USA-Brazil SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings

Feb. 22 in Frisco, Texas
USA 2 Brazil 1. Goals: Morgan 45+3, Swanson 63; Ludmila 90.
Att.: 17,784
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The USA pulled off a satisfying result with a mediocre performance, beating Brazil 2-1 on Wednesday night in Texas to lift the SheBelieves Cup after opening with wins over Canada (2-0) and Japan (1-0). As was the case against the Japanese, the USA capped an unconvincing first half with a late goal. Against Brazil, it was a terrific long-range shot from Alex Morgan in the third minute of stoppage time. Mallory Swanson kept her scoring streak going with what turned out to be a crucial strike because Brazil finally hit the net in the 90th minute.

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


Alyssa Naeher's only first-half save was on a weak shot straight to her. Her first save in the second half was also on a shot into her arms but she gave up a corner. Brazil's most impressive effort on goal within the first hour came with Adriana's shot off the crossbar. Naeher came off her line boldly to snag a 74th-minute corner kick and made an 82th-minute diving save on Kerolin's shot from outside the penalty area. Naeher got scored on by Ludmila with a header from three yards out but the cross' arc made it hard to reach.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars) 89/0 (34)


The Brazilians' attack was kept at bay thanks much to steady play and smart positioning by central defenders Becky Sauerbrunn, who shut down their first promising foray, and Naomi Girma, who matched the speed of the Brazilian strikers. She intercepted a couple through passes and won a header in stoppage time in the goal area on a ball that threatened to set up a last-gasp equalizer. Left back Crystal Dunn's shot from outside the penalty area deflected off a defender and off the post in the 4th minute but from then on her attacking contributions were few. Right back Emily Fox stabbed the ball away to prevent a close-range Brazilian chance in the second half but was marking Ludmila on the Brazilian goal.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Emily Fox (NC Courage) 26/0 (24)

Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave) 14/0 (22)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 214/0 (37)

Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns) 130/24 (30)


Rose Lavelle passed far more to the Brazilians than to teammates, whiffed on a shot, and struggled to threaten on the dribble. Lavelle salvaged her day when she won the ball in midfield and managed to deliver it to a wide-open Mallory Swanson to earn an assist on the goal that made it 2-0. Lindsey Horan's distribution was limited mostly to short and lateral passes. She hit the wall with a 87th-minute free kick from 18 yards out. Andi Sullivan helped slow down Brazilian counterattacks after the many U.S. giveaways. Overall, it was a disjointed performance from the three, who rarely combined with each other. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Rose Lavelle (OL Reign) 87/24 (27)

Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 42/3 (27)

Lindsey Horan (Lyon, FRA) 126/26 (28)


Both wingers, Trinity Rodman and Mallory Swanson, started by squandering opportunities with imprecise service Swanson hitting a cross to the keeper and Rodman sending two straight crosses to defenders and shooting weakly to the keeper. Swanson improved as the game went on but Rodman failed to find her groove. Alex Morgan too took a while to refine her touch but kept the Brazilian back line on edge. (She suffered five fouls.) Morgan's golazo — an accurate bending left-foot shot from 22 yards — rewarded an enthusiastic and forgiving crowd, and the goal shortly before the halftime whistle clearly delivered a morale-boost for Coach Vlatko Andonovski's out of sync team. Swanson punished a Brazilian backline lapse with a crisp finish in the 63rd minute after three early second-half shots from Brazil, including the rocket off the crossbar.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) 15/2 (20)

Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave) 204/121 (33)

Mallory Swanson (Chicago Red Stars) 87/32 (24)


Emily Sonnett won a tackle in the Brazilian half shortly after replacing Dunn. Megan Rapinoe over-hit her first cross and mis-hit her second and third passes. Lynn Williams shot straight to the keeper after Ashley Sanchez set her up for a shot inside the penalty area. Taylor Kornieck shot the ball into the keeper and her second shot flew 15 yards over the crossbar. 

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Emily Sonnett (OL Reign) 73/1 (29)

Lynn Williams (Gotham FC) 52/15 (29)

Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign) 199/63 (37)

Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 22/3 (23)

Taylor Kornieck (San Diego Wave) 12/2 (24)

Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 50/7 (31)

TRIVIA: The game marked the 39th USA-Brazil clash and the USA's sixth straight win to make it 31 U.S. victories, five Brazil wins and three ties.

