will see when Marcario gets back.!?!?!?
    Unti then, i don't see a better opstion, Do You.???

  7. frank schoon, November 14, 2022 at 8:52 a.m.

    I suppose we're all happy we won ,especially the team, the coach, along with the 'horns and tooter' crowd. We didn't end up losing 4 in a row, creating a new dismal record, PHEW!!, that was close. I saw the US team playing a total of 8 halves and winning 1 of them...I was hoping that we would lose this game for it would have set in motion new thinking, new direction, perhaps changing our developmental program of some sorts, our way of playing; bottom line, THERE NEEDS TO BE CHANGES MADE IN THE WAY WE PLAY AND DEVELOP. But unfortunately, this win will set us back for the thinking will remain as usual, 'it's a new team, new and young players, we'll get there yet , you just wait'.

     We were the Mecca once for women's soccer, we caused other countries to start up a womens program, especially in Europe and other soccer powers.  We were the soccer power, we kicked ass and took names, but not due to playing great, high quality soccer but mostly Turbo, Athleticism with sprinkling of talent. Of course, the coaches who coached our women teams in the days we kicked ass, were credited as being great coaches, geniuses, when in fact we played low quality soccer against POOR opponents and beat the tar out of them. Bottom line the womens game has not improved in quality, it has stayed at a low level.

    Here is the problem in a nutshell. The students who once looked up to our women's game have improved  to the point that they are playing a better brand of soccer, PERIOD!!!  We're seeing the beginning of Rome faltering, but at the last moment, we won last night so everything is OK now, Rome will stand and is saved...

    The fans see us winning 2-1, lacking a deeper sense of the game, as put in painting terms, they couldn't see the quality difference between a cheap Elvis Presley on black velour often seen at "South of the Border" off Interstate 95  and an authentic Rembrandt painting.....

    Look at how the Germans played, moving the ball quickly, their possession of the ball was no more than 2 seconds, very rarely 3seconds and they knew where to go ahead of time and if there were problems their confidence and individuality on the ball got them out of trouble. They were attack oriented moving forwards right of way. They were accurate in their crossfield passes, switching the field that an Huerta or a Lavelle and others on our team have difficulty with due to lack of power...

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  8. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 11:09 a.m.

    Sorry Frank, got to Disagree with you on the Previous Talent.
    It was Exceptional:
    If you were to take Michelle Akers, Mia Hamm, April Heinrichs, Kristin Lilly, Julie Foudy, Carrin Jenning-Gabara, Hope Solo, Briana Scurry, etc... etc... etc...

    If they were the Same age as these Current Players, TODAY, And you Gave them the Modern Training Analytics and Surfaces and Facilities and Equipment and SALARY and etc... etc... etc...

    THEY WOULD HAVE RUN CIRCLES AROUND THE CURRENT USWNT AND CURRENT OPPONENTS.!!!

    They had TWITCH and CREATIVITY and INTENSITY and PASSION and JOY and DETERMINATION and PRAVADO and COCKINESS and SKILL and TOUCH and VISION and etc... etc... etc...

    It's like saying that DiStefano or Pele or Cruijf or Beckenbauer or Banks or etc... etc... etc... Couldn't play in the Modern Game.... 

    POPPY COCK.!!!!

  9. Bob Ashpole replied, November 23, 2022 at 8:07 a.m.

    I agree with Santi's small point, but Frank I agree. I think USSF regarding the USWNT is in the same as the English FA in 1950. They had to be embarrassed twice by Hungary before they  had an inkling that something was wrong with their program.

    Jill Ellis was slowly transforming how the USWNT played. She used positional play, but it didn't look like "Tiki Taka" in the final third. That was because she was exploiting the 1v1 advantages the US forwards had at that time. The changes began in the 2015 cycle and progressed further in the 2019 cycle.

    Then USSF got rid of Ellis and Heinricks and put people in charge that were clueless as to what Ellis was doing. Now USSF is trying to drive for success by a superficial copy of what Ellis did in 2019. A very common management approach, and one very likely to fail. In the military we call it fighting the last war. USSF is more concerned about loyalty to the organization than success. 

