USWNT vs. Vietnam player ratings: Sophia Smith stands out

Jeff CarlisleAmerican football reporterJuly 21, 2023 at 11:18 p.m. ET4 minutes to read

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Auckland, New Zealand – The US Women’s National Team got the result it was expecting, albeit not the margin of victory it was expecting, i.e. defeat. Vietnam 3-0 in the opening game of the 2023 World Cup. Sophie Smith scored twice in the first half and Lindsey Horan added the third on a day when the USA defense wasn’t troubled.

Smith scored first in the 14th minute, finishing through the legs of Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh after being held off thanks to an Alex Morgan lay-off. Morgan should have added to the American score, but his penalty kick in the 44th minute was saved by Tran. It was left to Smith to extend the Americans’ lead, and she scored deep in first-half injury time when she fired home after a poor try from Tran.

The USA maintained their territorial dominance in the second half, finally breaking through in the 77th minute when Smith assisted on Lindsey Horan’s goal.

Here’s how the individual offers stack up.

Player ratings (0-10; 10 = best; 5 = average. Players submitted after 70 minutes do not receive a rating.)

Alyssa Naher, 6 – She touched the ball four times in the first half. That pretty much summed up a stress free day.

Smith scored two goals and assisted on the third as the USA finished with a 3-0 victory over Vietnam in the opening game of the 2023 World Cup.Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images

DF Emily Fox, 5 – She defended her team well enough but needed to be sharper in the offensive half. I missed a great opportunity in the 66th minute when I shot over the bar from close range.

DF Julie Ertz, 7 years old She wasn’t as sharp on the ball early on but kept within herself when it came to passing. Her usual physical strength was at her back.

DF Naomi Girma, 8 years old Brilliant and tenacious on the ball, she used her pace well to put out the few attacks Vietnam could muster. Her long diagonal passes caused problems for Vietnam, which led to a scramble before Smith’s second goal.

DF Crystal Dan, 6 – He’s been a factor going forward and he should do more of that, especially with Smith not always linking up well with his teammates.

MF Savannah Dimelo, 5 – Mixed bag. He did a lot of good work defensively, but on offense it was a different story. Morgan swooped in on goal with a sharp pass, but she didn’t get the ball enough and needed to be more impactful.

MF Andy Sullivan, 6 – She kept the USA offense close and got the ball back when she needed to. He led the team with 16 defensive tackles.

mf Lindsey Horan7 – A little inconsistent in the first half. The case forced through the middle often but had a hand in Smith’s editorial. He warmed up a bit more in the second half and then threw the hat-trick that could prove decisive if goal difference decides the set.

FW Trinity Rodman, 6 – He rocked an early strike to be a real powerhouse wide in the first half and earned a penalty kick late in the first half. Faded a bit after the break.

FW Alex Morgan, 5 – She showed her quality with a deft touch that set the table for Smith’s opening but failed to score a penalty which Rodman earned.

FW Sophia Smith, 8 – Expectations were high for Smith entering the tournament and she has largely achieved her goals. Although she wasn’t at her best in terms of link-up play, she made the important plays, including assisting on Horan’s crucial third goal.


FW Megan Rapinoe, 5 (on Morgan, 63 in.) – It was her 200th appearance in an American jersey, an amazing milestone for a notable player. He had a great chance to celebrate the appearance with a goal, but struck in the 71st minute.

MF Rose Lavelle, 6 (running for DeMelo, 63 in.) – The USA’s attack escalated after entering the match, and they hit the bar late on, but the best news is that they hit the field. The United States will need it later.

FW Alyssa Thompson, N/R (Running for Rodman, 75 in.) – A memorable day for the 18-year-old. She brought a lot of energy to the field, too.

DF Kelley O’Hara, N/R (running for Dunn, 84 in.) – The veteran entered the court due to a late cameo and a solid tackle.

DF Sofia Huerta, N/R (for Fox, 84 in.) – She seemed to be short on speed in her short stint.

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