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Sounders FC

Daily coverage of Seattle Sounders FC, MLS and world soccer.

June 7, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Seattle Sounders FC 3, New England Revolution 0, postgame thoughts and player ratings

I got to watching the replay of the Seattle-New England game today during the off-day, and what a class performance it was from the home side. We were running out of superlatives in the pressbox.

All three goals had great buildups, with at least three Sounders involved. The centerback pairing of Tyrone Marshall and Jeff Parke won all but one or two defensive headers and were dominant in the air all night. The left side of the attack was remarkable and produced three goals. Led by Freddie Ljungberg on the right, there could’ve been three goals from that side as well.

One of the more complete performances I’ve ever seen. Let’s get to the ratings:

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Didn’t have to make many saves, but did get off his line very well to make things look easy. Had a tremendous punch save with the huge Jankauskas bearing down. Also was breathing fire at someone (the ref?) after another save on a Joseph header. 6.5

D James Riley — With the offense controlling everything, not much attention was put on defense. But I thought it was a solid performance with not a lot of touches wrong from the right back. Always good for a saving slide tackle a game, and also a shot, it seems. 6.5

D Jeff Parke — Cliche alert, but it was night-and-day compared to Colorado. Very strong in the air and his physical strength showed up some other quality tackles. Was beaten on the header by Mansally in the first half, but that was about it. Much improved. 7

D Tyrone Marshall — Also very strong in the air and challenged everything. Had some saving tackles as always. Whenever he had a missed touch, he fought to make sure no danger came of it. Perhaps most importantly, had another caution-free night to drop his yellow-card total to three. 7

D Leo Gonzalez (off 90) — My man of the match for sure and he got the runner-up vote in my league-wide ‘player of the week’ picks. That goal was masterful (one of the best in franchise history) and also had an assist on the third goal by Montero. Very involved in the first half and helped create much more, including Zakuani’s breakaway. Defensively, Sainey Nyassi didn’t do much on his side. A bit quieter in the second half, but that was surely a given after the first 45 minutes. Got the ovation he deserved at the end. 8.5

M Patrick Ianni — Had the tough assignment of shadowing Shalrie Joseph in the defensive third and did a phenomenal job. Frustrated the N.E. star so much he got a forearm to the face for it. Always physically strong and was the most dangerous Sounder on set pieces in the attack. 7

M Brad Evans — Got involved in the attack well, made some incredible runs, but his attempts on goal were off target or at the keeper. Great effort to set up Zakuani’s second goal. Always good for the work rate and tracking back to win a few balls in defense. 6.5

M Freddie Ljungberg (off 88) — Deployed on the right flank and still showed the pace, at times, of a 20 year old. Created countless scoring opportunities (Zakuani, Noonan, Evans, Levesque). Lots of dangerous opportunities were set up by his work, and the lack of finishing on those attempts were hardly his fault. 7.5

M Steve Zakuani — Got a bit of an unintentional assist on Leo’s goal, but had many moments in the final 85 minutes. After firing a volley over the frame and missing a breakaway chance, he vowed to score before he left the field. He did in the 24th minute with a brilliant shot to the top corner that he called the best of his career on Twitter. Also tracked back well. 8

F Pat Noonan (off 81) — Always making all the right runs when the ball was on the wing, and just missed a final touch several times. Showed some great skill on the ball to set up a great shot off the post. Also set up Montero very well with a superb touch for the final goal. 7

F Fredy Montero — The only player that was vitally involved in all three goals. Held the ball up well on the left side in the buildup to Leo’s goal. Took a quick throw-in to set up the second goal and then showed some goal-scorer’s finish on the third. Also earned a penalty kick in the second half, when he was dragged down, oh wait, it wasn’t called. Very active and perhaps his best performance of the season. 8

SUBSTITUTES

F Roger Levesque (on 81) — Has been in the 18 several times in a row now. Did have a shot set up by Freddie, but fired wide. Ten minutes is too short a time to earn a rating. INC

M Sanna Nyassi (on 88) — Allowed Freddie an ovation. Also won a defensive header and pushed forward well. INC

D Taylor Graham (on 90) — Nice to see him healthy and able to get his debut. Allowed Leo a spotlight moment in the end. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

What needs to be said? Made all the right moves and pushed all the right buttons to put his team in a position for a dominant win. The switch back to a 4-4-2 worked wonders. Freddie on the right was great and sticking with Noonan up top (and Parke in the back) also worked out. 8

REFEREE JORGE GONZALEZ

Got most of it right, I felt. The early booking to Gibbs was crucial and settled things down a bit. Called it tight and evenly. Did miss a call or two for sure — most notably when Montero was bear-hugged to the pitch — but I thought it was one of the better efforts of the season in a Sounders game. 7

COMMENTS

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