I got back to watching the tape today of yet another loss. It’s becoming a familiar exercise, but to be fair, getting a result against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center is a tall task.
That said, the first 25-30 minutes were crazy one-sided. The field seemed tilted in the hosts’ favor and L.A. was playing in another gear. Per Coach Schmid’s postgame comments, I kept an eye out for defensive pressure and it was definitely lacking.
That said, I thought there were some scattered good performances on offense.
* * *
GK Kasey Keller — Was under pressure quite a bit early on. Handled some corner kicks well, but was troubled by one or two of ’em. Really couldn’t be blamed for any of the goals, but didn’t have any saves of note either, maybe the deflected Birchall shot. 5
D James Riley — The own goal was definitely unlucky and unfortunate. Truth be told, I thought he had a good night defensively. On the other side of the ball, however, it was very shaky. It took a second look to see it, but most of his passes and crosses were poor. Maybe playing 300 minutes in eight days will do that. 4.5
D Jeff Parke — Was fighting and scrapping with Buddle all night. Unfortunately the L.A. forward was his mark on the decisive corner-kick in the 19th minute. Had a handful of other shaky moments. It wasn’t all bad and he nearly headed in a corner kick at the end. 4.5
D Tyrone Marshall — Much improved from last game. Actually had several moments of solid defending — nothing flashy, just strong. Long balls from the back were above-average. Did get beat on the build-up to the third goal and is also one booking from a suspension after receiving a late yellow card. 5
D Leo Gonzalez — No chance he was going to get too involved in the attack with Donovan attacking from his side. Actually was a pleasant surprise in watching the replays. Had lots of critical tackles and saves. Very few mistakes. Did get caught ahead on the third goal allowed, much like he did against Philly when the goal came through the space he vacated. 5.5
M Patrick Ianni — Lots of giveaways. Also gave up a lot of space to Galaxy attackers. Committed a lot of fouls in the defensive third. Was slow to pressure Juninho on that wonder-goal, but it’s hard to determine how much blame goes on the defense after a strike like that. Always good for some headers won and should be considered a target on set pieces, but didn’t have a strong impact in the game I felt. 4
M Peter Vagenas (off 51′) — Probably earned the least amount of notes from me while watching the replay. Not what you want from the engine running things in the middle. Had some giveaways and passing wasn’t strong. Was also someone that gave away a lot of space in the middle. Got replaced pretty early. 4
M Freddie Ljungberg (off 83′) — I think it was probably the worst passing performance I’ve seen from him in a while, particularly because he’s set a high standard. Passes and crosses always seemed just a tick off. Combined well at times, battled well, had a toe-poke shot on goal. Definitely more involved in the middle later on. Think he’ll move back to a central role soon? I do. 4.5
M Steve Zakuani — In the live blog of the game, I think I was definitely too harsh on him after a second look. Had a slow start, but definitely finished stronger. Was more involved defensively than I remember, including in the extended build-up to his goal. Speaking of that goal, I thought it was a spectacular one-two. Had some good crosses and other moments. Needs to do better at winning balls that aren’t played perfectly to him. 6
F Fredy Montero — Another performance that was much better on a second look. Really did well when he had the ball, setting up his teammates. Very few giveaways. Was able to find Ljungberg on the right many times, also set up Noonan for a chance. Displayed tremendous patience and touch on the assist to Zakuani. This is his fourth game in a row with either a goal or assist. 6
F Pat Noonan (off 45′) — A rough night for him, I thought. When Jaqua isn’t in the lineup, he’s clearly the best offensive player in the air to battle for long balls, and he did that well. Produced nothing out of two great chances in the first half, whiffing on both attempts set up by Zakuani and Montero. Buddle wasn’t his mark, but might’ve challenged him stronger on the CK goal. Was taken off early. 3.5
F Nate Jaqua (on 45′) — Does very well at controlling long balls and distributing. Strong in the air. Definitely seemed to play a part in Seattle changing the momentum of the game around the 60-minute mark. A step in the right direction I thought. 5.5
M Michael Seamon (on 51′) — Certainly could’ve produced better touches, passes and crosses in the offensive third. Killed some goal-scoring moments a couple times. That said was very active all over the field. Really the best box-to-box central midfielder that’s healthy right now. You can see why he’s rising up the depth chart. 5.5
M Miguel Montano (on 83′) — Provided some bits of skill and danger. Not really involved enough to earn a rating. Just wait for Wednesday… INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
During the replay of the game, I saw he had a chat with Arlo White at about the 30-minute mark. He mentioned how he’d like to make a couple changes right then, which means he was probably questioning his own lineup choice at that time. His side wasn’t ready to play early on. Lack of energy combined with a defensive approach? I don’t know the exact reasons. Subs had an impact. Though the debate is if they — Jaqua with his fitness issues and Seamon’s inexperience — should be starting. 4
REFEREE SILVIO PETRESCU
Again, no qualms from me. Seattle definitely hasn’t had the officiating to blame for this rough stretch. The Dallas game on the other hand… But I digress. I thought he was in control. Only had to pull out the cards late, which is a good sign for being in charge and keeping things cool. Seemed fair and was a forgotten figure, which is a high compliment. 7.5