It was a shaky start, to say the least, for the Pride when they went down early against Portland Sunday, but as the second half wore on, they climbed back up to get the draw, just to have it slip through their fingers in the final seconds.
Let’s break down the individual performances and talk player ratings.
GK, Haley Kopmeyer, 3.5 — Kopmeyer got the Pride off to an unfortunate start when Hayley Raso took the ball off her foot and got the early goal. From there, she seemed a bit shook up, but eventually settled in as the game wore on. Her distribution was almost non-existent as she completed only three passes. A couple of good saves always kept the Pride within striking distance though, so it wasn’t all bad.
D, Carson Pickett, 5.5 — Like most of the defense, she was a bit slow to get into the game, and it almost cost the Pride a couple of times. As the game wore on, her moments were sparse as the flow of the game seemed to take the ball elsewhere.
D, Toni Pressley, 6.5 — Pressley had 12 clearances and three blocks, and let’s throw in a couple of tackles and an interception. Things often got ugly, especially early in the match, but when they did, No. 3 was there to put in the work. There were a couple of moments the speedy Ellie Carpenter found acres of space to be a threat, but Toni would step in and squash those hopes any time they showed up. Good performance.
D, Shelina Zadorsky, 5 — One major gaffe marred an otherwise decent shift from the Canadian International. She only missed four passes, all on the opponent’s half, and she cleared out the ball five times. However, a bit of miscommunication between her and Kopmeyer led to Portland’s second goal. I feel Kopmeyer could have gotten higher up to punch that ball out, but since it fell to Zadorsky, she’s got to do a bit better on clearing it.
D, Erin Greening, 5.5 — The Greening versus Meghan Klingenberg match-up was fun to watch. Throughout the match, they really took it to each other. This hurt Erin’s distribution a bit, as she only completed 42.3% of her passes. She opened up her professional account in the 90th minute though, with a great one touch ball from the top of the box. Aside from the goal though, I felt she’s had better matches.
MF, Dani Weatherholt, 5 — As Dani works back from her injury, her minutes continue to climb. Sunday she put in a 60-minute shift, but the ball movement wasn’t ever really meaningful. A lot of quick passes did help keep possession, but short of that, there wasn’t much else.
MF, Alanna Kennedy, 5 — Kennedy had free reign of the midfield, and that was nice to see, but Portland is good at shutting that space down, so it was a bit tough for all the midfielders. On the defensive side, Portland’s third goal started with a poor clearance from either Pickett or Kennedy, and the ball just fell to a wide open Christine Sinclair. She did finish the game with five tackles, five clearances, and a couple of interceptions.
MF, Emily van Egmond, 5.5 — Besides Marta, van Egmond was the one player who was able to build and maintain possession in the midfield Sunday. She completed 78.7% of her passes, trailing only Marta and Zadorsky among the starters. I decided to knock her a bit for the final goal. I thought she was doing a bit of ball watching there, and Tyler Lussi just slipped by and got the game-winning goal.
F, Chioma Ubogagu, 6 — Chi did what we’ve seen her do as of late — create on the left side. If Marta’s second goal wouldn’t have been ruled an own goal, Chi would have had an assist with a perfect slot pass to a running Marta. And Chi put in a decent cross to Hill (see more on that below).
F, Marta, 7.5 (POTM) — The announcer said she came back to the States with a chip on her shoulder, and called her “Mad Marta.” We’ve all seen before what she can accomplish when her emotions are channeled properly, and right now she’s a force to be reckoned with. Once again, she was involved in some capacity with all three goals. The NWSL’s Player of the Week is firing on all cylinders and is daring anyone to try to stop her. She scored a golazo to get Orlando started, and could have been credited with a second on what was deemed an own goal.
F, Rachel Hill, 6 — It was hard moving the ball along the right side because of the efforts of Klingenberg and Gabby Seiler, but Rachel gave as much as she got by leading the team with seven tackles. That’s not necessarily a stat you look for in a forward, but against Portland, that can happen. A great cross in found Hill in the 40th minute, but the ball was just a bit high and bounced off the woodwork.
MF, Abby Elinsky (60’), 4.5 — For 30 minutes of work, there isn’t much to discuss on Abby’s shift. I enjoy her physical play, but at times, it was a detriment to the match. The foul that got her the yellow card was the first step of many that led to that final Portland goal. I’m not putting that on her, as a lot went wrong after that foul, but it was the first domino to fall.
MF, Camila (77’), 5 — Camila seemed on the brink of making an impact, and probably could have done so with a bit more time. I said this last match in regards to the subs, but if the Abby and Camila subs are switched here, I think we see a bit more promise from both.
So close to bringing a point home. I really wanted it not just as a fan, but when you watch Marta’s reaction after Greening puts that ball in, I really wanted it for her too. With the delay in getting these grades out to you though, we get a short turnaround before we welcome home the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team players. Until then, vote for your Player of the Match, and let me have it below with your thoughts!
Who was your Pride Player of the Match in the 4-3 loss to the Portland Thorns?
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