July 14, 2018. That was the last time the Orlando Pride left the field with three points. Less than a month later, on Aug. 5, was the last time they scored two goals in one game. Now, as the team transitions to those not traveling to the World Cup, I, probably like you, am left wondering if it’ll all come together just enough to give us something to look forward to.
Enough wallowing. Time to break down the 1-0 loss to the Houston Dash and find our Player of the Match!
GK, Haley Kopmeyer, 6 — Another solid outing from Kop as she fills in for the next few months. Once again, I feel like there wasn’t much she could do on the lone goal, and throughout the match she had several solid saves, including a stellar effort in the 29th minute when she went toe-to-toe with Rachel Daly.
D, Erin Greening, 5 — Erin got her first start for the Pride and things went pretty well. As the game wore on, she got a bit more aggressive, and that was nice to see. It was sorely needed early on, when she and Alanna Kennedy left Kealia Ohai with too much time and space to bury the only goal in the match. I hope to see her get forward a bit more as the season progresses and tighten up that passing (56.5%).
D, Alanna Kennedy, 4.5 — There wasn’t much there at the end of the night for Kennedy. I think she had plenty of time to close in on Ohai, well outside the box, and had she done that, the goal doesn’t happen. Worst case, it’s a foul and a free kick. Especially that far out, I think you have to close in and fight for the ball. The biggest problem was that there were two defenders and they let her cut back inside to unleash the shot. Later in the match, she did move to the midfield, but remained uninvolved.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5.5 — Shelina led the team in touches, and played a large part in distributing the ball into the midfield. Adding to that were a handful of clearances. The second half was a bit more sporadic from her as she played the long ball time and time again that couldn’t find anyone.
D, Carson Pickett, 6 — Carson was the most accurate defender for the Pride with 72.7% passing. She also created a chance and led the team in tackles, with four. One thing I’m noticing a lot this season is she is able to pick out the opponent’s pass and break it up more times than most. Even as the team starts to change, she has been consistent and will be a big part of the team as they move on.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5 — The midfield is still lacking any kind of connection, and Dani is definitely a part of that with a meager 56% passing accuracy. I’m not sure what the solution is, but hopefully it becomes a bit clearer when she makes her 50th start next week.
MF, Joanna Boyles, 5 — Joanna’s passing was just a tad worse at 54%. Having said that, I enjoyed her hustle and her level of involvement. I also was glad to see she isn’t afraid to pull the trigger on taking a shot.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 5.5 — A bright spot in the midfield during the first half, but as things got more desperate, her passes forward became a bit of a liability. A chance created, and the best passing from a starter in the midfield, made it just slightly above average for me.
F, Rachel Hill, 5.5 — It seems like Rachel inches closer and closer to putting one in the net every week, but it has yet to work out. She had several good chances that just couldn’t come together. A solid work rate, and a good effort on the defensive side of the ball keep me from getting too down on her though. I remain confident that we’ll see some fireworks from her.
F, Marta, 6 (PotM) — It was a bit of a toss-up for Player of the Match, but in the end, I thought Marta put in a good shift in all phases of the game. Her ability on the ball is rarely matched, and most of the chances on the night flowed through her, including her header that couldn’t quite sneak under the bar. She had three of the Pride’s nine shots and came the closest to scoring.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 5 — Some bright moments, and some not-so-bright moments for Chi. She put in an awesome ball to Hill at the end of the first half, but around moments like that were needless turnovers and losing possession. I thought she struggled matching up against a few of the more speedy Dash players as well.
MF, Camila (68’), 5.5 — Camila provided a spark, but never found that connection with the front line. She had a couple of great moments getting the ball forward, dribbling over and around the opposition, but never got to provide that final pass. I wouldn’t mind seeing one of her rockets from 30 yards out, if the connections are going to continue to struggle.
MF, Abby Elinsky (70’), 5 — Abby too, provided some missing energy, but struggled to get involved in possession. Defensively, she put the pressure on and was able to rush the Dash. It was good to see her and all the subs really, add something different to the match.
MF, Marisa Viggiano (87’), N/A — Coming in 17 minutes later, with only a few minutes remaining, Marisa matched Abby’s involvement. She kind of seemed to appear everywhere, and early on got connected with Marta to put a decent cross in. Although she didn’t play long enough to fairly earn a grade, she did manage eight touches and completed three of four passes in just a few minutes.
There wasn’t much swing in the ratings, as no one really stood out one way or the other. There were a couple of good performances, but overall, a very average team performance. Tell me what you think below, and get that vote in for your player of the match!
|Other (comment below)