The stat sheet tells a tale opposite of the scoreline. Dominating shots, corners, crosses, passes, accuracy in passing, and possession don’t mean a thing if you can’t get the ball into the attack, or if you do, you don’t finish off the chances you are given.
A small goal of mine is to try to highlight the positives as well as the negatives when drawing up the final rating, but this one is going to be a task. So I’m going to get to it.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 4 — There is nothing special on the night for Harris that can negate the poor decision to punch out the ball that led to the second Houston goal. I’m okay with the tactic. In fact, Jane Campbell should have gone with a punch that led to the lone Orlando goal, but if you are going to do it, commit to it. The punch was soft and didn’t even come close to leaving the box and getting out of danger.
D, Poliana, 4 — Poliana had a night of “almosts.” A lot of decent ideas, but the passes or crosses just weren’t there. I thought she could have done a lot more on Houston’s first goal. Monica was clearly getting burned and Poliana just trotted behind waiting to see if Shelina Zadorsky would get involved. Not much urgency on the night.
D, Monica, 3.5 — As I said just above, Monica got burned. Not just the once, but several times throughout the match. There was little-to-no command on defending the box. Like others, her play was lacking urgency and aggression.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 4 — Shelina had the same problems as Monica, and had trouble clearing the ball a few times. She did notch an assist on a recycled ball outside the box, but that was pretty much the lone highlight. Getting beat by Rachel Daly late in the game, she had to foul, getting a yellow for her efforts. Or lack of.
D, Carson Pickett, 4.5 — Carson did all right, she too had a game of almosts. She had a few crosses that could have been better, a great one that landed at Sydney Leroux’s feet, who took a shot that got blocked. She came close to a game changer when she took a long shot that floated just over the top of the bar in the 49th minute.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5.5 (PotM) — Dani was the only starter on the field that played the game with any kind of urgency. Time and time again, she would bomb into the camera frame to close out Houson’s attempt at maintaining possession. She wasn’t without her flaws — her touch can get heavy sometimes — but all those stats Orlando dominated in had a lot to do with her effort on the pitch.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 3.5 — A bad pass from Kennedy seemed to set the tone for the match. A wide ball meant for Camila instead found the feet of Kealia Ohai, who sent it to Daly on the counter. She would later drop back to a center back role late in the game, and was down on the field with an injury when Thembi Kgatlana countered for Houston’s third goal.
MF, Camila, 4 — Camila just isn’t back to the form we saw from her last year. She was the Pride’s most aggressive player on the pitch last year, and she was the least aggressive in this one. No urgency, no pressure on Houston, nothing. She helped maintain possession, but didn’t do much to get the ball forward.
F, Sydney Leroux, 5.5 — Even Syd seemed to lack her normal tenacious play. Having said that, she was still more of a spark than most, and continually tried to provide that in the box with a few headers. I think if she would have laid the ball off to Alex Morgan in the 69th, she could have had an assist, and should have gotten a goal later in the game from a Rachel Hill cross or another on a Chioma Ubogagu cross that she hit right at Campbell.
F, Alex Morgan, 4 — Alex faded from the game the more the Pride struggled to get the ball into any kind of meaningful attack, but usually when that happens, you see Morgan get involved in other ways, and that just didn’t happen in this one. She was a couple of inches off on a goal that would have opened up the scoring early on, instead hitting the post, and after that there wasn’t much more involvement.
F, Marta, 4 — Marta had her chances and good moments throughout the match and was a large part of the success the Pride did have, but I’m knocking her for the senseless red in the closing seconds of the match. It was over, and then she let her frustrations get the best of her and put hands to the face of Daly. Now she’ll be absent in a time when her presence matters most.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 4.5 — In the half hour of time she was on the field, she wasn’t able to provide any of the moments I saw from her when she first arrived. Subbing for Camila was the right move, but only if Emily can provide what the other was lacking. She did not.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 5 — When Chi came in, we started to see for the first time, a dangerous attack on the left. She had a couple of crosses, one lasered directly to Syd, and she attempted a couple of shots, all of which would end up blocked.
F, Rachel Hill, 5 — What I said for Chi applies to Hill as well. For what seemed like the first time, Orlando got a couple of good attacks on the right side. She created a good turnover early on, but the following pass was just a tad off for Morgan. As I mentioned on Syd’s rating, she put in a cross that very easily should have been an assist.
There you have it. The plus side is, the Pride have a quick turnaround and hopefully they can make us all forget about what happened on Wednesday. Be sure to vote. Sorry, I couldn’t bring myself to provide any other options on the poll. Share your thoughts. I’m enjoying all the feedback!
Who was your Pride Player of the Match in the 3-1 loss at the Houston Dash?
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