USWNT player ratings vs Netherlands: Lindsey Horan saves the day as Vlatko Andonovski gets it all wrong in World Cup final rematch

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Horan USWNT Netherlands 2023
The U.S. was outplayed for long stretches in Wellington, but did just enough to salvage a very important point

If the United States women's national team does go on to win its World Cup group, they'll have Danielle van de Donk to thank. The Netherlands star was the player that woke up Lindsey Horan, who showed the rest of the world what happens when she plays angry.

One bad tackle, one half-hearted apology and one Horan goal later, the U.S. salvaged a point. They may or may not have deserved it, but they have it nonetheless, as they escaped with a 1-1 draw against the Netherlands in their second group-stage game in New Zealand. That draw was earned despite several questionable decisions from head coach Vlatko Andonovski, who used just one of his substitutions despite seeing his side frequently overrun by the Dutch.

Horan was the hero, heading home a fantastic cross from that one substitute, Rose Lavelle, in the second half after several prolonged spells of Dutch dominance. Their goal in the first half, off the foot of Jill Roord, was totally deserved and, for some time, it looked like it would be enough for them to seal a historic win over the team that took them down back in the 2019 World Cup final.

It wasn't, and the USWNT can have Horan, and Van de Donk, to thank. The USWNT's captain provided the goal needed to get something from this game, ensuring that both sides will have everything to play for in their final group-stage games.

GOAL rates the USWNT's players from Wellington Regional Stadium...

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  1. Goalkeeper & Defense
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    Goalkeeper & Defense

    Alyssa Naeher (5/10):

    One shot on target, one goal for the Netherlands and that was that. A tough one for Naeher, who may have been screened on the play.

    Crystal Dunn (6/10):

    The sequence leading to the Netherlands goal was a big mess for Dunn, who lost her balance and never recovered. Was pretty good other than that as she made several big tackles, making that one sequence even more frustrating.

    Naomi Girma (7/10):

    It's insane how composed she is at her age. Facing one of the world's best teams, Girma was steady as can be, which is to be expected at this point, crazily enough.

    Julie Ertz (7/10):

    Several key blocks down the stretch for the veteran, who started once again in central defense. Will that be her position going forward? Who knows, but this was another good outing with her in defense.

    Emily Fox (6/10):

    Not her best game, but not her worst either. Wasn't crisp enough to make anything happen in the attacking end aside from one solid cross.

  2. Midfield


    Andi Sullivan (4/10):

    Totally at fault for the first goal. Was late and then compounded her mistake by trying to make a hero tackle to leave the defense exposed. Couldn't do much of anything to stop the Netherlands as their midfield did whatever they wanted for much of the game.

    Lindsey Horan (7/10):

    Don't make her angry. Was having a pretty average game until Van de Donk took her out. That moment woke her up, and her header just a few seconds later couldn't have been bigger from the USWNT captain.

    Savannah DeMelo (6/10):

    Wasn't bad in her 45 minutes, but was definitely a victim of the physicality that went unchecked. Was fouled over and over again, leading to some scrappiness late in the first half, making her a card waiting to happen before her substitution.

  3. Attack


    Trinity Rodman (6/10):

    Was the USWNT's best attacker early on, as she terrorized the Netherlands backline right up until their goal. Totally tired out by the end but was left on for some reason.

    Alex Morgan (6/10):

    Did a lot of the little things but couldn't quite find the big one. Put the ball in the back of the net to seemingly make it 2-1 but was correctly deemed offside.

    Sophia Smith (6/10):

    Invisible in the first half, but much better in the second as she created several moments of danger. Compared to her World Cup debut, this will have felt like a clunker as she never really got a chance at goal.

  4. Subs & Manager

    Subs & Manager

    Rose Lavelle (7/10):

    The USWNT needed a bunch of changes at the half, but Lavelle was the only one that came. As it turns out, she was the one to create the goal, assisting Horan after already turning the tide a bit after the Netherlands' very good first half.

    Vlatko Andonovski (3/10):

    Questionable line up, exposed tactics and only one sub? Hard to understand what the USWNT head coach was doing here.