Who could have guessed that nearly every goal by the USA after two games was off the foot of an American midfielder? Although Cheney and O’Reilly have stood out from the pack, the rest of the midfield has done anything but stay in the shadows. The fierce defensive pressure supplied in the midfield has been a main reason why the US has been so dominant through two games and secured a spot in the next round.
Lauren Cheney: The winger has been nothing short of magnificent so far this tournament. Cheney has been arguably the most active US player on the offensive side and has created multiple opportunities for herself and teammates throughout the tournament. If it weren’t for a few unlucky bounces, Cheney could have a couple more assists and goals to her name. The Verdict: 9.0
Heather O’Reilly: O’Reilly has been strong in both of the USWNT’s matches so far this tournament. Her willingness to test the keeper from afar has been essential to the US offense, providing a change of pace and allowing the frequent crosses to be a little less predictable. She also is a candidate for Goal of the Tournament after her “wonder-strike” against Colombia. The Verdict: 8.5
Carli Lloyd: Lloyd has been a great distributor for the US out of the Central Midfield. Her aggressive shots paid off last match as she netted her first career World Cup goal. The Verdict: 8.0
Shannon Boxx: The veteran midfielder seems to have played her way out of a starting spot after an average performance against North Korea. The rise of Lindsay should not bode well for Boxx in the upcoming games. The Verdict: 5.0
Lori Lindsay: The spot starter’s good game on Saturday was a pleasant surprise for Pia Sundhage and the USWNT. Though the statbook might not show it, Lindsay played a significant role in the USA’s 3-0 rout over Colombia. The good performance might mean some more playing time for the young midfielder. The Verdict: 7.5
Megan Rapinoe: Rapinoe has truly been a super-sub so far for the USWNT. In the few minutes that she has played, Rapinoe has been extremely active on the offensive end and has provided a strong argument to be put back in the First XI. If her play hasn’t yet caught your attention, her celebration surely has. The Verdict: 8.0