NOTABLEMallory Swanson has now scored in six consecutive games, a total of eight goals.

Feb. 22 in Frisco, Texas
USA 2 Brazil 1. Goals: Morgan 45+3, Swanson 63; Ludmila 90.
USA — Naeher; Fox, Grima, Sauerbrunn, Dunn (Sonnett, 61); Lavelle (Sanchez, 71), Sullivan (Mewis 81), Horan; Rodman (Williams, 61), Morgan (Kornieck, 81), Swanson (Rapinoe, 71).
Brazil — Lorena, Tainara (Bruninha, 62), Lauren, Rafaelle, Tamires; Nycole (Vitória, 46), Borges (Marta, 58), Kerolin, Adriana; 1Zaneratto (Ludmila, 86), Debinha (Geyse, 46).
Yellow cards: USA — Sullivan 41. Brazil — Kerolin 34. Red cards: none.
Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin (Canada). ARs: Chantel Boudre (Canada), Stephanie-Dale Yee-Sing (Jamaica). Fourth official: Alyssa Nichols (USA).
Att.: 17,784.

USA / Brazil
Shots: 19 / 12
Shots on target: 6 / 7
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 5 / 6
Fouls: 11 / 13
Offside: 1 / 2
Possession: 52% / 48%

Photo: Erin Chang/ISI Photos

10 comments about "USA-Brazil SheBelieves Cup Player Ratings".
  1. Peter Bechtold, February 23, 2023 at 1:40 a.m.

    "Mediocre performance" in your first sentence was right, and referred to both teams. Am I the only one who remembers previous US and Brazilian teams as playing better?

  2. Bob Ashpole replied, February 23, 2023 at 1:51 a.m.

    Previously Brazil was Marta plus 10 others. Brazil is actually a better team today even if Marta is not 100%.

    I have a difficult time understanding what you mean by playing better. I think Ellis was a much better coach so her teams were more effective even with the same pool. I think Brazil was well coached and I don't see how you could expect them to play "better" than they did. I think USSF wants the WNT to play like our MNT. And that is how they are coached. The performance imo reflects the coaching. 

  3. Bob Ashpole, February 23, 2023 at 1:45 a.m.

    Brazil played very well. I was happy for them.

    I would give Brazil more credit rather than discredit the US performance.

    One thing is clear we need to find some dangerous wingers to ease the foul play on Swanson and Morgan. Otherwise they are going to be targeted for fouls in every match at the cup finals. Kornieck and Williams are not dangerous enough inside the penalty area and so far have not been able to play effectively off Swanson's and Morgan's movements. Rodman was rated a "4", but she has improved a lot in the last year. I don't like how the coach has changed the system to a double pivot. Horan is a great deep-lying playmaker, but she is even more effective higher up. Besides I don't like conceding space to opponents. I prefer confronting them earlier and that is difficult to do with 2 deep mids.

    But that is how the MNT plays with a 6-8-10 in the midfield and we certainly want our WNT to play like the MNT. Yeah.

  4. Michael Richard, February 23, 2023 at 9:08 a.m.

    Kerolin player of the match

  5. frank schoon, February 23, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

    Watched the second-half this morning. The past year, the overal picture of our women's NT has shown that our competition has gotten better. You saw it with Spain, Japan, and now even with Brazil. If Brazil wants to become the dominant force in women soccer ,all they have to do is to take women soccer serious. What I mean by taking it serious is when I see the Brazilian coaching staff and advisors made up of former Brazilian greats, Zico, Ronaldo, Eder, Casagrande, Rivelino, Junior, etc. ,so many of these that you can fill 3bus loads with by just sneezing. Instead the Brazilian coaching staff looks more like the training staff at my mother-in-law's retirement home, although they haven't really done a bad job. But if Brazil women's soccer wants to move forward and become the showcase that it can be ,they need to bring the 'real game input' by employing the aforementioned.

    Yes,Bob is right, the Brazilian team as a whole is better. They move the ball better under pressure  than us but at times  ,in their own third, they mess around a little too long with the ball instead moving it forward faster thus giving us a chance to take the ball and score. The Brazilians are sometimes too lackadaisical with the ball which can be detrimental in their own third.

