We got to see some familiar faces return and a new addition to the team on Saturday night, and with that also came several hints of a future that will produce more than the current five points in five games.
Most of the game was played in the midfield, which left few moments for the ends to make an impression. Both teams definitely put up a hard fight that left some bumps and bruises by the end of the night.
Here’s each player’s performance and how they rated.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 4 — I’m putting the goal on Harris due to her poor choice to punch the ball almost straight up into the air instead of just grabbing it. She’s been in tougher situations, and it was a pretty easy grab, but she took a swing at it where it was also cleared poorly by Christine Nairn. She again put herself in danger in the 59th minute when she kicked it directly to Nahomi Kawasumi and it got it to Jodie Taylor for a shot on goal, but Harris ultimately saved that one.
D, Ali Krieger, 6.5 — Ali put in a solid 90 minutes and was all over the pitch on the right side. She led the team in touches with 84 and it showed. She was involved in all phases of the game. I would have liked to have seen her look for others besides Marta and Morgan on throw-ins. There were a couple of times it was forced to one of them and it resulted in a lost ball. She spent a lot of time doing battle with Steph Catley, and she kept her in check pretty much the entire match.
D, Monica, 6 — A decent shift by Monica, who led the defense (but not the team) in tackles, with three. She bailed out Shelina Zadorsky at the end of the first half when Jodie Taylor slipped a ball past her into the box, and continued to quell any attacks that came her way. Although she had a brutal miss on a clearance that fell to Taylor’s feet where she again put a shot on goal.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 6 — Shelina did a great job getting the ball out of the Pride’s own box and up the field. In the first half, she had an awesome look to Alex Morgan, but Alex’s touch was just a bit messy and that was the end of that. She fought off Taylor most of the match, or at least gave her trouble when she would take the shot, never giving her a great look on goal.
D, Toni Pressley, 6 — Not very exciting I know, giving most of the defense the same grade, but I thought they all put in a slightly above average shift. Like Monica and Shelina, Toni had some key blocks and cleared the ball when things got too dangerous. She had a couple of good looks up field, but the lobs were just a bit off — notably early in the second half when she could have sprung a running Morgan.
MF, Christine Nairn, 5 — Nairn put in some decent defensive work, but at times, when the ball was at her feet she’d miss Morgan slipping into a pocket of space. And each time, it would have been a shot on goal. So these were important gaffes to me that drop her grade a bit. She was subbed out after 74 minutes of some pretty tough midfield battles.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 5.5 — You could tell this was Kennedy’s first game back as her passing was definitely the weak link at 64.3%. A lot of that though, was due to her and Jess Fishlock playing each other hard before Fishlock left with a knee injury. But, even with all that happening, she got a few shots off, one on target, and created a chance.
MF, Marta, 6.5 (PotM) — Marta looked worn out after a very busy week getting back over to the states, and it showed in her 1-v-1 situations. When she’s on, we’ve seen her bust through against two or three defenders, but on Saturday she got caught a couple of times and lost possession. She led the team with four shots taken, with two on target, and of course, put in that beautiful free kick that helped the Pride salvage a point. That was enough to put her as my PotM. A worn-out Marta is still one of the best players on the pitch.
F, Sydney Leroux, 5 — This was a weird match for Syd, because she did a lot of solid work on defense, which probably isn’t what you should be saying about one of your forwards, even if they are pressing like they were on Saturday. She destroyed Catley in the seventh minute with a great tackle, and had a couple of others to lead the team with four. She created a couple of chances in the match, but ended with zero shots taken.
F, Alex Morgan, 6 — Another game where Alex comes away with nothing; however, the 90 minutes she put in Saturday were a lot different to me than previous matches. She was great at pressing and making Seattle play with urgency. She had a few decent looks to her teammates even though a couple of them never returned the favor. She created four solid chances as well. Had Alanna not taken the extra touch on her great through ball, she would have an assist for sure.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 4 — Chi continues to play with an awesome amount of energy, but her primary problem is not looking up when the ball is at her feet. I won’t list the number of times she missed a wide open Marta, Morgan, and others, but the most serious was probably in the 16th minute, when she chose to take the shot but Marta was being given space on the right side of the box. She missed Marta again two minutes later. She would come off at the end of the half.
MF, Emily Van Egmond (46’), 5.5 — A decent effort for a player just getting stateside and playing with a team for the first time. She had great vision that’ll hopefully bring about some good moments in the future. Had she held up the ball for one more second early in the second half, she probably would have an assist on a Morgan goal. Later on, Morgan slipped it off to van Egmond, who took the shot, just to have it go a bit wide.
MF, Dani Weatherholt (74’), 5 — Dani came onto the field late, and she never got to settle in. She completed just 50% of her passes and didn’t provide much else. This is unfortunate, because I think she really sold her place in the top XI these last couple of weeks, and was rewarded with a benching. I’m hoping it’s just to get her some rest for the Chicago match. We’ll see.
F, Rachel Hill (82’), N/A — It would have been nice to see her come on in Dani’s place, the extra eight minutes might have shown us a bit more, because she came on with some fantastic energy. Ultimately she didn’t have time to impact the match much, hence, no rating given.
So there we are, folks. Sorry for the delay. It was a brutal four-day stretch for me personally, putting in 48 hours at my real job, and just like that, we have another game to watch tomorrow night versus Chicago.
Don’t forget to let me have it if you saw the game any other way, and vote on your player of the match below.
Who was your player of the match for the Orlando Pride in the 1-1 draw with the Seattle Reign?
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