    Yes there is a new president, but trying to change a large organization from the top rarely works. It is defeated by passive-agressive behavior. Success requires convincing everyone that the change is needed. Almost no one supports change to anything. People see change as a threat. I have no solution to offer.

  10. frank schoon, November 14, 2022 at 9:38 a.m.

    The Germans shield the ball well on the dribble in 1v1 situations,  able to trap the ball while moving to it.  They displayed technical aspects, movements of the ball that we don't have. We lack having a follow up or second movement with the ball to evade while under pressure, only Lavelle ,perhaps can at times.
    Look at how our goals were scored, they didn't come about by nice smart ,coordinated play, but by fighting , hustling ,creating a scrappy goal, that always involved running. The Germans in this short period were put off balance making some stupid mistakes, and bad passes but after that they continued the way they played.

    Realize the Germans use 7new players, and their style of play remained UNCHANGED from the previous game. Judy Foudy, stated that the American had a lot young players as an excuse for our play until she realized how many young players the Germans likewise fielded....

    Horan looked awful, slow, often having to run back on defense in her own third. We need to replace one of our CENTERBACK with ball handling type who can go quickly on attack and move up to midfield and create numerical superiority. This would add not only another avenue of attack, but it will relief our #6 the centerhalf from having her back facing downfield, reducing her attacking view, and placed in danger of having the ball stolen....

    The two square Centerbacks are basically 2 stiffs who can't do anything with the ball, but pass square or backwards or with predictability , long. Manchester United has now a short 5'8" centerback, Martinez, a former Ajax player, has brought more offense to the game and is able to pass forwards to a midfielder, with accuracy or come up to midfield and make a nice pass to the either wing or a #9.
    I would recommend to the coaches if they want to teach a centerback or back how pass to a midfielder then watch Martinez.  See how his pass improves the midfielder's position, his continuity of movement, his accuracy, and to which foot he passes to...there is so much to be learned, here. 

    The two centerbacks concept has diminished the quality of the game, also more predictable. Our perfect and strongest Triangle on the field are the two centerbacks and the #6. It is a perfect 3v1 situation...what more do you need to start an attack, instead we have made the centerback PERFECT, NO TALENT STIFFS.....We need to start having our youth coaches become more creative
    and not follow the prescribed garbage they learn at the USSF coaching school

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

    I do SOOOO agree with you about the CB situation... It's DISGUSTING the way the Modern game has Developed to Square Passing around in the Back, with TWO STIFFS.!!!

  12. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 11:28 a.m.

    OH, and Don't forget the STIFF Goalkeeper that has to Touch the Ball Also, before it can go Forward.!!!
    I mean Really... Your 3 WORST BALL HANDLERS, YOUR 3 LEAST CREATIVE PLAYERS, YOUR 3 SLOWEST THINKERS are Responsible for "Starting the Attack".!!!
    Come ON, let's get back to a Sweeper that can bring the Ball up into the Midfield and Start the "Dominios Falling"

  13. Chance Hall, November 14, 2022 at 9:49 a.m.

    As always glad to see the US women win.  However, outside of some of the younger players like Smith and Pugh, we still need a lot of work for the future especially the World Cup.  Team play really needs attention and improvement.  Starting and staying with the same players in their positions would help.  Was impressed that they basically left the players in for most of the game.  Especially the younger players up front. Gives the team confidence and lets the players get used to playing together. If we can learn to pass quickly with a purpose like England and Germany their chances will greatly improve.  Germany, England, and Spain owned the middle with their deft passing. Still a long way to go, but finally a glimmer of hope thanks to the younger players.  

