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Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns: Player Grades and Player of the Match

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The Pride’s postseason chances start to slip through their fingers.

Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

With only one win in their last five matches, the Orlando Pride have backed themselves into a corner with this 2-0 loss to Portland. With only a point between them and missing the playoffs, the final three games will be the most important in the Pride’s third season.

It was yet another difficult one to grade, but as always, I’m going to go for it and welcome your insight into the match as well.

Starters

GK, Ashlyn Harris, 5 — Harris’ night went pretty decently, all things considered. She wasn’t tested often, and when it comes to the two goals, the first wasn’t savable, and the second was just a perfect strike from Hayley Raso.

D, Ali Krieger, 5 — I won’t argue with anyone that says Krieger played a better game than average, but for me, this was just that, an average night for one of the greats. Some good play in the first half, and some...not so great play in the second half. There were a couple of turnovers that were definitely unnecessary, but a couple of good balls forward. I’ll just use this space for this: I don’t like Ali in a 3-5-2. She is a lot more electric in a four-person defense.

D, Alanna Kennedy, 3 — I pride myself on a long memory. So remembering what Kennedy gave us in 2017 vs. what we are seeing now is, in a word, devastating. The only thing I can factor in is that all of the opposition’s talent caught up with her, because she was electric a year ago and a huge part of the surge that got the Pride to the playoffs, and in this match (and much of the season) she wasn’t even close to the form we witnessed in 2017. So, sometimes your opponent gets the best of you, and in this match, they got the best of Kennedy twice, which was more than enough.

D, Toni Pressley, 4.5 — Pressley was just outmatched for a lot of the game by the Portland offense. It didn’t show too much early on, when the Pride had control of possession, but once the Thorns got on the attack, she was exposed fairly often. Her balls forward, which I’m normally a fan of, where few and far between in this one. I would have liked to have seen a bit more success there.

MF, Kristen Edmonds, 5 — Edmonds, even taking the beating that she did, had a great first half in my opinion. She held possession (when she wasn’t being shoved in the face) and got the ball forward in a few key moments. As the game wore on, though, the numbers took a dive and she was subbed out in the 68th minute.

MF, Dani Weatherholt, 6 — Weatherholt had some good moments that involved winning some early corners and putting a shot on target, and of course she led the team in tackles, with four. Pretty much what I’ve come to expect from the young midfielder.

MF, Shelina Zadorsky, 5 — I wasn’t a fan of moving Zadorsky up. She was somehow less involved in the game moving into the midfield, and her passing was pretty low, in terms of amount of distribution (15 total passes) and accuracy (60%). I think if she could have gotten more involved, the game could have looked a little different.

MF, Emily van Egmond, 4.5 — Van Egmond took four shots and put a couple on frame, and every once in a while there was a nice looking pass in the early going, but all of the good was matched by a random pass that would get picked off or just roll to no one in particular. I thought those early corners she took were decent enough, but in the end, no one connected.

MF, Chioma Ubogagu, 5.5 — Chi was busy most of the time she was on the pitch. She had some decent crosses, and even though she only played 59 minutes, she out-touched everyone on the pitch but Weatherholt, Van Egmond, and Marta (all of whom played 90 minutes). The goals might have completely dried up for Chi, but she has been playing better ball since then.

F, Marta, 6.5 (PotM) — A game like this, I usually find it difficult to decide on the player of the match, but I thought Marta was always looking to create and get the ball forward, and the numbers back that up. Five shots, three on frame, three chances created, and led the team in touches at 53. No matter the result, it’s always a joy to watch the GOAT.

F, Alex Morgan, 6 — Considering the mugging going on all over the pitch, I think Morgan did all she could and maybe a little bit more. She had a team high in passing accuracy at 81.8%, and tied Marta on chances created.

Substitutes

MF, Camila (59’), 4.5 — Being the first sub, Camila didn’t have quite the impact I would have liked, and I think it’s obvious her form isn’t quite up to last year’s. It also doesn’t help when not much of anyone’s form is up to last year’s. Defensively, she had a decent enough outing. In the 85th minute, she ignored an open Morgan that would have most likely set up an opportunity.

MF, Rachel HIll (68’), 3 — In 22 minutes of play, there was basically nothing there to show for it. Three touches, three total passes that didn’t connect. Portland controlled possession and shut down any potential from Hill.

D, Carson Pickett (80’), 4.5 — Nothing great from the late defensive sub. I guess she came on to just shore up that left side, and she did that, but at the same time, Portland was just coasting at that point.

All right, a tough pill to swallow, especially when things looked so bright just a few short weeks ago. If you want to commiserate in the comments below, let’s do it. Otherwise, let’s just move on to the next one and hope for a surprise vs. the North Carolina Courage.

Poll

Who was your Pride player of the match in their 2-0 loss to the Portland Thorns?

This poll is closed

  • 35%
    Dani Weatherholt
    (11 votes)
  • 45%
    Marta
    (14 votes)
  • 16%
    Alex Morgan
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    Other (comment below)
    (1 vote)
31 votes total Vote Now