I’m getting to these a bit late because all these early World Cup matches make it impossible to find time to break down the tape. Safe to say the debacle in Chester, Pa., was just as ugly as I remember.
The possession was awful — maybe the worst of the season — and there were so many giveaways. Very little movement off the ball. The forwards struggled to keep it when it was played ahead and no one ever won a second ball.
Later on it looked like they were playing in molasses and at around the 70-minute mark most of the guys looked out of it. Here are my ratings, be sure to offer your thoughts below.
* * *
GK Kasey Keller — Had easily his best game of the season. Came up with save after save and also came off his line to snuff out attacks very well. Could do nothing on the PK or many of the goals. Save on Arrieta’s header was world class. 8
D James Riley — Had a decent game I felt. Won a fair share of tackles and made an effort to push ahead and get involved. Set up the goal well by finding Zakuani in space across the field. Getting stronger as the season goes on I feel. 5.5
D Tyrone Marshall — A struggle, to say the least. Had a number of shaky clearances and giveaways. Swung wildly at a clearance, but hit Moreno instead of the ball to give up the first PK. Not his night. 3.5
D Jeff Parke — I thought he was solid. Made very few mistakes and went into tackles and headers strong. Didn’t show up in my notes very often, which for a defender can be a very good thing. 5.5
D Leo Gonzalez — Really didn’t show up on the screen much. Rarely pushed ahead to get involved. Had a couple headers and tackles. Union’s third goal came in from his area on the field when he got caught in behind. 4
M Patrick Ianni — Very quiet start. Had some giveaways and had the match’s only booking early. Quiet start turned steady later on, decent on the ball and won a header on a Ljungberg free kick. Didn’t stand out and was badly beaten by Fred in the second half, only to be saved by Keller. 4.5
M Peter Vagenas (off 67) — Scrappy start, but a lot of his passes were off all game. In there to settle things down and hold possession, but that’s where Seattle struggled. Had a head-scratching pass back on a free kick from 40 yards that I couldn’t understand. Also reportedly deferred responsibility on the PK. 4
M Freddie Ljungberg — The down side of playing on the flank showed Sunday, when he didn’t get much service and space. Drew some fouls, had some moments, produced some crosses, but not at the amount we expect. Also took a blatant elbow from Califf I’m not sure many saw. Set-piece service was sub-par in whole. But had a run in the 75th minute that really showed his quality. 5
M Steve Zakuani (off 72) — Very, very quiet until about the 30-minute mark. Struggled even more than Ljungberg to get involved, but some of that falls on him. Gets an assist for what was actually a poor pass to Montero that was flicked on. Also involved in build-up before Noonan’s PK. But not much else. 4
F Pat Noonan (off 81) — Perhaps the hardest performance to judge. I thought he struggled to hold the ball, but he also won a lot of headers. Missed the PK — one he maybe shouldn’t have taken — but also had the only goal. Struggled to combine with Montero. Maybe could’ve pressured Le Toux’s cross on the Union’s second goal. Definitely a mixed bag. 4.5
F Fredy Montero — More involved than I remember on my second look. Held the ball up OK and combined well at times. Had a header over the bar for the team’s first shot, then earned an inadvertent assist with a flick to Noonan. Other moments: drawing a PK, firing a hard shot over the bar and setting up Jaqua’s chance. 5
M Michael Seamon (on 67) — A decent debut for the rookie. Won a couple headers and looked calm on the ball. Definitely played things safe, had a decent cross and some other steady moments. 5
F Nate Jaqua (on 72) — You could also tell how hot it was there when he came onto the field dripping with sweat before playing a minute. The long-awaited debut really showed what he can bring (late shot on goal and winning the ball on a Keller clearance). Unfortunately whiffed on Philly’s second goal, which was a bad, bad mistake. 4
F Roger Levesque (on 81) — Won a header on a corner kick within seconds of coming on. Active and involved in his short stint. Expect him to be a key player against Portland tonight. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
Another underachieving game. In a perfect world he might have five different starters, so his hands a little tied with lineup choices. In the end the team expected to be stronger was clearly inferior on the field. 4
REFEREE BALDOMERO TOLEDO
I thought he was steady and fair. Only had to give one booking, which I think is sometimes a good indicator of having control. The PK decisions were each fine in my opinion. Wasn’t flawless, but he’ll get no qualms at all from me. 8