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May 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM

Sounders FC 0, San Jose Earthquakes 1 — postgame thoughts and player ratings

I just got done watching the replay of the match, and what a frustrating one I’m sure it was for you Sounders fans. On the second viewing you can see that the home side deserved at least a point.

The guys played well. The chances were there. But a dreadful first 10 minutes and horrendous finishing were too much to overcome.

One clear issue — and this isn’t breaking news — is all the shots off target. Too many shots over the bar or wide. I don’t know if guys are aiming for the corners, but those attempts need to be on goal. Force a save, allow for a rebound, deflection or something…

But when things are going bad, they’re really going bad. That said, the ratings will be semi-positive, as seen in 80 minutes of soccer that created 18 shots.


GK Kasey Keller — Really couldn’t be asked to do much on the goal, the cross came from one side and flicked twice to the backpost. Of course, he’d be out of position. Unbothered the rest of the game. Handled some crosses well and saved a couple corners by snatching some deflections before they went over the endline. 5.5

D James Riley — On second viewing, I thought he had a pretty good game. Of course he lost the header to Burling on the goal. Otherwise he defended well and had a number of quality crosses. Had some bad touches and a dreadful shot on goal attempt, but the performance was solid. If only he were 6-foot-5 and could’ve beat Burling to the header… 5.5

D Tyrone Marshall — Has had some decent games of service from the back, but on Saturday it was lacking. Balls ahead rarely found a target, and in a game where Seattle’s backline wasn’t under siege much, it stood out more. Was troubled on some clearances too. Otherwise solid in the air and defending when needed. 5

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Had a solid showing in what was likely his last of the season. A number of strong tackles, also nearly got a head on a Montero cross in front of the goal. A couple bad giveaways, but solid in defense. Suffered his injury in full effort getting back to stop Wondolowski. A good lasting memory of what he means to the team. 6

D Leo Gonzalez (off 76) — A workmanlike night. Won some headers, made some good tackles and got forward a couple times. Was positive when he was involved, but wasn’t much throughout the 90 minutes. 5

M Patrick Ianni — His performance looked better after a second viewing. Didn’t stand out much watching live, but was strong in the back defensively. Decent enough in possession, but didn’t add too much there. His first 10 minutes were pretty bad, but the defensive work and effort in the air were strong. 5.5

M Nathan Sturgis — Had a lot of good moments. Won some headers on corner kicks. Won some good challenges. Would’ve liked him to have been more involved, however, even if he was active. Long balls were a bit off, and that’s supposed to be a strength of his. Had some giveaways and looked hesitant at times. 5

M Freddie Ljungberg — Was in the headlines for a little back-and-forth with coach Sigi Schmid, but the effort on the field wasn’t the issue. Set up his teammates very well on the day with several chances on goal. Took his hits from the ‘Quakes and battled well. Could’ve easily had an assist or two with better finishing. 6

F Steve Zakuani — Had some great flashes of skill and speed. Got behind the defense a couple times but couldn’t finish. Routinely gets caught offside in dangerous moments though. Crossing could have been better. Also could’ve been more involved and finished his chances. 5

F Fredy Montero — I’m not going to praise him for showing effort, but it did seem to be above average for the normal player. Definitely ran more than he had in any previous game this season. Won some fouls, battled hard in the air, but wasn’t involved in many dangerous situations. 5

F Sanna Nyassi (off 62) — If his performance in New York was one of his best as a Sounder, I’m sorry to say that Saturday might have been his worst. He’s a player that wins a lot of fans with his pace and attacking style, but he had a number of bad moments. He was caught looking on the goal, maybe Wondolowski wasn’t his man, but he wasn’t guarding anyone. Had several giveaways, poor touches and bad crosses. 3.5


F Miguel Montano (on 62) — Showed effort and flashes of danger. Made some good runs and had some good moments, but also a number of dreadful touches. Swung and missed on a shot. Had a bad miss in the 86th minute. Did add some life to the attack, but also killed some build-up. 5.5

F Pat Noonan (on 76) — Really hard to judge his night. Only had a touch or two. Caught offside once. Wasn’t able to get very involved. INC


Hands were tied with the injuries to Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans and Peter Vagenas. Still found a lineup that had the better of the run of play. Subs were positive. But all that is little consolation for getting no points at home. Is there something more that can be done about finishing? I’m not sure, maybe the answer everyone is waiting for is Jaqua. Or Nkufo. 5


Freddie Ljungberg might have his own thoughts about this rating, but he did take a bit of a beating. Not sure the man in the middle deserves blame for the potentially missed offside S.J. goal. Seemed consistent enough for both teams. The bookings seemed fair. Was it a flawless performance? No, but it was good to the standard of MLS. 6


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