    Here is the problem I see with our program and that we can not compete as far as coaching and playing expertise with Brazilians and their "Braintrust". There is absolutely no way, and it shows for our girls have developed in a very 'linear' sense, it won't get better.  And that is why our style has not changed over the years, regardless of introducing the new talent, which is basically Turbo, lets not kid ourselves.  Look at our wings, it's nothing but Turbo. That's why I enjoyed Marta style of play, still endowed with skill and 1v1 savvyness, which we don't have and that's why I say we won't be able to compete with the 'Brazilian 'braintrust'. I'd say we pickup/hire  Marta and let her do her own thing in coaching and training for we don't need her brain fried, frozen with 'theoretical BS taught by 'stiffs' at the coaching school.
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  6. frank schoon, February 23, 2023 at 11 a.m.

    You notice the difference around midfield when you don't have 2 similar midfielders, Horan and Mewis as compared to Horan and Lavelle. We have a problem with Horan. Defensively she's a lost cause for she can't play defense, once she's beaten ,she too slow to recover and further look how she allowed the cross creating a Brazilian goal. The other problem is that if I coached her, I would tell her not to position with her back facing downfield in the opponent's half, which is a total waste.  She has too much talent that can created offensive forays her teammates, but for that she needs a better FIELDVIEW. Her passes are much more functional ,able to bypass opponents and set up for goals. And next I would her teammates to not pass to her when she has her back facing downfield, for you're not not contributing to her strength.

    We need a serious injection or INPUT to get out of our LINEAR  playing development of our women.
    Don't forget our women play totally NO pickup soccer, they are totally cloned, PROGRAMMED,  PACKAGED by training methods coming from 'stiffs' themselves. What we see as individual is mostly nothing but 'athleticism' sprinkled with some talent.

    We are lucky so far that other women teams do not produce great goalgetters , individuals ,a La Marta, who can handle a ball in the penalty area. Just look at what we have on attack ,technically speaking, if you combine Williams, Swanson, Rodman's, their technical ability , it would be what Marta has in her big toe....Even Heath would stands out technically speaking to the so-called new talent....

    Winning this "She Believes" tournament means nothing for it really hides what we are missing soccer wise...

  7. R2 Dad replied, February 23, 2023 at 12:08 p.m.

    Macario is the obvious midfield solution for the Nats. She could benefit from some time with Marta as well; maybe they can hire her as an assistant coach? Get some of that Brazilian mojo going in the attacking 3rd. With Macario in the side, I recall us getting better combination play and fewer shots outside the 18, better quality opportunites in the box. Obviously that's not all down to Macario, but I think she enables a better attack which we could use rolling into the WC this summer.

  8. Nick Gabris, February 23, 2023 at 12:43 p.m.

    Can someoe please explain to me why Rapinoe is still on this team??????? what value does she add??

  9. James Madison, February 23, 2023 at 3:49 p.m.

    Trying to play faster than your technical ability inevitably results in sloppiness. You want wingbacks?  Unfortunately Dunn is a one way player---useful on attack, but not an effective defender.  Sonnett is basically the opposite. Fox is neither.  The Lavelle, Sullivan, Horan threesome is like the little girl with the curl, gret when it's on, bt awful when Lavelle and Horan are not.

  10. Bob Ashpole replied, February 23, 2023 at 10:49 p.m.

    "Trying to play faster than your technical ability...." This I disagree with, but perhaps I don't understand what you mean by "faster". Moving fast and playing fast are not the same thing. At least to me.

    Poor ball skills leads to "sloppiness". Bad decision making leads to "sloppiness". At the national team level coaches essentially have to take the players as they find them. There are exceptions. The WNT coaches in past cycles had a lot of patience with Sonnett, and, surprising me, Sonnett became a much better player for it. 

    As for your comments about the WNT midfield, the USSF conventional wisdom on the 433 makes the midfielder's job extremely difficult. How? By spreading the team beyond supporting distance making the opponents defensive problems much easier. Too much verticality and too much playing with back to goal. This severely limits the options around the ball for the midfielders.  

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