The Orlando Pride took a point in their first visit to Rio Tinto Stadium and continued their unbeaten streak to four matches (2-0-2) after a 0-0 draw against Utah Royals FC. It was a brutal game that saw 30 fouls called, left Alex Morgan and Kelly O’Hara with possible injuries, and probably several others with some bumps and bruises.
In my opinion, this seemed like a step backwards as far as the quality of play, but we also have to consider that Utah (formally FC Kansas City) has always been pretty solid on defense. So this was never going to be easy. With that said, let’s get to it and find our player of the match.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 5 — Once again Ashlyn didn’t get much of a test, but I thought she did better this week in controlling the situation in the box. I’m still not liking the long balls, which continually resulted in nothing, but considering how this specific match went in the midfield, I don’t blame her too much trying to make something happen on the long ball.
D, Ali Krieger, 5.5 — Ali didn’t get involved in the attack as much as I would have liked, as she spent most of the match parrying off the attacks made by O’Hara and Gunnhildur Jonsdottir. But she did enough defensively to help keep the clean sheet.
D, Monica, 5.5 — Since most of the game took place in the middle of the field, she didn’t have much to do on the night, but she did a solid job of keeping Amy Rodriguez in check and not allowing many opportunities to slip past her.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5 — Shelina was involved a bit more than Monica, but her passing was far below what we are used to from her at 62.8%. Her night started off with a long ball to no one, and it kind of kept that form throughout the rest of the game.
D, Carson Pickett, 4.5 — Carson was in a lot of places throughout the match, and that shows with her having the second most touches on the night (64). However, those touches did not do as much as she would have liked. She had a couple of decent crosses into the box, but her low pass completion of 58.2% was the major drawback in this one.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 5.5 — Emily had a decent game, all things considered. She put a shot on goal (one of two total for the team), came away with a couple of tackles, and conceded three fouls. Like the rest of the midfield, she just had a lot of problems stringing together a couple of passes to get the ball forward.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 4.5 — I thought this was a poor game from Alanna. There were several times throughout the match where she could have helped possession by filling the open space, but a lot of times, she was just caught ball watching. She was fouled four times, so even when she did get the ball, it often didn’t result in much more than a restart in an already choppy game.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 6 (PotM) — If the Pride didn’t get to build possession because of the tough play by Katrina Gorry and Jonsdottir, then Utah didn’t get to build play because of Dani. She finished with four tackles on the night, while conceding only one foul, and although she only attempted 28 passes, she did keep the highest rating with 92.9% completed — the top percentage by any player on the field by almost 10 percent.
F, Sydney Leroux, 4.5 — I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where to put the forwards on the grading scale, because the game was just a mess for both teams in building to an attack. Throughout the entire match, Syd, Marta, and Chi Ubogagu would have to go deep to help get the ball forward, and that left not much of an attack, which is clearly shown by Syd’s one shot taken, which skipped wide of the target in the first half.
F, Marta, 5 — Marta was involved in six fouls on the night, three for, and three against, and that tells a bit about how the night went for her. Any time the ball was at her feet, she was immediately put under pressure and couldn’t make the connections to get out of trouble.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 4 — Chi, who hasn’t had a complete 90-minute game yet, had a very incomplete game Wednesday. All the things we’ve seen in previous matches that she’s been faltering on were definitely highlighted in a match full of inconsistency. She completed just over half of her passes at 52.2%, and continued to push the ball into multiple defenders. She made it eight minutes into the second half before coming off for Alex Morgan.
F, Alex Morgan, (53’) 5 — Morgan came into a messy match, and tried to get involved, but with only 13 touches on the night, it’s hard to say she had a good game. Especially once her shoulder was roughed up, it seemed to take the wind out of her sails. Awesome header to Rachel Hill though for what was one of the few chances on the night.
F, Rachel Hill, (70’) 5.5 — The aforementioned chance created by Morgan was a solid opportunity for Hill to put it in the net, but she didn’t get a solid foot on the ball and it was easily saved. She did change the flow of the game I thought and opened up the right side a bit more.
MF, Christine Nairn, (86’) N/A — Nairn came in at the end to relieve Marta, but didn’t have much time to get anything going. I can’t argue with the first two subs, but I still would have liked to have seen Nairn come on sooner, and not for Marta. Perhaps 20 minutes on the field together could have yielded enough vision to make something happen.
There you have it. A rough one to watch, and an even rougher one to grade. So tell me who you thought had a strong game despite the struggles and vote below.
Who was your Orlando Pride player of the match in the 0-0 draw vs. Utah Royals?
This poll is closed
Emily van Egmond
Other (comment below)