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Orlando Pride vs. Chicago Red Stars: Player Grades and Player of the Match

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The Pride take all the points in a stellar match versus Chicago.

Shaina Benhiyoun, Backline Soccer

On a short turnaround from the Seattle match, it would be forgivable to see some rough play and miscues, but the impending weather that would cause a delay in the second half was not the only storm to blow through Chicago on Wednesday night. The Pride came out looking sharp and kept a clean sheet against the likes of Sam Kerr, Sofia Huerta, and company to take all the points in a place where they’ve never accomplished the feat before.

This was the toughest match for me personally to try to single out one standout performance, and as of right now, typing this sentence, I still haven’t chosen just yet, so let’s break it down and see if we can find our player of the match.

Starters

GK, Ashlyn Harris, 5.5 — Harris wasn’t tested all that much on Wednesday night, her duties were mostly making calls for the defense and distributing. The one time she got the chance to stop a shot, it was low and right down the center. Overall, a fairly easy shift for the Orlando keeper.

D, Ali Krieger, 8 — Ali once again spent the night all over the right side of the field and continued to have some great moments and looks to get the ball forward. One specific moment was a great sequence from the team in the 36th minute that ended with a fantastic through ball from Ali to Sydney Leroux for a difficult shot on goal. Also of course, her interception in the second half that got the Pride their second goal.

D, Monica, 7.5 — Monica’s duties were keeping her eyes on Sam Kerr, and she didn’t disappoint. Kerr was constantly on the prowl, finding pockets of space and just when the midfield would go for the connection, Monica would appear and kill the ball. She did get beat a couple of times on the night by Kerr, but we are talking about the 2017 NWSL MVP here.

D, Shelina Zadorsky, 7.5 — Shelina too had a good night and the couple of times Monica did get beat, she was there to help out. She was often the release valve in getting the defense out of tight spots. A pretty amazing sequence happened around the 17:45 mark, where she connected with Harris and Dani Weatherholt, and others to spring a counter attack.

D, Carson Pickett, 7 — This was the Carson Pickett I watched last year and it was great to see her a lot more settled in. Her vision to become part of the attack is top notch and I think we’ll continue to see improvement in that area as the season progresses. The only knock in this one was at times her touch on the ball was a bit off.

MF, Emily van Egmond, 8 (PotM) — I’ve been really impressed with every minute of van Egmond’s play so far since she arrived, and Wednesday night was an awesome performance from her. She continually found the open attacker and would almost always put the ball in the right spot to make it dangerous. This is exemplified by her fantastic ball to Hill in the 81st minute to close out the game.

MF, Alanna Kennedy, 7.5 — Alanna was heavily involved in disrupting any build of play from Chicago, and, like Shelina and Monica, she was a part of keeping Kerr and Huerta in check all night. There were a couple of times on the offensive side that things didn’t connect too well, but she did put in a great ball to Leroux in the 18th minute.

MF, Dani Weatherholt, 7 — On a night that brought out a lot of great performances from the team, Dani’s ferocity was finally overshadowed a bit. She did great moving from box to box and always putting pressure on Chicago.

F, Sydney Leroux, 7.5 — She just puts in so much work, and yes, her shots still aren’t producing, but the impact she has in all other phases of the game make up for it. She is a beast on defense and she continued that trend on Wednesday. Not only that, but she continues to find that space on offense and is almost always a part of the attack.

F, Marta, 7 — I’m putting this in the context of what I’ve seen from Marta in the past, and this one wasn’t all that it could have been. Still a solid game from her, but just not quite there yet given the short amount of time, and lack of rest since she’s rejoined the team. I suspect by next match, we’ll start to see the constant brilliance again. It’ll be hard to get the numbers we know she can get if defenses keep piling onto her, but that is what it is. The opposition is paying for it one way or the other.

F, Chioma Ubogagu, 7.5 — Chi opened up the match when she notched her third goal on the season. She also played a large part of dropping into the midfield to bring the ball up, which is exactly what happened when she intercepted the ball, dribbled to the top of the box before feeding it to Syd who then laid it off for the finish. Still a couple of miscues, but this was Chi’s most complete performance so far, to me.

Substitutes

Rachel Hill, (70’) 7.5 — I said last week I would have liked to have seen Hill come on 10 minutes earlier, and that’s just what I got in this one. She had time to settle in and provide a spark on offense as well as defense. Her run and finish to put the game out of reach shows exactly what she’s capable of. Hopefully this is the first of many brilliant moments for the young forward.

Kristen Edmonds, (76’) 7 — Edmonds coming off of the bench with a bit less pressure is just what she needed, I think. And it showed in her brilliant flick to van Egmond, which led to the Rachel Hill goal.

Poliana, (84) N/A — It was good to see Poliana back on the scene, and, like Edmonds and Hill, to provide a spark with not as much pressure, proved to be just what was needed. It’ll be interesting to see how the lineups start to shake out going forward. A lot of options.


There we have it, you know the drill. Put in your vote, and let me know how you saw the match. Thanks for reading.

Poll

Who was your Pride Player of the Match in Orlando’s ‘2-0 win over the Chicago Red Stars?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Ali Krieger
    (17 votes)
  • 13%
    Monica
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    Shelina Zadorsky
    (2 votes)
  • 18%
    Emily van Egmond
    (7 votes)
  • 13%
    Chioma Ubogagu
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (comment below)
    (1 vote)
37 votes total Vote Now