USWNT player ratings vs Colombia: Jaedyn Shaw and Alex Morgan star as U.S. makes much-needed statement in chaotic win

If you were looking for a bounce-back performance, this was it. The U.S. women’s national team were humbled against Mexico, no doubt about that, but how would they respond to that humbling in this first match of the Gold Cup knockout rounds?

That was the big question, and the USWNT answered it emphatically. Colombia punched the U.S. in the mouth, both metaphorically and literally several times, but the U.S. endured. Int he end, it was a near-perfect performance that served as a perfect response for a team that still feels like the favorite to lift a trophy next week.

Led by goals from Lindsey Horan, Jenna Nighswonger and Jaedyn Shaw, the U.S. cruised past Colombia with a 3-0 win in Sunday’s Gold Cup quarterfinal. It wasn’t easy, as Colombia looked to make the game ugly from the opening whistle, but the U.S. never blinked, proving better than Colombia in every facet of the game.

The goals from Nighswonger and Shaw, of course, will make headlines, as both continue to push for starting spots in the Olympics. Sunday will help their respective cases, for sure. Alex Morgan, though, also helped her case, doing all of the important work as a striker to help make those goals possible.

With just a few months remaining, the race for Olympic spots is hotter than ever, with faces both new and familiar raising their game at the right time. More chances are coming, too, as the USWNT marches on to the Gold Cup semifinals with a point to prove.

Alyssa Naeher USWNT 2023

Goalkeeper & Defense

Alyssa Naeher (8/10):

Talk about turning back the clock… it’s been a rough year or so for Naeher, but she was spectacular in this one. Her two big saves, both spectacular, ensured that this would be comfortable for the U.S.

Jenna Nighswonger (7/10):

What a hit! Fantastic finish to headline a strong performance from a player who is really growing into the USWNT.

Naomi Girma (8/10):

Absolutely ridiculous ball to Morgan to set up the second goal. Calm as always in defense.

Tierna Davidson (7/10):

Was a bit overshadowed by how good those around her were, but was spectacular defensively. Pressed perfectly to kickstart several U.S. attacks.

Emily Fox (7/10):

Much better from Fox, who had more freedom to play her game after a rough night against Mexico.

Horan USWNT Netherlands 2023

Midfield

Sam Coffey (7/10):

Took a bit of a beating, but did lots of good dirty work from her spot in midfield.

Korbin Albert (7/10):

Looked really good next to Coffey. Made another big statement for a spot in midfield going forward.

Lindsey Horan (8/10):

Got her goal from the spot and hit the post with a free kick late in the first half. Overall, was all over the place, getting right into it in a physical game.

Trinity Rodman USWNT 2023

Attack

Jaedyn Shaw (8/10):

How good is the teenager?!? Another game, another goal. A lovely finish, too, as Shaw continues to show why she’s ready for a big role this summer.

Alex Morgan (8/10):

Did just about everything. Connected the attack, assisted the second goal and showed that she’ll always be ready to fight back against the Dark Arts. The type of veteran performance the USWNT could need out of her this summer.

Trinity Rodman (7/10):

Got the assist on the third but, woo boy, was she close to not making it that far. Walked the line as tightly as you can throughout the first half. On another day, she’d have been sent off for her role in several clashes.

Twila Kilgore USWNT

Subs & Manager

Midge Purce (6/10):

Came on for Rodman. Was definitely involved but the U.S., as a whole, wasn’t quite as ruthless in the second half.

Rose Lavelle (6/10):

Was a bit scary seeing her enter a game this physical, but she made it through, which really is all that matters.

Sophia Smith (6/10):

Teed up Moultrie and should have had an assist for it. A decent runout for a player who will almost certainly play a big part before this tournament is over.

Olivia Moultrie (6/10):

Missed a golden chance to make it four just moments after coming in, but you can excuse her for it.

Emily Sonnett (N/A):

Came on for the last few minutes to see out the result.

Twila Kilgore (8/10):

Got the lineup a million percent correct. Leaving Rodman out there was a risk, but one that paid off. Overall, about as good of a response as the U.S. could have put forward after the Mexico defeat.

 

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