Got to watching the film of Saturday’s scoreless tie and for a game without goals, there was certainly a good amount of notable moments — fans disrupting play with streamer attacks, bone-rattling collisions and stoppage time fisticuffs, etc.
Upon second look I was very impressed with the Sounders FC defensive effort, especially but not limited to the back four. Conversely, I was disappointed with the attack, which put in a mediocre effort on the other side of the field.
I thought there might’ve been a goal out there and Seattle undoubtedly had its chances. Who knows, maybe there are some mystical reasons the rave green can’t perform against Chivas USA (no wins, no goals).
Let’s get to the ratings:
* * *
GK Kasey Keller — In my notes, I felt he wasn’t really tested until the 58th minute. That said, the hosts took nine shots in the second half, which kept him very active late to preserve the clean sheet. Dealt well with the shots on goal, which were mainly hit right at him, but he prevented rebound opportunities and was steady all night. 6
D James Riley — Won more than his fair share of tackles and defensive headers. Chivas USA winger
Roger Rodolfo Espinoza was active early, but was invisible in the second half due to Riley. Very positive influence throughout the 90 minutes. 6.5
D Jeff Parke — He had 13 moments of good defense that I specifically wrote down in my notes, which is quite a lot considering I had Alonso down for only a handful. Shut Justin Braun down and handled everything that came at him — except maybe a breakaway opportunity where he tried to go coast to coast and was tackled cleanly. Player of the game, for my money, had a standout night. 8
D Patrick Ianni — Also a very strong night, taking Alan Gordon nearly out of the game completely. Strong headers, a saving sliding tackle, several good moment of good defending. Another very positive, steady performance. 7
D Leo Gonzalez — Was obviously red carded unfairly. Before that I thought he had an OK night before that. Got forward at times, but was also beat on his side more often than you’d like. Had an especially bad giveaway early on that could’ve been punished. Still had several positive moments as well. 5.5
M Osvaldo Alonso — Very nearly stole all three points with a picturesque strike from distance that looked destined for the net upon looking at the great replay angle from behind. Also very active and disruptive in the middle of the field. Did have a giveaway or two, but gets bonus points for being the first to his fallen teammate’s aid. 7
M Nathan Sturgis — Thought he didn’t have the positive influence on the game he’s had in recent weeks. Struggled to link up with the wings consistently and had significantly more bad passes than we’ve become used to. Set piece service was off and on. Was positively involved in some good possession work though. 5
M Sanna Nyassi (off 81) — It was a struggle, to say the least, on his side. To his credit, he continued to stay involved throughout the game, but his final decisions were lacking all night. Had a number of bad crosses, giveaways and poorly-taken shots. Was also fortunate not to be booked for cleating Braun in the face. Effort was high, and his strong defensive efforts were the bright spot for him. 4
M Alvaro Fernandez (off 67) — Ran like crazy. Very involved on the defensive end and pressed the offside line on the left flank. Combined well at times with his teammates, but didn’t produce too much danger. Had moments of great skill and certainly the best is yet to come. 5.5
F Fredy Montero (off 86) — Very active on defense, like he has been recently. Took some long shots, but couldn’t get any on target. I was very impressed with him staying in the game after the big hit, but he was clearly a little off from his recent form. Had a number of giveaways and bits of miscommunication in connecting passes. Not his night, but he was due for one. 5.5
F Blaise Nkufo — Played the full 90 for the first time, which was a positive. Did very well early to combine with and show for his teammates. Drew some fouls, made some good runs, but was again starved for service in the final third. Always good for a big defensive header won in his own box. Did have some giveaways and moments of indecision up front, but should’ve had an assist on the cross to Nyassi. 6
M Miguel Montano (on 67) — I thought he was wrongly judged to be offside on a breakaway, which could’ve been a landmark moment for the youngster. Very active and positively involved despite a bad first touch. 5.5
M Roger Levesque (on 81) — Put in everything he had in 10+ minutes, but it wasn’t enough time to garner a rating. INC
F Nate Jaqua (on 86) — Also not enough time. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
Admitted after the game he should’ve taken Montero off earlier, but hindsight probably weighs into that. Not sure many would’ve taken Montero off after getting the OK from all parties involved. Also admitted that Chivas made some adjustments that his team didn’t handle well. Personally, I thought Nyassi should’ve come off earlier, but Seattle’s coach put his team in decent position to get the win on the road. 5.5
REFEREE ALEX PRUS
Was certainly smiling, laughing and having a good time out there. That was kind of weird, especially during the stoppage-time fiasco. I thought he was good throughout the game, I might’ve cautioned a guy or two earlier on, but it never got out of control. The handling of the Trujillo-Gonzalez incident was flat-out wrong however. While he didn’t have a huge impact on Saturday’s game (a good thing), issuing an unfair fine and suspension was unfortunate. He tried to explain things on his Twitter account, but like he said, the responsibility falls on him. 4