USWNT vs. Spain player grades: Rapinoe keeps USA alive at Women's World Cup despite Jill Ellis' questionable moves

The United States women's national team squeaked through to the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday, beating Spain 2-1 behind two penalty goals from Megan Rapinoe. It was the USA's toughest test thus far in the tournament and a major wake-up call ahead of a quarterfinal showdown against France, the hosts, on Friday -- stream via fuboTV (Try for free). For a complete look at the schedule, click here. Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from Monday's performance. Here are the grades for USWNT vs. Spain:


Alyssa Naeher (goalkeeper): Really sloppy and silly error to give up the first goal. Not a costly mistake in the end. Came out well on crosses but wasn't forced to do a whole lot. Grade: C 

Kelley O'Hara (right back): Most of the action went down the right, so she wasn't incredibly involved. Did well with her passes and made a couple good tackles. Grade: B

Abby Dahlkemper (center back): Sturdy, calm and poised. Cleared the ball well, quick to get the ball off of her feet and led at the back. Grade: A

Becky Sauerbrunn (center back): Didn't do well on Spain's goal, but most of the blame has to fall on Naeher. She was put in a really bad spot that doesn't make her look good. Otherwise a strong outing. Grade: B

Crystal Dunn (left back): She is just a machine who doesn't lose any fuel. Runs with the best of them, fights for every ball, and it's that intensity that sets the tone. A quality display from her at left back. Grade: B+

Julie Ertz (center mid): Wasted a really good chance in the first half but was the leader in the middle. Kept the team organized, directed where to play and didn't let much get past her. Grade: B  

Samantha Mewis (left mid): Got the ball off of her feet quick to find teammates, but there were a couple times where keeping it herself and going at goal might have been the better option. Did well to replace Lindsey Horan. Grade: B

Rose Lavelle (right mid): Caught out of position a time or two in defense, but her smart hustle for the ball in the second half got the game-winning penalty kick called. Not her finest game, just like the team, but she was good enough. Grade: B  

Tobin Heath (right wing): Struggled with Spain's physical play but did brilliantly to settle the ball and get that first penalty. Didn't get to run at goal as much as she would have liked and at times took a touch too many. Grade: B-  

Megan Rapinoe (left wing): Really great on Monday. Slick moves, smart passes, and super confident from the spot to get two goals. The hero. Grade: A 

Alex Morgan (striker): She didn't seem fit. Took a knee at midfield in the first half to receive medical attention and was on the ground what felt like 15 times. Could never get into the match. Grade: C-   


Carli Lloyd (striker): Only got five minutes off the bench -- not enough to make an impact. Grade: Incomplete    

Lindsey Horan (right mid): She was an 89th minute sub for Lavelle. Grade: Incomplete  

Christen Press (left wing): A time-wasting sub that came on in the seventh minute of added time. Grade: Incomplete


Jill Ellis: So many questions. Why wait so late to put on fresh legs? Why bring on Horan at all? Why didn't Morgan come off earlier? Playing with fire in this one and got lucky. Grade: D

CBS Sports Writer

Roger Gonzalez is an award-winning writer based in Virginia that has covered pro soccer from Europe's top clubs to Argentina's first division. Roger started out his pro soccer writing career with Full Bio

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