USA-Ireland Women's Friendly Player Ratings

April 11 in St. Louis, Missouri
USA 1 Ireland 0. Goals: Cook 43.
Att.: 22,294.

* * * * * * * * * *

Alyssa Thompson, the 18-year-old replacement for injured Mallory Swanson, put herself in contention for a 2023 Women's World Cup roster spot, playing the full 90 in the USA's 1-0 win over Ireland in a rematch of Saturday's 2-0 U.S. victory. The defensively determined and offensively uninventive Irish allowed little attacking flourish from the Americans, who notched the win thanks to defender Alana Cook's long-range strike.

USA Player Ratings

(1=low; 5=middle; 10=high.)


Casey Murphy tipped a tricky arching shot over the crossbar and her other save was on a shot down the middle.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Casey Murphy (NC Courage) 14/0 (26)


Alana Cook, on her 26th birthday, paired up with 37-year-old Becky Sauerbrunn in the central defense. Cook, with a strike — likely intended as service to Lindsey Horan — scored the gamewinner from 38 yards out. Cook also sent an excellent through pass to Alyssa Thompson which resulted in a chance for Sophia Smith. Sauerbrunn, a lock for the World Cup roster,  after a full-game performance on Saturday, played for the first half hour for her hometown crowd. On a 3rd minute corner kick designed for her to score her first goal in 216 U.S. appearances, she came oh so close — hitting the crossbar. She made way for Tierna Davidson in the 29th minute. Kelley O’Hara blasted a shot just wide in the 10th minute. She also committed an unnecessary foul and conceded a corner kick. Sofia Huerta was sure in possession and helped spark a counterattack for Thompson's 66th-minute chance. Early in the first half she fouled clumsily in Ireland's half to end an attack instead of pressuring effectively.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Sofia Huerta (OL Reign) 29/0 (30)

Alana Cook (OL Reign) 26/1 (25)

Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns) 216/0 (37)

Kelley O’Hara (Gotham FC) 157/3 (34)


Ashley Sanchez was the standout American midfielder in the first half, forcing turnovers deep in Ireland’s half that ended in good counterattacking opportunities. Lindsey Horan demonstrated some fancy footwork that kickstarted one U.S. attack; she was also a ball-winner in a crowded midfield. Andi Sullivan was largely quiet in the first half — not exactly a bad thing for a holding midfielder, not that promising either.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Ashley Sanchez (Washington Spirit) 24/3 (24)

Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) 44/3 (27)

Lindsey Horan (Lyon, FRA) 128/27 (28)


Alyssa Thompson showed her blinding speed when she got around her marker and almost made it through on goal from an Cook pass. She couldn't connect while sandwiched by two defenders with the keeper approaching on a second-half chance. Thompson unselfishly dished to Sophia Smith for the USA’s best chance in the first half but Smith put the simple finish over the bar. Smith sent a perfectly delivered corner kick on Sauerbrunn's header. Alex Morgan connected on passes but didn’t threaten the Irish backline in 1 vs. 1 opportunities.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Alyssa Thompson (Angel City) 3/0 (18)

Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave) 206/121 (33)

Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns) 29/12 (22)


Tierna Davidson, who suffered an ACL injury in March 2022, came off the bench in the first half for her first U.S. appearance since February of 2022. Her smart anticipation with good positioning was displayed in the 84th minute when she cut off a chance for Krya Carusa in the penalty area during a rare Irish foray into the U.S. penalty area. Julie Ertz's defensive play in midfield and deep in defensive territory during the final 10 minutes — in her second game after her 19-month sabbatical — cemented she's a serious consideration for the World Cup squad. She also threatened on attack but shot high and wide. As was the case in Saturday's game, Ashley Hatch's appearance was limited to delivery for half-chances. She struck just over the crossbar with an impressive 16-yard shot on the turn. Trinity Rodman's deft back-heel to Huerta highlighted one of the USA's best sequences. She and Hatch combined well in the 73rd minute before Rodman failed on her pass into the goal area.

Player (Club) caps/goals (age)

Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars) 49/1 (24)

Julie Ertz (Unattached) 118/20 (31)

Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit) 19/5 (27)

Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit) 17/2 (20)

Casey Krueger (Chicago Red Stars) 38/0 (32)

Kristie Mewis (Gotham FC) 51/7 (32)

TRIVIAAlana Cook became the third player to score for the USA on her birthday. Alex Morgan scored on her birthday in 2019 and Mia Hamm scored a hat trick on her birthday in 1998.

HISTORY: Tuesday's result makes the all-time USA record against Ireland 15 games, 15 wins, 51 goals scored, 1 goal conceded.

UP NEXT: Following the USA's 2023 Women's World Cup roster announcement,  the USA will host Wales for a friendly game on July 9 in San Jose, Calif., before departing for New Zealand, where its opener is against Vietnam July 22 in Auckland.

