The team canceled its practice today, which gave me the chance to watch and review the tape of Saturday’s game. My how things changed at the 70-minute mark. I had a lot of positive comments and ratings for most of the game, but at the end it got ugly.
You have to think fatigue played some part in the unraveling. Also that bizarre incident between Patrick Ianni and Shalrie Joseph.
I thought there were moments of good stuff from the Sounders, but maybe just enough to get a point as New England certainly played well enough to win. I thought the officiating was suspect, to say the least. All that matters, however, is Seattle’s road to the playoffs is going to be a nervous one.
Let’s get to the ratings:
* * *
G Kasey Keller — Had to be Mighty Kasey a couple times, especially early with good saves on Stolica and Dube. Defense let him down on the goals, but he might’ve come off his line quicker on some of those crosses considering the trouble they caused. Was certainly a positive on a rough night. 6
D James Riley — Here’s another Sounder I thought was solid. Very steady throughout the game and got very involved in the attack again. Played some nice long balls to Montero and recorded his fourth assist by setting up Zakuani. Looks like he had an unlucky touch on the Perovic goal, but was one of the best in green. 6.5
D Jeff Parke — Got off to a very strong start, especially in the air where he established himself well. Did have a couple bits of miscommunication with Keller in the back. Wasn’t able to win some crucial headers in Seattle’s penalty box as the Revs attacked late. Almost made up for it with a late goal. 5
D Patrick Ianni — A night to forget probably. Was horribly flat-footed on a chance by Stolica in the second minute that nearly gave the hosts the lead. Appeared to instigate a melee by stomping on Joseph’s foot, but certainly didn’t deserve a slap/punch to the face/neck. Also beat by Joseph in the air on the crucial moments in the box and had a poor clearance lead to the third goal. 4
D Leo Gonzalez — Not much of the action came his way but that didn’t stop him from working hard and getting up and down the field. Very often provided support to Zakuani on the left side. Had a couple giveaways and some rushed clearances in place of keeping possession. Didn’t deserve much blame on the goals conceded though. 5.5
M Osvaldo Alonso — A performance that went from good to dreadful in a matter of 10 minutes. Very played a crucial part in all three goals allowed. Tierney was his man on the first goal and outworked him to the far post. Also had a miscue in the pass back that led to Perovic’s score. Finally, he didn’t follow Dube on the last goal either. Those moments ruined what had been a decent night, including getting the better of Joseph early on. Set-piece service was good too. 4
M Mike Seamon (off 82) — Was hot and cold in terms of getting involved. Fired a bunch of shots early, but only one was on target. Combined well times but also disappeared more often then you’d like from a central midfielder, especially late in the game. A bit unsteady on the ball also. 4.5
M Alvaro Fernandez (off 73) — After jumping out of the gates with two goals early in his Sounders career, El Flaco got his first assist for his new team combining with Riley on the right side. Unfortunately not much other danger came from his involvement. Had other good moments, but there were more giveaways from what I saw. 5.5
M Steve Zakuani — Seattle’s player of the game, in my opinion, and not just because of the goal scored. I thought he was taking it to Alston on the left side and had a number of dangerous moments. Most of Mike Seamon’s shots came off Zakuani buildup. Always combines well with Montero and also put in some good defensive work, including a big clearance on the corner kick after the melee. All of this on top of a very calm finish for the go-ahead goal. 7.5
F Fredy Montero — A lot of passes were just a hair off on Saturday as both passes and crosses missed their targets more than we’re used to. I wonder if the poor officiating early — getting no calls despite being battered — got to him. Definitely combined well at times as a playmaker and a lot of the good stuff came through him. Maybe wasn’t vintage Montero, but still positive. 5.5
F Roger Levesque — Was also on and off in terms of staying involved. His high-energy activity along with his touches and chances also didn’t result in much. Nearly connected with a diving header from a Zakuani cross, but he didn’t show up in my notes very often, which doesn’t help. 4.5
F Nate Jaqua (on 73) — I expected him to start. I’m sure Sounders FC fans hoped he would, especially considering his scoring form in the Open Cup. Had a couple moments in the attack in his limited time, including a near miss on a diving header from a Montero cross. 5.5
M Mike Fucito (on 82) — Nice to see him get back on the field. Also cool that it was close to home. Didn’t get enough time to earn a rating though. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
I’m going to forego a rating here this time. I wasn’t at the game at wasn’t able to ask him some questions about player availability (Jaqua), tactics (Levesque/Montero up front) and coaching decisions (two subs).
REFEREE SILVIU PETRESCU
Wasn’t a fan of his performance at all. In the opening minutes of the game, Montero was crushed on a foul from behind and he played advantage at midfield. There was no clear benefit for Seattle and he should’ve blown the whistle to get control of things. Didn’t book anyone on the Ianni/Joseph scrum (both deserved ’em) despite apparently reaching for the back pocket. Both teams were frustrated throughout. As was I just in watching. 3