The draw that felt like a loss. But maybe it should have felt even more like a loss, because the truth is Real Salt Lake was the better team on the night.
In the first half especially, RSL created lots of dangerous chances but couldn’t convert. In my early game story, I said the home team’s finishing in the first half was vintage Sounders FC at the end of 2009.
But… even if the hosts were better, Seattle wasn’t nearly bad. You don’t get a 2-1 lead at Rio Tinto by playing poorly. A lot of the guys worked hard and the team got a couple goals. Let’s break it down individually.
GK Kasey Keller — I thought this was easily his best game of the season. A lot of that is out of necessity since RSL pushed forward a lot. He made some crucial saves and great plays on dangerous crosses and through balls. 6.5
D James Riley — Did some little things well. Cleared a lot of RSL corners on the near post. Gave the ball again at times, but good defending including a great slide-tackle late. 5.5
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Expectations for El Presidente are high and he fell short tonight. Struggled on the ball, looked slow, conceded A LOT of corner kicks and didn’t tackle well. 4.5
D Tyrone Marshall — My man of the match for Seattle. I thought his defending was superb. Had to bail out his teammates at times. Also had the dangerous run that earned the own goal. He could’ve finished it if Borchers whiffed. 7.5
D Leo Gonzalez (off 48′) — I thought he was having a decent night until having to be subbed off for not feeling well. I forgot to ask about his status, but his presence was missed. 5
M Osvaldo Alonso — Like Hurtado, fell short of the standard we’re used to. Passing was off. Tackling was below average for him. Was part of a midfield that couldn’t hold onto the ball. But the work rate was high. 4.5
M Brad Evans — Has been the closest defender now on all three goals allowed by Seattle (not to say he was to blame for them all). Outworked to the crosses on both goals. Also wasn’t nearly involved enough in the offense. 3.5
M Steve Zakuani (off??) — Finished his breakaway chance well. But to me, he wasn’t nearly involved enough. Can’t remember much else from his night but the goal, but it was a gamechanger. 6
M/F Pat Noonan — Earned his first start and had the work rate to show for it. But like his predecessor Roger Levesque, that effort didn’t result in much danger in the attack. Invisible at times. 5
M/F Freddie Ljungberg — Set pieces were very dangerous. Also made some great runs, only to see some poor passes in his direction. Showed off some pace. The best of the options up front. 6
M/F Fredy Montero (off 74′) — Great assist to Zakuani. Perfectly weighted. However, Olave and Borchers got the better of him for most of the night. Service didn’t help him though. 5
D Tyson Wahl (on 48′) — Thrown to the fire right away with the uncertain Gonzalez injury. Made a potentially goal-saving tackle early on. Showed well on the left in the counterattack at times. Needed to be stronger defensively. 5
M Nathan Sturgis (on 74′) — Not sure 15 minutes is enough to garner a rating. But I don’t remember much, good or bad, from his performance. INC
M Roger Levesque (on??) — I don’t remember the exact time he came in, I think it was after Seattle went ahead. Was subbed on to bring fresh legs into the defense. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
Included Noonan into the starting lineup. Set pieces were more dangerous. Had his team up on the road at the defending champs. Subs didn’t have a big impact. The result was disappointing, but after a couple days no one will mind getting a point in that game. 5.5
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Let me know what you think?