  14. Santiago 1314 replied, November 17, 2022 at 11:24 a.m.

    Smith and Pugh ARE the Problem.!!!
    Serving Balls to Partner when they should have been Shooting, or Shooting when then Should have been Serving others... One Bad Decision AFTER Another.!!!
    I would like to see Rodman more.!!!
    Sullivan is only Good for BEATING UP the Opponent... It's like playing with 10 when we are on Offense.
    Horan should NOT be Allowed to have the Ball in our Own Half or Until we get into the Opponent Final Third... Attack Killer.!!!
    Huerta... Too Spastic and Sporadic... How can our Men's Team have 12 Right Backs... But our Women's Team doesn't have ONE.!?!?!?
    Would be Nice to have a Left Footed Wing Back, Maybe Move FOX to Right Back.
    US Men don't have any Good Lefties either (Jedi MAYBE)
    It's NOT as Bad as it Looks... We are just used to DOMINACNCE.
    Those Days look to be Over...
    But, we Competed Well these Last 2 Games, Better than the England/Spain C Team Games.
    Our Gals always "Pick It Up" on Home Soil, where they get the Crowd of "Screaming Meanie" 12 year olds to PUSH Them to Higher Levels...
    It will be a Problem for us at the WC in A-NZ, Unless we can FlyIN about 40,000 Screaming Meanies.!!!
    We look to be about the 6th or 7th Best Team at the Moment. But the Level of the others is GOOD... So, NOT Quite Time to Throw Out the Baby with the Bath Water.

  15. Nick Gabris, November 14, 2022 at 12:28 p.m.

    Anyone have any news on Macario? her possible return? sorely needed!

  16. Wooden Ships replied, November 14, 2022 at 9:12 p.m.

    Haven't heard Nick, but definitely agree. She sees the game and has the technical abilities, both of which are at a higher level. Our attacking players are going to need time with her before next summer. Morgan has always been one dimensional and Smith and Pugh are similar. As Frank has mentioned and that we can see with our own eyes, we are far from technicians with the ball. There are probably 6 teams that are better than us and it's not likely we would be considered the clear favorite anymore.

  17. R2 Dad replied, November 16, 2022 at 6:51 p.m.

    Ships, I think Macario will bail out the US next year, but I wish it weren't so. It's Vlatko's priorities that have lead to this sluggish style of play, combined with poor player vision and movement off the ball. I watched the highlights of this match and there was so much standing around in our attacking 3rd, as if players were waiting for the ball to arrive at feet or head.

  18. James Madison, November 14, 2022 at 6:42 p.m.

    Niceto see a bit of enthusiasm, particularly in the second half.  Pugh finally played to her potentail, except for her restarts, Sullivan finally got some credit, and Girma is a comer.  I'm with those, however, who continue to be concerned about our lack of improvement technically and the sand of our deveopment program under the feet of our national team. 

  19. John Sabala, November 15, 2022 at 3:39 a.m.

       Still Need to Change the Coach

    Ok, I did not watch the first game as I was just too tired to get up at 0100am to do it this time.  I was not thrilled after watching the England and Spain games. And for good reason, our ladies got schooled once again on how to control a game and execute a tactical plan.  Germany controlled most of the match, and it was the pressing at key points that led to the goals...not build up play.  The ladies team is not able to string more than four passes before trying to play the ball long over the top.  This will not get it done anymore.  Pressing is a must for our plan, but we cannot just think we will beat teams by being more physical or athletic. These days are gone.  Now I think our ladies have the tools to play possession soccer, but we must start now to change this way of thiking and playing.

    This will mean a complete change of coaches and a new mindset that will be difficult for USSF to grasp.  It is a tossup between our midfield and outside backs being the weakest links at the moment. If you watched the match you had to see how far out of position our outside backs are on the pitch.  We almost have a flat line of five attacking players at the top of the penalty area while our centerback still have the ball at midfield.  You will not be able to break any defense down because there is no one positioned to break the lines. Germany quickly beat this time and again by once gaining possession of the ball by switching the field into the space left vacant by the outside backs.  Yet nothing was done to correct the errors in either half.  Just watching the difference in the passing game should have all US Fans saying, we need to make changes now.

    Agree with Franc on the win will only abate those who say they are young, and they will be fine.  We will not without some fundamental change in our approach to the game on the women's side.

  20. R2 Dad replied, November 15, 2022 at 2:37 p.m.

    "we cannot just think we will beat teams by being more physical or athletic. These days are gone. " USSF disagrees. Our USWNT playing style has not changed. Even on the men's side when GB does want to impose a style, he has not provided the stylistic flexibility required to meet the challenges of our competitors. We will need to lose a couple women's world cups before there will be any recognition that your observations are correct.

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