Kinda disappointed in what I saw tonight, but I recognize that this is the USWNT’s first match since November. With that in mind:
1. If Lynn Williams was the most impressive player of the match, then why did the veteran forwards set such a low bar?
2. Casey Short played well, but what does she offer which justifies five consecutive starts when the roster includes Ali Krieger?
3. Why on Earth was Alex Morgan playing behind Carli Lloyd?
4. Dear Aly Wagner, you implied that Morgan didn’t start because the standard is now “What have you done for me lately?” What Morgan’s done lately is tie for most goals in 2016. Stop trying to be clever.
5. Gosh, you’d think Germany flew here this morning. What was going on?
Ashlyn Harris: Besides the penalty kick, which wasn’t her fault at all, she wasn’t really challenge during this game and therefore, I don’t really have any comments on her.
Megan Klingenberg: Kling, in my opinion, has been very unimpressive post-world cup. But because she has been plagued by injury pretty much non-stop of late, it’s incredibly difficult to determine whether her lack-luster performances have been because of her injuries or because her skill level is no longer where it needs to be to perform effectively at the national team level. For today, example, it seems like every time she had the ball, she would give it up to the other team or the teammate she passed it to had to go above and beyond to make sure they kept possession.
Casey Short: The jury is still out on Short. I know that a lot of people don’t think she’s a good fit for this team and doesn’t perform well, but I still think it’s too early on in her career with the national team to truly make a decision on where she stands. She did draw the penalty that gave Russia the PK and subsequent goal, but based on replays, I personally think that was a bad call so I’m going to give her a pass on that one.
Becky Sauerbrunn: Becky was amazing as ever. Doing God’s work running from sideline to sideline defending like her life depended on it. That Russian player that ran into her is on my naughty list. You don’t hurt Becky.
Kelley O’hara: Kelly has definitely made significant improvements in the past few months when it comes to the quality of her play. I no longer question Jill’s decision to consistently put her on the field. She’s definitely earned that. The only thing I would like to see improvement on with KO is the defense side of her game. She’s done great things for us on the attack, but at the end of the day, she is still playing defense and I think she sometimes forgets that based on how far forward she gets.
Sam Mewis: If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t even notice Mewis was on the field for most of the game. So I guess my thoughts on her was that she was average. Didn’t do anything negative that would make her stand out, but also didn’t do anything positive that would make her stand out.
Allie Long: Long has been a mess lately, in my opinion. I don’t know if her confidence has been shaken because of the comments she’s been receiving as a result of the disaster that was the three back or what, but unless she’s heading the ball into the back of the goal, it’s not pretty. She’s either on the ground or giving the ball up because she tries to do too much.
Carli Lloyd: Honestly… I’m glad that Carli has been one of the first players to get subbed out during this set of friendlies. I’m hoping it’s because Jill is finally starting to realize that Carli is not what we need on the field and is more of a negative for this team than a positive, but I’m not going to get my hopes up too much just yet. That being said, in relation to just today’s games, Carli just can’t finish. It honestly seems like she doesn’t even try to finish. Instead of trying to get open and create opportunities, she pretty much just expects her teammates to place the ball right at her feet, regardless of who else is around her, and then when her teammate doesn’t make it easy for her by placing the ball right at her feet, she criticizes them instead of looking at what she did and fixing what she did.
Mallory Pugh: The things that Mallory Pugh can do with the ball still amaze me, especially since she’s only 18. That being said, I definitely think she’s getting a bit frustrated with herself because she’s been unable to capitalize lately, but I think with a little time off combined with going back to the basics in her training will do wonders for her moving forward. Regardless of her performance right now, she’s going to be part of this team in a major way for a long time to come.
Crystal Dunn: Crystal is amazing and honestly should have been a part of this team a lot sooner than she was. She’s constantly putting herself in positions to score and probably could have had more goals than she did today had her teammates recognized where she was on the field and passed it to her instead of taking the shots for themselves. The only thing I’ve noticed with her that she might need to work on is endurance… I’ve noticed that in the last third of the game, her speed and involvement in the game significantly decreases. I don’t know if it was just the heat or if her endurance just isn’t where it needs to be, but that’s what I noticed.
Rose Lavelle: Sweet Baby Rose had another solid game and even scored her first goal with the national team. She definitely wasn’t as explosive and involved in the game as she was on Thursday, but that could have been for a number of reasons… personnel on the field, Russia knowing what to expect with her and making adjustments to deal with it, where she was playing on the field, simply not being as rested as she was for Thursdays game… who knows.