A tough week is over, and a few silver linings can be seen in what may be a season of dark clouds. Camila got back to being a starter and looked pretty decent, the Pride finally put one in the net — in spectacular fashion no less — and they brought home a point, nudging them every so slightly out of last place.
I’ll take it.
It was hard to watch three games and do these grades all in a week, so I can only imagine what it took to play in all of them, especially those who did a full 270 minutes. I won’t waste any more time, so let’s get to it!
GK, Ashlyn Harris, 6.5 — It was another solid outing for the Pride keeper. From time to time, things got hectic, or there would be another random flub from one of the field players, but she was always there to pick up the pieces or at least keep them out of the net. Bethany Balcer’s goal was pretty much perfect in my opinion, so no knocks here for that.
D, Ali Krieger, 6.5 — This was probably my favorite defensive performance in 2019 from Ali. She’s usually solid and consistent, but it was just a crisp performance I thought. She also had the highest passing accuracy on the Pride, at 80.6% (not including Kristen Edmonds’ one completed pass).
D, Alanna Kennedy, 6.5 (PotM) — It was a close call on PotM between her and Harris, but in the end I gave the nudge for the quick awesome goal. Besides that though, it was a decently consistent night. She did well swinging the ball out to the edges, it was only when she tried to squeeze it through the Reign midfield that it would lead to trouble. Five clearances helped maintain the draw though.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5.5 — There were a couple of weird moments from Shelina in this one starting in the ninth minute, when an awkward back pass conceded a corner, and that was absolutely the best case scenario there. Short of that though, it was a steady, “bend, don’t break” kind of night.
D, Carson Pickett, 6 — It was a good night for Carson. One of my favorite parts of her game is being able to drop a ball on a dime inside the box but it just didn’t come together in this one. She had a great lob in the 18th minute to Rachel Hill, but other than that, the only other great highlight was her consistency to quickly clear attacks.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 6 — I’m still adjusting to watching Dani in this system, and I think she’s still adjusting to playing in it. But, there were positives in this one that I didn’t see earlier in the week. A handful of clearances, a couple of interceptions, three chances created, and a passing rate of 78.6% are the hard numbers. I started to see the end-to-end play that I love seeing from her.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 4.5 — Midweek I thought she was better. The first time she ripped one towards the goal, I was excited, even if it was off target. By the third time, with all of them being off target, it was pretty frustrating. Put it on frame, maybe the keeper makes a mistake and the team can capitalize, but you have to put them on target — especially the late chance that might have won it, with Michelle Betos out of position from an earlier shot. As a core midfielder, you have to do better than 60% in passing as well.
MF, Camila, 5 — Camila’s passing was slightly worse than van Egmond’s at 55.6%. But what I see instantly in her first start of the year is her ability to hold the ball under pressure, which it seems almost everyone else on the team struggles to do. If she and the others can get settled soon, her ability on the ball will prove a huge asset.
F, Rachel Hill, 4 — At 39.1%, Rachel had the lowest passing accuracy among the starters. That can be just part of the game sometimes, as crosses are typically high risk passes, but every single one was either a full beat too late, or slightly off the mark. One completed pass in the second half. A rough showing for sure, and hopefully things turn around for her soon like we know they can.
F, Alex Morgan, 5 — It’s still early in the season, so hopefully this remains my least favorite outing by Morgan. We all know the state of the midfield, so the lack of consistent service will never be a knock against her, but what I’m not liking right now is when she drops back to the center line or even deeper, she is quickly robbed of the ball. Her passing was at 48%, and she only had one successful pass in the final third.
F, Marta, 6 — Marta did a solid job of commanding the center of the pitch, but with there still being several gaps in linking players together, no real momentum was built. But as usual, the numbers are all there. She led the team in touches and passes, and her 73.3% passing put her third among Pride starters. Betos earned a Save of the Week nomination from stopping a Marta screamer in the 85th minute that would have obviously been a huge moment had it snuck in.
F, Chioma Ubogagu (63’), 4 — I have yet to be impressed with a substitute this year, and the new tradition carries on for at least one more game. A half hour of work yielded 11 touches and one completed pass out of three attempts. There was very little impact in this one from Chi. I was hoping switching to a sub would be a lot more beneficial, and I still think that can happen.
MF, Kristen Edmonds (78’), 4.5 — There was a lot less from Kristen in her 12 minutes of work, but she did slide a pass over to Krieger that eventually set up that close one from Marta. So what the heck, I’ll kick it up to a 4.5. Head Coach Marc Skinner has to find a way, or find the right subs that can make an instant impact though. I said it previously, but I like Edmonds best when she has time to settle into the game.
Week two of the 2019 NWSL season is in the books. I believe we are all hoping this breather allows the players a chance to nail a few things in place and progress forward. Until then, be sure to vote below for your player of the match and let’s prepare for Saturday!
Who was your Pride Player of the Match in the 1-1 draw with Reign FC?
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