Taylor Kornieck at Orlando Pride 2021 scout report – why her attacking impact is fundamental – tactical analysis
Taylor Kornieck has been one of Orlando Pride’s most influential players at the start of this NWSL season as well as during the NWSL Challenge Cup. The 22-year-old has contributed with goals, assists and much more during this start of the season and her performances gave a glimpse of what she can achieve at Orlando in the upcoming matches.
In this tactical analysis scout report, we will explore the characteristics of Kornieck while shedding light on her goalscoring, playmaking, defensive contribution and set-piece taking. The analysis will also look at how her chemistry with Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux and Marta impacted Orlando’s tactics positively and added a lot of creativity and effectiveness to their attacking actions.
Positions at Orlando Pride
Kornieck can play at different attacking positions and this was something that Marc Skinner exploited very well so far since he used Kornieck as a RW at times, as a striker most of the time, and recently with the coming of Morgan he even used Kornieck as an advanced playmaker. Moreover, during her time at MSV Duisburg and Colorado, she was used as an advanced playmaker and as a striker which enabled her to acquire experience in playing those roles and knowing how to position herself and what is needed from her in each situation.
As you can see in this heat map, Kornieck moves a lot without the ball and covers almost the whole pitch since she often retreats to defend and moves forward a lot. This includes penetrating and crossing from the wings as well especially when opposing defenders defend more centrally.
In Orlando’s line-up, Kornieck is becoming a key player in attack. The chemistry between her and Morgan was very apparent in the last couple of matches and if they continue working on this aspect, Orlando would be scoring more goals per match as the two players move a lot without the ball and Kornieck’s passes are usually accurate and intelligent.
Goalscoring, playmaking and set-pieces
Kornieck scored 31 goals since 2016 when she used to play for Colorado. Although this number is not extraordinary for five seasons, it tells us a lot about her possibility of becoming one of the NWSL’s best strikers very soon. When looking at some of these goals, it is easy to notice how Kornieck uses her great physical abilities in the perfect way to score goals either by headers, shooting from distance, free-kicks, penalties, one-on-ones with goalkeepers and more. The experience in scoring all these types of goals made it a bit easier for her to start this season with great performances even though the level of NWSL is surely much more competitive than NCAA Women’s Soccer.
Kornieck’s 1.85 m height enables her to beat her markers in aerial duels so often and Orlando Pride have already gained the fruit of this Kornieck characteristic in the match against Racing Louisville after she jumped higher than her marker and put the ball inside the net in a beautiful manner and with a powerful header that confused the goalkeeper.
Apart from her strength in aerial duels, Kornieck is also a quick player who knows how to escape from defenders using feints and dribbles. The fact that she is not that type of classic striker who waits inside the box helps her a lot to be more creative and create danger from other parts of the pitch. Kornieck often moves to one of the wings as soon as she notices some free space and then tries to penetrate inside the box.
On many occasions, she succeeds in surpassing her marker using not only dribbles and pace but also her physical power to protect the ball. Like you can see in the following example, she gave a passing option to the midfielder and as soon as she received the pass, she escaped the opponent with one touch and one acceleration. This planned decision that allowed her to gain seconds over her opponent was made before she even received the pass and it gave her the opportunity to move towards the box and score a goal from a very difficult angle. And this is exactly an example of how creative and efficient Kornieck can be in attack.
Kornieck is also excellent at shooting from distance and this helped her in scoring many goals from outside the box. Moreover, it enabled her to be more confident when taking set-pieces as she scored many of them even though she still did not show that aspect at Orlando yet. She uses power mostly when executing free-kicks but at the same time she usually avoids hitting the defensive wall, which makes her shots more likely to be scored or at least result in corners. Below, we included one free-kick goal and one shot from distance that was also scored.
She also has great shooting techniques and uses her weaker foot with almost the same way as her right foot when shooting. Her weaker foot shots are often accurate and powerful and she even scored goals using her left foot by shooting from distance.
When it comes to passing, vision and creativity in the final third, and with 14 assists so far, Kornieck appears to be one of the rare players who excel both as a striker and as a midfielder who has a meticulous vision of the pitch and knows exactly when, how and to whom to pass. Orlando must exploit Kornieck from this aspect even further since this player gives key passes so often.
And with players like Morgan and Leroux who know how to move without the ball, Kornieck’s passes can be lethal. In these two similar examples, we wanted to show how her passes directly created goals, avoiding opposing defenders and setting her teammates with clear goal-scoring opportunities using unexpected passes especially for defenders. This means that Kornieck can excel both as a striker and as an advanced playmaker, as she can also do well on the wings.
Kornieck also uses her accurate headers to break defensive lines and create opportunities for her attacking teammates. She exploited her height to directly give through passes with her head as soon as she receives long passes. And like you can see below, she knows exactly where to direct her headers to provide the striker with clear goalscoring chances. Defensive contribution
Despite being an offensive player, Kornieck also helps in defence whenever needed and she uses her physicality to intercept passes, win defensive duels and help her team in creating counter-attacks. For instance, in this action she intercepted the ball twice from the opposition and the second time she directly passed to her teammate who was unmarked, creating a goal out of nowhere, as you can see. Such actions highlight once again her tactical awareness and how she anticipates movements and relies on quick decision-making when it comes to passing.
In addition, Kornieck’s ability to protect the ball with her body while being pressed enables her and the whole team to have additional security especially when this happens in Orlando’s own half like in this example. Having a player who excels at keeping the ball and does not give it up easily is fundamental for keeping possession and advancing rather than losing the ball so often and conceding counter-attacks.
Taylor Kornieck is one of the United States’ best talents at the moment and even though she is not playing in one of the European “big clubs” like Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern, Manchester City and so on, she is proving that can be a fundamental player for any “big club”. And she has already started doing so at Orlando Pride.
Yet, improving her shooting accuracy, working on becoming even quicker and keeping her concentration level high throughout the games can also make her an even better player in the coming period.