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May 31, 2010 at 8:53 PM

Sounders FC 0, Colorado Rapids 1 — postgame thoughts and player ratings

Finally had a chance to watch the tape of Saturday’s game, and my thoughts are the same after covering it live. It seemed to be a pretty even match and a draw would have been deserved. But the difference between winning and losing in those 1-0 games is razor thin, and Conor Casey’s moment of brilliance was it.

I wasn’t too thrilled with how the offense played. The dynamic options Seattle has up front should really create more and show better in their chances. The defense I thought was split, with a couple guys having good nights and a couple not.

A 3-5-3 record at this point is definitely a shock. So too is having just one win in the last seven. These next two home games are huge.

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — He was definitely called upon more than he typically has this season. Was up to the task on a sharp Omar Cummings header early, then later shots by Ballouchy and Cummings. Was beat only by a masterful chip. Might not have been otherwise. 6

D James Riley — I thought this was his best performance of the season. Rapids forward Wells Thompson was really an afterthought until he was subbed off. Played aggressively in defense, with some standout saving tackles, and also took the space on offense when it was given. 6.5

D Jeff Parke — Put in a tough spot as a starter just a couple weeks after coming back. Sigi Schmid said he thought the rust showed, and so did I. Slipped and stumbled a few times and has involved in the only goal. Did have some good moments, but he knows he can do better. 4.5

D Tyrone Marshall — I think he was strong throughout. Also played his second-straight game without a caution, which with his situation was key. Made a lot of saving tackles and was always in a good position. A good night in my view. 6

D Leo Gonzalez — Had a tough assignment guarding Omar Cummings, but he really was beat way too many times. Had a couple lunging, desperate tackles and was booked on one of them. Not a strong showing. 4

M Patrick Ianni — Always physically strong in defense and available as a holding option on offense. A solid night I thought. Had the only shot on goal with a one-time strike from distance. 5.5

M Brad Evans — Schmid admitted he told his guys to hang back a little on the road, and that explains why he was mainly involved defensively. Had some saving tackles and won some defensive headers. Wasn’t punished on guarding Baudet on a corner kick, as the Frenchman’s header went wide. Runs forward didn’t amount to much, but it was another workmanlike night. 5

M Freddie Ljungberg — Was just a bit off with his touches Saturday. His passes were less accurate than usual. Could’ve done better with a breakaway chance before halftime. Nearly had a saving goal on a free kick, but was over and wide. Not sure many are surprised he was booked for dissent. 5

F Steve Zakuani (off 63) — Crushed in the third minute and said he couldn’t sprint full speed the rest of the game. That said he made sure to put in the work defensively. Also set up Ljungberg’s breakaway and nearly found the target after a great run in the second half. 5.5

F Fredy Montero (off 76) — I thought he was pretty active and involved. Though while the effort was there, the effectiveness wasn’t as much. Probably could’ve created more danger with his chances. Tracked back a couple times, but never found the target. 5.5

F Pat Noonan (off 83) — Had a couple slips and giveaways in what I thought was a forgettable night. Maybe forgettable is too harsh a word, but not as effective as it could have been. 4.5

SUBSTITUTES

F Sanna Nyassi (on 63) — His best moment was right when he came on the field and got involved with a cross. Other than that, not much stands out as his team chased the game. 5

F Miguel Montano (on 76) — Came on for his countrymate Fredy Montero and brought energy and pace like he always does. Not too many moments of note. 5

F Roger Levesque (on 83) — Came on late to cap the complete line change up front for the Sounders. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

This rating is always the hardest to determine. When do you start looking to the coach for these painfully familiar results? How do you gauge the impact of all the injuries? What about finishing? I’ve seen them practice that every day, but there’s not much improvement. In the end, I thought the Seattle team on the field played even on the night, but goals are all that matters. 5

REFEREE JAIR MARRUFO

Allowed for a physical level of play to be established early, with Ljungberg and Zakuani as the main sufferers. Was relatively consistent and I thought the bookings were fair. Personally I felt he missed the PK call. The ball arguably could have played the hand, but it was extended well outside the body (it wasn’t at his side) and gave his team a clear advantage in blocking a dangerous cross. Ball to hand isn’t black and white either. You can’t run around with your arms out or over your head and expect to never be called for a handball. 5

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