The Pride found their intensity late in the game, but it wasn’t enough as they fought to a draw with Seattle for a third and final time this year. With a Portland win, the Pride have now slipped to fourth place in the NWSL table with a hot Chicago team nipping at their heels.
Without further ado, let’s break down the team and find our player of the match.
GK, Haley Kopmeyer, 6 — Kopmeyer got her second start on the year and faced her former team yet again. She had a great first half with some good saves (five before the break) and a couple of good balls put back into play, but the second half wasn’t as kind to her. I thought the Seattle goal would have been hard to save, but she kind of over-committed on her positioning, which made it that much harder.
D, Ali Krieger, 6.5 — I thought the 3-5-2 the team came out in anchored Krieger a bit too much. It limited how the team got forward, which was mostly on the left side. Since she was on heavy defensive duty for most of the match, she at least did well at that, clearing multiple balls and pretty much shutting down Jasmyne Spencer.
D, Monica, 6 — Monica had a solid first half, but as the game wore on Seattle started finding the holes and exploiting them. There were a couple of miscues — one late in the first half was a poor pass that led to a shot being taken, which was luckily blocked.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5.5 — Shelina had some good defensive moments, but her game was sprinkled with a few of shaky moments, including losing track of Jodie Taylor in the box, which led to the Seattle goal. She had a team low 60.8% passing (not including Carson Pickett’s one pass attempt).
MF, Toni Pressley, 6.5 (PotM) — Obviously, scoring the only goal for the Pride will give you a highlight to talk about, and as the ball fell to her feet in the 21st minute, she didn’t think twice and put the ball away. I’ve been liking how she closes up lanes to keep away any potential attacks, and we saw a bit more of that on Saturday. Now, if we could just see her height used as an advantage on set pieces more.
MF, Kristen Edmonds, 5 — A decent enough game from Edmonds. Nothing stuck out too much, and I think that’s once again the problem. The team and Kristen have to find a way to get her more involved. She played 20 more minutes than Pressley, and came away with just one more touch, at 36. Due to this, the ball was filtered mostly on the left, leaving the Pride a bit one dimensional.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 5.5 — Kennedy wasn’t able to get involved in the ways we are used to, but that probably had to do with the limited number of set pieces, with only four fouls being called on Seattle for the entire night. There continues to be a bit of awkwardness with her fellow midfielders as everyone seems unsure on where they should be, but there were a couple of good blocks and a great tackle on Spencer late in the game that completely took the former Pride player out of the play.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5.5 — To piggyback on my Kennedy comments, there were times when Weatherholt too didn’t seem to know where she should be and, like her counterpart, her passes could be a bit off. In this formation, she played a bit further forward and was sometimes the only one in the attacking third, which of course led to nothing advantageous for the Pride.
MF, Chioma Ubogagu, 6.5 — I thought Chi had a great night with a couple of near disasters thrown into the mix. With the ball at her feet, it was one of the best games for her this season, and any hope of an attack usually came from her side. There were a couple of balls given away, and she almost gave up a goal with a horrible clearance in the 37th minute had it not been for Kopmeyer making the save. She got the ball to her teammates 85.7% of the time, giving her the third-best passer rating on the team, and of course her breaking free of Nahomi Kawasumi and putting the ball into the box led to the goal by Pressley.
F, Marta, 6 — We’ve talked a lot about where we think Marta does best, and the general consensus seems to be midfield. She seems to naturally think so too, as she often tracks back deep into Pride territory to help with possession. The problem, however, is that this leaves no options on the attack if she’s the one facilitating it, other than Sydney Leroux. And so that’s how the night went. She topped everyone on the field with 92.9% passing accuracy, but short of that, she had one shot on target (out of two shots taken) and only one chance created.
F, Sydney Leroux, 5 — Sydney seemed to have her feet in quicksand for portions of the match, and would either be caught offside or just in a poor position to help in the attack. I would have gone lower on the grade, but her effort late in the game really amped up and we started seeing some awesome moments. One of those moments was ruined by a called foul on Syd that saw her keep the ball in play in the final minutes of the match, get tackled out of bounds, jump back onto the field, and win the ball for what would have most likely been a cross into the box.
MF, Camila (59’), 5 — It took about 10 minutes for Camila to start getting involved, but I think I caught a couple of glimpses of what we came to love last year. Hopefully as she gets more minutes, that tenacity is fully restored and we see a rocket or two launched into the net.
MF, Emily van Egmond (67’), 5.5 — I thought we started to see a bit more structure from our midfield once van Egmond got on the field, but it took her a bit of time to get into the game. She did complete 10 of her 11 passes for a 90.9% rate, but short of that, not much else can be said.
D, Carson Pickett (79’), 4 — Carson was on the pitch for about 15 minutes, including stoppage time, and she got four touches and only attempted one pass. She should have had an easy cross into the box, but it sailed onto the wall.
I don’t think anyone had a breakout night, so I gave the edge to Toni Pressley for getting the lone goal. Vote below, and let me hear your perspective!
Who was your Pride Player of the Match in the draw versus Seattle?
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