Lots of things, both good and bad, to take from this one. After watching the replay there was definitely lots to like about the Sounders’ performance. It’s the word of the week it seems, but there was a lot of energy out there. Like Sigi Schmid said on Monday, however, you live and die with energy.
I still haven’t seen a good enough replay of the Miguel Montano swing on Brek Shea to really have an educated opinion about the sending off. Certainly it hurt Seattle’s effort to close out the win, but the ejection can’t be the only excuse for the disappointing result.
A good team can close out 30 minutes of soccer shorthanded without conceding. That said, the skill and strike from David Ferreira on that one-two combo with Heath Pearce were top class.
Let’s get to the ratings:
* * *
GK Kasey Keller — Very involved for a lot of the game, credit Dallas for that. Had a great save on Atiba Harris from short range early on. Handled crosses, corners and through balls well. Had perhaps one of the best saves this season league-wide with the one-handed stop on Ferreira off the line (70′). Couldn’t be blamed for the goal, but overall a great showing. 7.5
D James Riley — Had a tough defensive assignment on the physical, athletic, much-larger Brek Shea, but didn’t back down from the challenge. Had a great cross for the assist on the Montero goal. Rushed out to block a dangerous shot in the 70th minute after the big Keller save. Was beat on the 1-2 on Dallas’ goal, however, which sours the performance a bit. 5.5
D Jeff Parke — Really starting to settle in at that centerback spot. Maybe his best game of the season in my opinion. Won headers, was sure in his tackles and challenged Harris well all night. I also like how he’s not afraid to dribble the ball up into the midfield instead of sending long ball up or finding a midfielder. Could’ve closed Pearce down more on the FCD goal though. 6.5
D Patrick Ianni — Was beat by Harris on the endline early on and was a little wild to start. Definitely settled down and put in a steady performance. Had a great tackle on Cunningham in the 75th minute. Exceptional in the air and very good at no-nonsense clearances. 5.5
D Leo Gonzalez — I thought he was very good in the defensive effort, and not much danger from Dallas came from his side. Tried to get forward at times, but didn’t add too much to the attack. Got beat by Dax McCarty late, but wasn’t burned for it. There’s always a time or two a game where he gets caught ahead too far and the opponent attacks dangerously in the space behind him. 5.5
M Nathan Sturgis — A very solid showing, especially in a position that isn’t very heralded. Always available to his teammates and did a great job in the possession game. Very few giveaways and also supported the defense very well. Had some good set pieces and managed things from the middle very well. 6
M Michael Seamon (off 70) — Rolled his ankle in pregame, so that surely had some impact on his effectiveness. Got an assist for finding James Riley on the right wing before the Montero goal. Definitely invisible for large portions of the game and needs to work on getting more involved. All in all, an OK night for the rookie. 5
M Miguel Montano — The sending off was a black mark on what was previously a standout game. Not sure what happened on the swing on Shea, but it very much hurt his team. Was a whirlwind on energy before that, winning a lot of balls on the right wing and showing well in the attack and also defensively. Won fouls and wasn’t afraid to commit them either, which was the story in the end. 4
M Steve Zakuani (off 62) — Had some good crosses, but probably didn’t make the most of chances on the left side. Was set up well by Montero a couple times: 1) a dummy in the first half that gave him an open look at goal, 2) a breakaway in the second half that he took to the left and couldn’t get a strong cross in. Was subbed by Schmid, who was looking for more energy. 5
F Fredy Montero — Maybe his strongest game of the season. Very active early and down the final whistle. Won a handful of balls on the defensive end, drew fouls and created nearly all of his team’s dangerous moments. Finished the opening goal very well, which wasn’t as easy as he made it look. Set up his teammates very well all night: Zakuani (x2), Nyassi. Giving McCarty a shove after a bad foul I think showed how into the game he was. 8
F Nate Jaqua (off 78) — First MLS start had it’s up and downs. Had several giveaways and has never really involved in much danger. On the other hand, he’s definitely a handful for opposing defenses and makes centerbacks work for it. Showed very well in the air. I would’ve liked to see him check back for the ball a little more. Definitely a step in the right direction. 5
M Sanna Nyassi (on 62) — Had several darting runs in the Dallas defensive third, but didn’t do much with them. Montero him up with a breakaway chance, and his low shot was saved. Schmid said he was too all over the place, and he was also beat on the 1-2 that set up Dallas’ goal. 5
M Osvaldo Alonso (on 70) — Dreadful first touch very nearly led to Dallas equalizing, save for Keller’s effort on Ferreira’s header off the line. Added some defensive tenacity in trying to preserve the lead, but clearly showed some rust at times. 5
F/M Roger Levesque (on 78) — He’s such an energy guy, I might’ve liked to see him in earlier. In the end, didn’t have enough time to garner a rating. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
Rolled the dice with the youngsters, and he definitely deserves credit for that. Benched some veterans, but the product on the field was much improved. I thought the subs were the right choices, but down a man I might have some of them a little earlier. Definitely did all he could to turn this around. 8
REFEREE KEVIN STOTT
The big decision was the Montano red card, and Schmid had no qualms about it, so he gets marks for that. Had decent control of the game and wasn’t forced to had out bookings all over the place. Definitely uneven at times, but remember, we’re judging on an MLS curve here. 6