The Pride have dropped below the red line now, and instead of fighting to keep a playoff spot, they are fighting to gain one.
Oh boy. I had to catch this on rewatch Monday night, and the stream didn’t have the first 20 minutes of the match. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or bad thing, but from what I understand, the Pride played at their best during those minutes I didn’t get to watch. So keep that in mind.
No use in delaying the pain any further, let’s get to the ratings, and dig deep for our Player of the Match.
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 5 (PotM) — It seems odd to give “Player of the Match” to the keeper in a 3-0 loss right? Well, she kept the Pride in a match, that was rain delayed, away, and versus one of the best NWSL teams ever for 75 minutes before the dam broke. Yeah, she could have gotten in front of the ball a bit better on that first goal, and at least moved in the direction of the ball on the third goal (I think it would have still been impossible to get to), so yes, this wasn’t her best game, but she was the best Pride player on the pitch to me.
D, Ali Krieger, 4 — She was the least involved on defense, and when she was involved, she just got outplayed, which was exemplified when she when 1-v-1 with Lynn Williams on the end line which led to the second goal by Debinha.
D, Alanna Kennedy, 4 — I was going to give her an extra half a point due to being the only player on the Pride to put a shot on target, and also getting in a killer block on Crystal Dunn in the 32nd minute, but her passing, which was a 52.2%, kept her from reaching the heights of a 4.5.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 4 — I couldn’t give any one defender the edge. They all had games they most likely want to forget, and Shelina’s game was no different. Besides the deflection that led to the first goal, I thought she could have pressed a bit more when needed, especially on that first goal. She and Kristen Edmonds had Williams double teamed but neither moved in.
MF, Rachel Hill, 3.5 — Hill just seemed out of sync the whole match. I mean, the entire team did, but this was the first time I believe this season where she just didn’t have much to offer against an organized team like the Courage. Her passing was a midfield worst, 65.2%, and she didn’t produce on offense or defense.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 4.5 — Even Dani’s usual hustle seemed off, and she only had the one tackle. She was the third most involved with 48 touches, and although nothing was produced, I liked that she was one of the few to consistently press the Courage throughout the match.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 3.5 — Her offensive game, which was a highlight for me when she entered the season, was pretty non-existent here. Defensively, she was decent enough, with a couple of tackles, and I didn’t mind the harsh one in the 25th that earned her a yellow, but given the context — the game had just restarted the next morning — it was probably not a great decision.
MF, Kristen Edmonds, 4 — Hey! With 61 touches, Kristen led the team. I’ve been harping on her in the grades to get more involved, and this was the one where it happened. I think that had to do with a decent amount of hustle, at least, compared to others on the team, and being in the right spot at the right time (again, more than others). Now if she would have stepped up on Williams before that first goal...
F, Camila, 3.5 — She’s listed on the NWSL site as a RW, but I couldn’t gather much on what she was supposed to do and where to do it. I wouldn’t have guessed a winger. Her involvement was minimal, and most of her passes where of the short variety, or lateral, and like everyone else, she was just outplayed.
F, Alex Morgan, 5 — I kind of struggled with this one. On the one hand, one shot taken, with zero on target. On the other, she was one of two players (the other being Dani) to consistently press the opponent, her passing was decent, and she created a couple of chances. She was sadly, probably a shot on target away from being “Player of the Match.”
F, Marta, 4.5 — To really bring into focus the rest of the team and the opponent they faced, I think you can look at Marta, who is clearly one of the best players on the pitch, if not the best, no matter who else is out there. And in this match, on this day, she was just off. She was easily the third best Pride player out there Sunday morning, but it just wasn’t good enough. There was just no structure, and a player like Marta, who can thrive anywhere, really thrives when there is a plan. And it must have gotten left in the hotel room Saturday night.
F, Sydney Leroux (60’), 4 — The stats look all right. Seven touches, four of five passes completed, but considering she put in about 30 minutes of work before she was subbed off, it kind of explains why I forgot she was on the pitch at one point.
F, Chioma Ubogagu (76’) 4 — A bit more involved compared to Syd in half the time, but like Leroux, she just didn’t have the impact, and when two of your leading goal scorers can’t come off the bench and make an impact, you are most definitely in trouble.
MF, Christine Nairn (88’) N/A — Hey, remember the all-time assist leader in the NWSL who also leads the Pride this year in assists with four total? No? Me neither. Nairn came on for an injured Leroux in a game, at a time, where she couldn’t even think about making an impact. Maybe next week.
So here we are again, trying to dig through fields of coal for a diamond. Do you disagree with mine this week? Let me know about it below!
Who was your Pride player of the match in the 3-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage?
This poll is closed
Other (comment below)