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SBI USWNT Woman of the Match: Carli Lloyd


Photo by Michael Chow/USA Today Sports


Just moments after it looked like a Germany penalty kick would be the cause of death for the U.S. Women’s National Team, a spot-kick finish proved to be the moment that the earned the Americans continued life and a spot in the Women’s World Cup final.

Carli Lloyd was the author of that decisive goal, and her cold-blooded finish combined with her late assist led the USWNT to a 2-0 victory over Germany in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal. Lloyd’s performance also earner her SBI’s USWNT Woman of the Match award.

Lloyd’s calm demeanor on her penalty kick allowed her to rocket home a shot just minutes after seeing Germany miss in the same situation on the other end of the field. Then, with the USWNT holding onto a slim one-goal lead, Lloyd turned provider and sealed the victory by feeding substitute Kelley O’Hara.

The goal gives Lloyd her third in as many games. She won SBI’s Woman of the Match honors over O’Hara, Alex Morgan and Morgan Brian.

What did you think of Lloyd’s performance? How impressed were you with her penalty kick? Which USWNT player stood out to you the most in Tuesday’s semifinal?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Lloyd played inspirational ball yesterday- did everything you expect of a Captain in the biggest game yet. she took some pressure off everybody, and what she didn’t or couldn’t Morgan Brian did. great games from both. the future looks bright with her

    • Morgan Brian has been amazing. She has been one of the better players in the build up the World Cup though she has always been played out of position. She is a natural 10. She has had to learn the 6 via trial and error at the WNT level (remember her performance during the first France game this year, she was figuring things out).

      Now she is a world-class 6 (or co-6). It will be interesting to see where she settles in as part of the regular 11. Will she displace Lloyd as a 10 or will she fully develop into a 6?

      Taking that shot to the head the other day also seemed to gain the respect of her teammates, almost as if she has finally achieved full acceptance by the veterans.

      I hope we don’t change a thing against China except maybe put O’Hara in for Heath if we want more width on the right. We can always sub Wambach in for the final 30 if we have to, but she can’t press like the rest of them and that is how we need to start out, high pressure, 4-5-1 with Lloyd playing very high in the triangle.

  2. I’m a huge Alex fan – she’s shedding rust with each game. Lloyd plays better farther from our goal when her give aways don’t hurt so much. When you’re counting intangibles, don’t forget Abby. Her leadership, etc. from the bench (and on the field when needed) has been incredible. Think for one minute how things would be going if she was sulking on the bench after losing her starting role

  3. Why was Alex Morgan in the running? She has looked like the worst player on our team for each of the games so far in the tournament. Yesterday – forced two shots from tough angles instead of making an easy pass for a goal. Several boneheaded giveaways. Besides getting fouled in the box, what did she do right?

    She’s clearly not earning her spot in the starting lineup based on her play on the field. So, either she is dominating in practice or she is being handed her job based on her reputation. Abby Wambach had trouble finding the net, got rightfully blamed for it, and took her place on the bench (with what appears to be a fantastic attitude). Why not do the same with Alex Morgan? Her goal against Colombia was a bad play that clearly has reinforced bad habits (shooting from a poor angle instead of passing). Other than that, what has she actually done with all the time we’ve invested in her this tournament?

    • In form Alex scored lots of goals from acute angles. Don’t blame her for shooting from those angles as she has an enviable track record of scoring from them. If she is currently not in that form, then I agree, she needs to be used differently in favor of someone who is more reliable to finish those chances or provide to someone who will. But she has always shot from those angles, and that’s one of the things that make her dangerous.

    • Clearly you dont watch soccer. Morgan has been our most dangerous forward. Leroux has done jack, never even gets involved in the play, ARod completely blew a 1v1, Press has been incredibly inconsistent. There isnt a single forward on the roster that has been as threatening as Morgan except for maybe abby. Go away once every 4 year soccer fan my god

      • +1. Alex did everything right but score. She was a monster winning balls and pressuring the Germans. If she did score she would be WOTM but the fact that she didn’t drops her to Honorable Mention or Miss Congeniality or whatever.