April 11 in St. Louis, Missouri
USA 1 Ireland 0. Goals: Cook 43.
USA — Murphy; Huerta, Cook, Sauerbrunn (Davidson, 29), O'Hara (Krueger, 46); Sanchez, Sullivan (Ertz, 46), Horan (K.Mewis, 60); Thompson, Smith (Rodman, 46), Morgan (Hatch, 46).
Ireland — Brosnan; Payne (O'Hanlon, 84), Connolly, Lucy Quinn, Caldwell (Nolan, 58), McCabe; Louise Quinn (Mclaughlin, 69), O'Sullivan, Littlejohn (Grant, 58), Sheva (O'Gorman, 69); Carusa (Barrett. 85).
Yellow cards: USA — none. Ireland — Littlejohn 57, Connolly 90+7. Red cards: none.
Referee: Crystal Sobers (Trinidad & Tobago) AR1: Jassett Kerr-Wilson (Jamaica) AR2: Princess Brown (Jamaica). 4th Official: Laura Rodgriguez (USA).
Att.: 22,294.

Shots: 10/9
Shots on target: 2/2
Saves: 2/1
Corner Kicks: 4/5
Fouls: 12/7
Offside: 1/1
Possession: 52%/48%

Photo: Alyssa Thompson by Robin Alam/ISI Photos

15 comments about "USA-Ireland Women's Friendly Player Ratings".
  1. Santiago 1314, April 12, 2023 at 6:22 a.m.

    Oh No!!!... Oh My.!!!... Oh Caca.!!!
    CaFizzle; Every attack Fizzled Out...
    Hospital Balls; If I Didn't know Better, I would have Thought that our OWN Players were Trying to get other Players on THE SAME TEAM, OUR TEAM; INJURED.!!!
    Maybe they thought if they got there Own Teammate Injured it would Secure their Spot on the 23 Player Roster.!?!?!?
    Our Senior XX Team is IN Trouble.!!!

    I'll be Honest, I only caught the 2nd Half...
    Let me know if I should Torture Myself and go back and Watch the 1st Half.???
    This is Starting to look a lot like the Last OhNoLympics.!!!

  2. frank schoon, April 12, 2023 at 9:11 a.m.

    This US team was a little stronger than the previous team against Ireland, but it doesn't matter for regardless the same mistakes were being made like every game. What I mean by mistakes besides their inadequate buildup is the technical and tactical details that evolve during the game. 

    Horan had a horrible game for her standards, but it showed some of her weaknesses. She is slow, not good on defense and when she runs back on defense, she ,in effect, does not play defense but runs back more for 'show' than 'effort' as if to say, "I'm here to just in case but don't expect me to stop anyone". As one Irish was attacking near the endline , everyone, like usually, runs back towards the endline to stop or block her path and leave wide open a couple of opponents near to the penalty stip  to receive the ball; Horan ,likewise, with all her experience had no clue to think of picking up the wide open Irish player behind her, for that would be the first thing 'defensively' you would think of ,"who is open behind me". 

    Horan, a right footed midfielder on the left side, due to the mechanics and technical details of receiving, positioning and including her stance basically nullified the right side of our attack options...Horan, became a limited player along with her other limitations, just didn't look good at all out there.  This is why I would always place a leftfooted player to play leftmidfield for they have a much better 'overal' view of the field and are able to have more passing options and faster.

    A leftfooted midfielder can give a much better cross pass to a fast breaking wing or right halfback than a rightfooted. Furthermore on the leftside, the leftfooted midfielder in a better situation to give two types of passes to the wing, which is either down the flank or behind the back ,allowing the wing run in the back 'blind spot'.

    Too many of Horan's passes were square or backwards, very few were forwards or consequential.
    I thought the most consistent player in both games that stood out was the Irish #10, O'Sullivan. She was enjoyable to watch and pleasing on the eyes. I would like to her play Horan's position but in the middle for us....
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  3. Wooden Ships, April 12, 2023 at 10:15 a.m.

    I didn't watch either game unfortunately. Without Macario we can't play but one way. Swanson is a huge loss and Morgan is no longer much of a threat. Need to move on from her, Rapino and Dunn. Like the men going into the Cup we will need to outscore teams in wait. Macario is the key for us in evolving. 

  4. frank schoon, April 12, 2023 at 10:26 a.m.

    Another technical detail that is so often seen, for example, Sullivan at 11:56, at midfield with no one pressuring her ,has enough time and space to make a pizza, looks to pass and sees in front of her Huerta open, sort of. There is an opponent between these two who is 3-4 meters away from Huerta and 11meters from Sullivan... Sullivan proceeds to pass to Huerta, WHY!!!!! Who is more open Sullivan or Huerta???? so why pass to Huerta whose advance is blocked upon receiving the ball, who in turn passes it back to Sullivan, nothing gained!!!!  YOU DON'T PASS TO A BACK UNLESS HE HAS SPACE TO RUN FORWARDS ON THE FLANK...Otherwise, you cut down the options on the opposite flank.  Sullivan should not have passed to Huerta's feet but straight down the flank for her to run onto the ball giving the opponent no time to adjust defensively.

