USWNT vs. Netherlands player grades: Rose Lavelle comes up huge, Megan Rapinoe cements her status in World Cup final
The U.S. put together another great performance
The United States women's national teamas Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle both scored in a 2-0 victory against the Netherlands. The U.S. didn't get off to its usual fast start, and it took an hour for the team to score. But the Americans got the job done and recorded their first shutout of the knockout stage. The U.S. allowed just one shot on goal as it took home back-to-back titles. Here is how the Americans graded in the title game:
Alyssa Naeher (goalkeeper): Look, she didn't have to handle a whole lot. She was forced to just make one save, and it wasn't even that great of a shot. But there was a chance in the first half where she had to sprint out to clear and did well. Shutout in a World Cup final speaks for itself. Grade: A
Kelley O'Hara (right back): Taken off at halftime due to a head injury, but she was good while she was on the pitch. Didn't let much past her. Grade: B
Abby Dahlkemper (center back): A confident performance from a rising star. Used her frame well to fight off attackers and kept her player in front of her. Grade: A
Becky Sauerbrunn (center back): She got banged up in this one but held her own. The veteran presence that was needed, made some really important stops. Grade: B+
Crystal Dunn (left back): So underrated. Defended well to make crucial stops and had some fine passes forward. Grade: A
Julie Ertz (center mid): The spine of this team up the middle. Played a bit more reserved in this one intentionally and helped join as a fifth defender at times. Cleared the ball out quickly and passed well. Grade: A
Samantha Mewis (right mid): Got the surprise start for Lindsey Horan and delivered well. Nearly scored and helped get the ball into space. Grade: B
Rose Lavelle (left mid): A rising superstar. Had a brilliant goal with an amazing run and finish to put this one away. Stepped up in the biggest game of her life. Grade: A
Tobin Heath (right wing): Fairly quiet down the right. The ball went down the left more and she had trouble breaking down the defenders. Far from a poor display, just not her best game. Grade: C
Megan Rapinoe (left wing): A legend. Golden Boot, player of the match, yet another goal. The winning goal in a World Cup final. Wow. Grade: A
Alex Morgan (striker): Lively, but she got roughed up once again. Helped set up the first goal by drawing the penalty kick. Complemented Rapinoe well. Grade: B
Ali Krieger: Came on at the break for O'Hara and held her own. Got physical and caused the Dutch trouble. Grade: B
Carli Lloyd: Second-half sub who gets her second title. Nearly scored as well. A legend. Grade: B
Christen Press: Came on for Rapinoe and gave this team a bit of a boost to finish out the game. Grade: B
Jill Ellis: She has coached in two World Cups -- she's won them both and has never lost. Grade: A+
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