  4. IMHO, Jill Ellis deserves credit for changing the offense. The long ball to Wambach was just not working and the midfield play was frankly very poor. The last two games, switching from a direct offense to possession, were outstanding. Especially when the team was backstopped by such a solid defensive line. Kudos to Ellis for having the courage to make changes and not start Wambach.

  5. Is it just me or is Alex Morgan seem a bit uninspired? She played well but just does not seem to have that extra gear.

    • She was out injured for 2 months before the WWC and is still finding her form. But I’d take 75% of Alex Morgan over Amy Rodriguez any day.

      • They pretty much dominated a team everyone was saying was unbeatable a week ago so I wouldn’t change much, if anything.

      • Slow,

        While I agree they utterly dominated the German term, they couldn’t finish. Even if they didn’t convert all their opportunities, they still should have scored 3/4 goals from the run of play had Morgan been a better finisher. I like Morgan, but she is clearly showing the effects of rust from injury. If she was on, she would have scored twice form the run of play instead of relying on a non-penalty to score.

        One can always improve!

  6. Carli LLoyd is a giveaway machine. When she receives possession it’s a 50% chance the other team ends up with the ball. She does come through with some important goals though.

    • details, details, slick. and don’t conveniently leave out the assist last night. in case you weren’t paying attention, we wouldn’t be in the wc final w/out lloyd, and probably not even the semis. looking forward to more anti-lloyd wisdom, thanks.

      • Well, if no one else on the team can make a penalty than you might be right.

        This is soccer, if you score a goal (even a penalty which you did not draw) and record an assist, you’re going to win player of the match. But outside of those two plays she was pretty bad, I would even say one of the worst players on the field in the first 60 min.

    • I totally agree. Her nose for goal and work rate are awesome and I’ll give it to her, she’s CLUTCH but I thought I was the only one who saw how bad she can be in possession. Not only does she have a tendency to give the ball away, its usually in terrible areas that lead to counters.

      • holding midfielder is not her best role, i’ll give you that, but i thought her possession and ball-winning was quite good last night.

  7. Llyod was good I thought both Mo Brian and Becky Sauerbrunn were better. Has Becky made a single mistake in this tournament?

    • Agree that Brian had a very solid game, amazing composure and vision of the field; always seems to know where the ball should go. She also intercepted a number of German passes, and with that gutsy header likely saved a strong shot on goal from Popp. All in all, pretty phenomenal for someone only 8 months or so removed from college!

      Re’ Sauerbrunn, she strikes me as cool, calm and collected on the ball, with a quiet intensity. One particular play from last night stands out in my mind: she had gathered a ball and was attempting to dribble up the left wing, when she suddenly faced strong pressure. Somehow out of her peripheral vision, she was able to see a teammate inside, pulled the ball back while shielding the ball neatly, and played a nice pass back to that player. Pressure relieved; no turnover. Honestly, the only turnovers I recall her making were made in the attacking end, and she always recovers quickly to get the numbers back up. Very solid player, and a great person to have leading the defense.

  8. Can someone please run an algorithm and report back on whether there is any precedent to a team allowing only 1 goal through the Semifinal game, men or women?

  9. Julie Johnston was also solid, except for that one mistake in the box. Glad she got that out of the way before the rematch with Japan for the gold medal.

  10. Even though Lloyd does deserve WOTM honors, it seemed pretty clear to me that Morgan Brian was the best player on the field for the US. Her calmness on the ball was needed to retain possession for long spells. If she couldn’t move the ball up the pitch she would turn drop it back, retreat collect the ball from the defense and start over. Her short quick passes were a breath of fresh air and it spread like wild fire to her teammates. There were occasional long balls out of the back but they have decreased dramatically in the past two games with her playing in front of the back four.


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