USWNT vs. England player grades: Lavelle steals show in first half, Alyssa Naeher comes up with huge penalty save
The United States is through to Sunday's final -- who stepped up vs. England?
The United States women's national team is going where it expected to be -- the World Cup final. Aon Tueday sent the American to Sunday's final against either Sweden or the Netherlands. Christen Press and Alex Morgan scored, while Alyssa Naeher saved a late penalty kick, with the USWNT winning its third straight game by the score of 2-1. But how did each player do? Here are our player grades from the match:
Alyssa Naeher (goalkeeper): The game of her life? She had a fantastic save in the first half and then stopped the penalty on Steph Houghton. She stepped up when needed to. Masterful. Grade: A
Kelley O'Hara (right back): Great performance. She drew a bunch of fouls, had a brilliant assist on Press' goal and gave everything she had. A warrior. Grade: A
Abby Dahlkemper (center back): At fault for England's goal. Didn't seem to see Ellen White behind her, and she was too slow to react because her positioning was poor. Otherwise, she was solid. Grade: B-
Becky Sauerbrunn (center back): Pretty good but nearly got caught on White's disallowed goal. Didn't really take White down on the penalty, but she disrupted her enough. Grade: B-
Crystal Dunn (left back): Lots of pressure, got forward and played some really crisp passes. She was the person with the most energy on the left in the final moments and it showed. Tons of hustle. Grade: B
Julie Ertz (center mid): She had some nifty moves and was generally solid, but at times she got caught a bit too far up the field. Grade: B
Lindsey Horan (left mid): Tasked with creating, she assisted Morgan's winner with a lovely, lofted ball into the box. She was strong on the ball and did her job. Grade: A
Rose Lavelle (right mid): The best player in the first half. Skillful, speedy and just creative. Lovely dummy on the opener to get the ball to O'Hara. Oh and look what she did just minutes in. Grade: A
Tobin Heath (right wing): Some good moments but didn't get into the game as much as she wanted to. Taken off in the second half. Grade: B+
Christen Press (left wing): She came off the bench to start with the pressure of replacing Megan Rapinoe and scored the opener. What more could you realistically want as a coach? Grade: A
Alex Morgan (striker): After a rough patch since the second game, she came up big time on her 30th birthday with a lovely header to score the winner. Once again got roughed up but held her own. Grade: A
Sam Mewis (right mid): Came on for Lavelle and replaced her well. Defended with quality, got the ball forward and didn't make any critical mistakes. Grade: B
Carli Lloyd (forward): A late sub that lacked speed but drew a couple fouls to waste time. Grade: N/A
Ali Krieger (right back): Late sub to eat up time. Grade: N/A
Jill Ellis: Continue doubting. She's never lost a World Cup game. Press came through, the subs worked out as well. Grade: A
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