FanPost

Game 4

Couldn't sleep after that mess so I decided to rewatch and write-up in a different way...

BEST OF THE BEST

Best Player

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Press.

Played deep when they slowed down the match, but still came forward. Great dribbling and field vision. Great individual effort on the only goal. One time laser off of a volley that was stopped by Kop. A third great chance that rolled along the end-line. Kept the Pride on their toes even when she wasn't shooting.

Best Second Half Adjustment

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Sending Pickett deeper into the final third.

Everything came together down the left side when Pickett came up (until the subs). She connected with Chi, Morgan and Hill. The player on ball always had options and moved into open space the second after they passed it. While we didn't get anything particularly scary on net, this shows we can move the ball forward if we have the right people.

Best Call by the commentators

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Female Commentator: "Obogagu on her own in the attack for the Pride. You can see her trying to wave her teammates up with her."

Mate Comentator: "Was gonna say; need some teammates."

48’, Morgan holds up the CB’s and finds a streaking Chi. Instead of running with Chi, EvE jogs behind the play (that she was at one time in front of), causing Chi to run into a wall with no help and turns over the ball. Highlights what Morgan was saying after the game.

Best Pride Opportunity

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38’

Krieger intercepts, Morgan in position to receive a pass. Hill & Chi in position to counter; 3 on 2, both wingers keeping width. Morgan doesn’t square off, loses the ability to pass to Hill (who was WIDE OPEN) and gives it away. This is why forwards need to keep width 1) Stretches out backline 2) Gives a passing lane if CB’s commit to ball carrier.

Morgan could have also hit Chi who would have had a shot, albeit with the RCB near her.

Best example of how we need to connect:

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41’

Krieger-Marta-Hill-Marta. Marta had a deflected shot. RB to Mid to Forward to Underlapping Mid. Anticipatory, one touch, connecting fast, unstoppable. This is how Evans plays and why we NEED her to start on the right side of the midfield; instead of this happening once or twice a night, it'll happen all night.

Best Tactic

Utah Royals taking the air out of the ball in the second half.

Did the same thing in their first game; get a goal then kick it around. Much more deliberate about fully protecting their net and not attacking in the second half. Forces opponent to get impatient and either rush up and create holes or forces them to go for risky passes (which we did resulting in unforced giveaways).

Best Save

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45’

Ball passed to Rodriguez over Ali’s head (the TV cut this one off mid flow). Rodriguez was 1 on 1, Kop faced her up and saved it.

WORST OF THE WORST

Worst Player

Kennedy

Tough to pick a 'worst' player as no one played particularly bad...they just didn't play good either. I went with Kennedy because she didn't step up on the goal (Zadorsky yelled at her b/c apparently that's what she was supposed to do to stop the shot, but Kennedy laid back). Outside of that, Press almost scored again when she juked Kennedy to the ground (Alex Morgan 100th goal style). Kennedy had help inside so there was no reason why she'd get twisted and turned; she only had to defend down to the goal-line.

Worst Second Half Adjustment

Skinner's subs.

Forwards are finally connecting and he takes them off (reminds me of Danica being the first sub during the preseason game even though she played either best or second best out of the entire team). Puts on a CB and outside back for the forwards. If you were trying to hold the loss, this would be a GREAT way to make that happen.

Most egregious is not having a forward on the bench. Even if I don't think Danica is a forward, she's listed as one (she's an attacking/outside/center mid in my book). For a team that's had 1 goal in 4 games and that subs out the forwards EVERY game, you'd think that they'd wanna have forwards on the bench.

NOPE!

Internationals don't get subbed off (even if they should) and Skinner's players, drafted and traded for, get subbed in (even if they shouldn't).

Worst Call by the commentators

Didn't know Pickett was the #1 pick for the Pride...pretty sure she was traded for. He also said something about Pride kicking it out of bounds and losing possession when the Royals actually did that. There was like a 3 minute stretch when he was doing something other than watching the game.

Worst Pride Opportunity

Every time we needlessly kicked it to the other team for an unforced error.

This happened much less in this game than the last, but it's still happening too often. The reason this is happening is because the team isn't moving enough off of the ball, getting into passing lanes, holding defenders, making runs to set up defenders, switching possession, knowing where to go with the ball before receiving it, one touch passing, etc. We need 11 players who know what they're doing AND have the skill-set to do it. The first part is actually easy, the second is where we will continue to fall short.

Worst example of how we need to connect

Hill in the first half.

In the first half Hill was off a lot. She wasn't running when she needed to run. Didn't come back when she needed to come back. Wasn't boxing out the defender. Wasn't staying inside of the passing lane. When making runs with teammates, she didn't keep enough width to either stretch the backline or keep them stretched; ran straight not diagonal. Fortunately, she fixed this in the second half and it looked a lot better.

Worst Tactic

Fake injuries.

Was gonna say subbing in a CB for a forward while down a point, but I already covered that.

The - look at the sideline and fake an injury thing - is really starting to drive me nuts. This game it was Pickett. Like ripping down a fast player from behind to stop a fast break (something EvE did last game), it's ugly and it's not soccer.

Worst Save

The one and only goal.

The commentator believed it was Kop's fault because she didn't load up her legs properly and fire out to the corners to stop the shot. After a re-watch, she probably has partial blame. The other part goes to Kennedy as the back line always tried to meet Press outside the 18' and give her no shot. When Press got the ball, with no teammates around her, Zadorsky went out and challenged; but Kennedy sat inside the box flat footed. After the goal, Zadorsky yelled at Kennedy for this and Kennedy just kinda shrugged it off. Kennedy steps up and that ball doesn't get through cleanly.