    Next, Sullivan receives the ball back from Huerta and proceeds to dribble towards the center where Horan wants the ball. .... Sullivan has two options, pass it back to Sauerbrunn near the midcircle or more forwards towards Horan, who has better ball skills and offensive know-how and is in the opponent's half. Realize the problem here, ALL these players will pass in the direction of their dribble so you know ahead of time where it will go, Horan or Sauerbrunn....The Irish adjusted defensively, their whole team moved in unison..... 

    Sullivan chose to pass backwards to Sauerbrunner who passes it to the other flank which had the effect of giving the Irish lots of time as a team to shift to the other side. 

    Here is the KICKER. Sullivan as she dribbled towards the centerlane ,  the Irish shifted and followed her movement  ,leaving Huerta WIDE OPEN, should have quickly PASSED BACK to Huerta or to Horan who would one-touch it into space for Huerta to run onto. NONE  of her teammates realized how open Huerta was and as a resulted yelled at Sullivan or directed her to pass back to Huerta..
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  5. frank schoon, April 12, 2023 at 10:39 a.m.

    These are simple ABC's of soccer, Creating Space for your teammates when you have the ball. This is what soccer is all about ,creating SPACE AND TIME. Now there  are those who  thought that from the beginning , starting with Sullivan passing the ball to Huerta, keeping possession, moving the ball without losing and ending up with the ball on the flank as great ball movement....And I'm sure the coaching staff with their monitors and Hi-Tech gadgets would think so too....

    This fiasco goes on throughout the game taking different forms but it all comes down to time and space. So many passes are made for example in the backfield, or around midfield that are totally useless, which give no solution to the moment at hand.

    You have to ask yourself, these players are a product of all these years from when they were young up to now of programmed coaching not of pickup soccer where players learn to think for themselves. Because of this , women soccer is the least creative to watch, they are cloned, put into  boxes by the coaching establishment for you never find women playing by themselves.

    The girls/women from day one are faced with lousy coaching. So many details of the game are not exhibited by the women as due lousy coaches. Realize, these women come from a pool of players who have played for better teams, and so-called better coaches who supposedly coach the better teams, who are licensed ,have a reputation and in their mind think they know the game. But when you watch the women play and see them make such elementary mistakes that should have been learned when they 12,13,14 years old, one really has to question the abilities of these coaches and the money you have spend on this crap...


  6. Nick Gabris, April 12, 2023 at 11:37 a.m.

    We is in trouble folks!


  7. Philip Carragher, April 12, 2023 at 11:46 a.m.

    Anyone else enjoy watching Ireland's 10, Denise O'Sullivan, play?

  8. R2 Dad replied, April 13, 2023 at 8:12 p.m.

    Yes, they weren't terrible. They seem to have the framework for a decent team, but that 5-4-1 is so defensive it invited the opponent into their defending 3rd. I am curious how they would do with a more open UEFA opponent. I didn't watch the entire match but O'Sullivan seemed pretty good on the ball.

  9. William Thomas, April 12, 2023 at 12:15 p.m.

    Maybe this game was designed to lull opponents into believing the US team is faltering and not the team of 1999.

  10. Peter Bechtold replied, April 12, 2023 at 2:22 p.m.

    The 1999 team had better players. But in the final,they won in the shoot-out, thanks to an illegal save by our goalie on the 5th Chinese PK taker; this made a "hero" of sorts of our 5th, Brandi Chastain, who became famous for other reasons. If anyone should have been celebrated it would have been the goalie, eventhough her stop was illegal, and the referee either didn't see it or didn't want to in the presence of over 90k Americans in the Rose Bowl.Check it out.

  11. Bob Ashpole replied, April 15, 2023 at 2:17 a.m.

    I was skeptical, Peter. I looked and you are right. She was off the line before the ball was struck. We are talking milliseconds though. So I don't blame the officials. I had to watch the clip 4 times before seeing it clearly because of the very short time involved. It looked like the striking foot was about 12 inches from the ball when the keeper left the line. That is less than a blink of an eye.

  12. Kerry Solomon, April 12, 2023 at 2:04 p.m.

    for the most part, their ball skills were poor.....control and passing.  Kick and chase rarely works and when it does you have to have players with good skills or great speed.  Neither existed last night.
    Plain and simple.

  13. James Madison, April 12, 2023 at 2:53 p.m.

    Oh my.  Technical deficiencies, tactical deficiencies, and cooperation deficiencies.  Oh my.  Wasted  open shots on goal.  Oh My.  One has to wonder what is going on with this team.  Team?

  14. Santiago 1314 replied, April 14, 2023 at 6:27 a.m.

    Oh My Indeed.!!!

  15. Kevin Leahy, April 12, 2023 at 5:14 p.m.

    Have to agree with Ships. It time to move on from a few of these players. Taking the 18 year old can only help. Would like to see more flexibility in how they play. It's hard to see what if any adjustments are made depending on the opponent.  


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