USWNT player ratings vs Portugal: Winning the World Cup looks miles away after woeful all-round performance

USWNT 2023
Getty Images
They headed to this tournament as tournament favorites, but in this form, the U.S. may not survive the week

It all came down to a post. Alyssa Naeher stood no chance as she dove to her left. Ana Capeta's shot whizzed right by her as the hearts of every United States women's national team player on the field sank. But that post, that magic post, saved the USWNT from utter humiliation.

Somehow, seemingly against all odds, the USWNT are still in this World Cup. They probably shouldn't be, to be fair. Portugal would have been deserved winners if the Soccer Gods hadn't been so cruel to Capeta and co. The Portuguese earned a 0-0 draw with the two-time defending World Cup champions, and it's they who will leave the ones wondering what might have been.

The USWNT, meanwhile, put forth one of their worst World Cup performances of all time, and they'll now limp into the knockout rounds on the heels of it. The USWNT, the mighty USWNT, was forced to hold on for dear life just to survive the group stage. What a sentence that is to read.

They survived, though, and maybe we'll all look back at this game as a turning point for a team that went on to three-peat. More likely, though, we'll look at this draw as a sign of things to come because, based on what we've seen, the USWNT is nowhere near where they need to be.

GOAL rates the USWNT's players from Eden Park...

  1. Goalkeeper & Defense
    Getty Images

    Goalkeeper & Defense

    Alyssa Naeher (6/10):

    Once again, didn't have to do much as the U.S. weren't really threatened. Imagine her nerves when Portugal hit the post, though.

    Crystal Dunn (6/10):

    Pushed up more into midfield and was one of the USNWT's most active players with the ball. Passing wasn't great but she was far from the worst culprit here.

    Naomi Girma (8/10):

    She's probably been the USWNT"s best player this tournament, and she was great here again. She makes everything look so effortless, doesn't she?

    Julie Ertz (7/10):

    A fine game at center-back but, goodness, the U.S. need her in midfield, and this game made that fact even more clear.

    Emily Fox (6/10):

    Typically solid, although not spectacular once again. Took a few hard hits that could have, and should have, been called fouls.

  2. Midfield
    Getty Images


    Andi Sullivan (4/10):

    Just didn't offer much of anything once again. Doesn't receive the ball and doesn't do much to prevent the other team from moving it. The experiment isn't working.

    Lindsey Horan (5/10):

    Passing wasn't good enough and, this time, she didn't have the goal to overshadow it.

    Rose Lavelle (5/10):

    Is this the last we'll see of her this tournament? Her unfortunate yellow card earned her a suspension for the first knockout game. Not ideal to say the least...

  3. Attack
    Getty Images


    Lynn Williams (6/10):

    USWNT Twitter was rewarded as Williams was inserted into the XI. Had a few decent looks, which is more than what her forward partners could say. Was probably left on a bit too long, though.

    Alex Morgan (6/10):

    Played a bit higher after dropping deeper the first two games. Had one good sequence on the by-line in the first half and one good chance late on, but it was just too tame overall.

    Sophia Smith (5/10):

    Another quiet game from Smith, who has struggled in the last two matches. Just one shot and 50 percent pass completion. Not good enough.

  4. Subs & Manager
    Getty Images

    Subs & Manager

    Megan Rapinoe (6/10):

    Came on and basically just hoofed hopeful long balls that never really came off. Had one or two good passes to Morgan, though, that could have led to a goal

    Trinity Rodman (N/A):

    Came on a bit too late to really impact the game, even with her pace and fresh legs.

    Emily Sonnett (N/A):

    Came on as the U.S. tried to protect the result.

    Alyssa Thompson (N/A):

    A very late cameo from the teenager.

    Kelley O'Hara (N/A):

    A veteran leader brought on to calm nerves. Took charge after the final whistle to try and inspire a team that surely needs it.

    Vlatko Andonovski (3/10):

    You'd think he'd have learned something, anything, from the last game. Line-up was wrong, subs were too late and the U.S. looked like a mess. Something has to change.