AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- The United States women's national team needed only to avoid defeat against Portugal to advance to the knockout phase of the Women's World Cup. The reigning champions did that, but at the bare minimum, with a 0-0 draw and a performance that was far from inspiring.
Manager rating (scale of 1-10)
Vlatko Andonovski, 4 -- In his prematch news conference, the U.S. coach said he doesn't read or listen to any of the media coverage surrounding the team, but it feels like he got word that everyone was clamoring for Lynn Williams to start. She was bright in getting into the box and finding chances, but she suffered from the same finishing yips that have affected the rest of the team.
Most concerning is that the USWNT didn't seem to have a cohesive game plan, and again it was up to individual moments to decide the match. But that's nothing new in this era of the USWNT under Andonovski.
At least he remembered he could use subs this time. The USWNT switched to a double pivot late to hang on for the draw.
Player ratings (0-10; 10 = best; 5 = average)
Portugal was this close 😬 pic.twitter.com/UMIZnAqyib— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 1, 2023
DF Emily Fox, 5 -- Although she wasn't perfect, she made some good plays to keep Portugal at bay and generally did her job.
DF Julie Ertz, 5 -- A steady presence in winning balls and breaking up attacks -- up until missing the duel that would have allowed Capeta to score the winning goal from Portugal, if not for the post.
DF Naomi Girma, 6 -- The USWNT's best player of the first half, which shows how that half went. She was dependable in winning aerial duels, cutting out attacks and passing to her teammates. Her yellow card was the only blemish.
DF Crystal Dunn, 5 -- She got beat a few times but wasn't the cause of the USWNT's problems.
MF Rose Lavelle, 4 -- She didn't influence the game in the same way she had in the previous two games. Her passing was off, and her early yellow card not only held her back from really getting stuck in defensively but will also see her suspended for the next game.
MF Andi Sullivan, 5 -- In a thankless role, she did well to break up attacks and win the ball, even as she didn't get much help from her central midfield teammates.
MF Lindsey Horan, 4 -- She struggled on the ball and couldn't connect her passes nearly enough.
FW Lynn Williams, 5 -- She had some quality chances she couldn't finish, but she was the only USWNT player to consistently put herself in dangerous scoring positions.
FW Alex Morgan, 5 -- Couldn't do anything with the couple of looks she had in front of goal, but worked hard to keep possession and generate opportunities for her teammates.
FW Sophia Smith, 3 -- Looked a touch slow and lacking bite, often failing to get to 50-50 balls and not getting her passes or crosses off quickly. Got the hook in the 61st minute after an ineffectual shift.
Substitutes (Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
FW Megan Rapinoe (on for Smith, 61 minutes), 4 -- She had some good touches and passes early but lost steam as the match went on.
MF Emily Sonnett (on for Horan, 84 minutes), N/R -- Moved the USWNT in a double pivot, but Portugal's best chance of the game came in stoppage time anyway.
FW Trinity Rodman (on for Williams, 84 minutes), N/R -- Couldn't do much to change the match.
DF Kelley O'Hara (on for Dunn, 90+6 minutes), N/R -- Came on to seemingly run down the clock.
FW Alyssa Thompson, N/R (on for Morgan, 90+6 minutes) -- Came on to seemingly run down the clock.