26 Jul USWNT player ratings vs. Netherlands: Horan, Lavelle, Ertz impress in gritty 1-1 draw
The Dutch opened the game brightly, absorbing early U.S. aggression and striking first against the run of play, when Jill Roord latched onto a pass from Victoria Pelova and calmly finished beyond Alyssa Naeher in the 17th minute. The U.S. struggled to get back into the game for the rest of the first half, chasing possession with little rewards, but Rose Lavelle‘s half-time substitution changed the balance of the match.
It was Lavelle who got the assist on the U.S. equalizer: after a more aggressive press in the attacking third, Lavelle’s floated corner was forcefully headed home by Horan at the near post, with goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar unable to keep it out. The game was firmly there for the U.S. to win in the final half-hour, with Alex Morgan thinking she’d scored the go-ahead goal only for it to be ruled out for offside upon review.
Ultimately, the point helps keep the U.S. top of Group E with one match remaining.
Here’s how the individual performances stacked up.
Manager rating (scale of 1-10)
Vlatko Andonovski, 4 — There was no mystery about how the Dutch side would come out: three defenders in the back and a packed midfield to win the numbers game in the center of the pitch. Andonovski & Co. did not adjust accordingly. Instead, he rolled out the same questionable line-up that faced Vietnam, and they looked unable to keep up.
In the end, a set piece and some individual brilliance bailed the USWNT out.
Player ratings (0-10; 10=best; 5=average)
GK Alyssa Naeher, 5 — There wasn’t much Naeher could’ve done on Roord’s goal, and she otherwise wasn’t called upon to make big saves.
DF Emily Fox, 5 — She didn’t stand out for good reasons or bad, but the goal didn’t come from her side and she did well enough over the course of the game.
DF Julie Ertz, 7 — She got stuck in again as a defender in the middle of the back line, winning balls and offering a physical presence that some fans might’ve preferred to see in her usual spot, defensive midfield. In the 80th minute, she blocked a would-be Netherlands goal, and she wasn’t culpable on the Netherlands’ first-half goal.
One touch, one strike, one lead for the Netherlands 🇳🇱 pic.twitter.com/ExXulFcJoQ
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
DF Naomi Girma, 6 — A steady and dependable presence, Girma more or less did what she need to do defensively and can’t be blamed for the Netherland’s opening goal.
DF Crystal Dunn, 4 — She was better going forward and helping the attack than she was in defense, where she put the USWNT in precarious positions at times.
MF Savannah DeMelo, 4 — She took a lot of abuse from Netherlands’ midfielder Jackie Groenen, but ultimately lost that midfield battle, getting the hook at halftime so Rose Lavelle could come in.
MF Andi Sullivan, 4 — She got beaten by Lieke Martens in the sequence that led to the Netherlands’ goal. Her performance lacked the disruptive qualities we assumed Ertz would instead bring to the defensive midfield — until Andonovski opted to shoehorn Ertz in as centerback instead. Got too overrun in the midfield.
MF Lindsey Horan, 6 — She was often caught trying to do too much, and it led to a mixed bag, but she led the way in the USWNT’s passing, and her equalizing header in the second half was well-taken.
WHO ELSE BUT HORAN?!
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 27, 2023
FW Trinity Rodman, 4 — It wasn’t for a lack of trying as Rodman ran the whole time, but she had a limited impact in the attack and was unable to contribute much. Her 82nd minute shot that went wide was her first big possible contribution.
FW Alex Morgan, 5 — While she didn’t have any golden chances, she did have opportunities she didn’t take, including a through-ball inside the first six minutes that she let roll by instead of pursuing. A bit more patience in the second half and she’d have remained onside for her disallowed goal.
FW Sophia Smith, 5 — She was active and dangerous running at goal, even getting a couple of good shots, but ultimately didn’t do well enough in connecting with her teammates around her. She repeatedly hung onto the ball too long, failing to get the shot, pass or cross off.
Substitutes (Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
MF Rose Lavelle, 7 (on for DeMelo, 45″) — The difference when she came on was palpable. She plays at a higher speed than the other players in the midfield and the USWNT’s tempo picked up once she entered. Also delivered the set piece service that led to Horan’s goal.