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May 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM

Sounders FC vs. D.C. United, player ratings

alonso dc.jpgPhoto credit: Ned Dishman, Getty Images

Yikes. That was a cold slap to the face to end a six-game unbeaten streak. Turnovers all over the park. A lot of long balls. Two goals allowed that looked exactly the same. Blown chances on offense. Not a good night.

It also didn’t help that Mauro Rosales pulled his hamstring about 15 minutes before the final whistle and Seattle had to play 10v11, but even before that it was a scattered, sloppy performance. Of the three losses this year, Wednesday’s was the most deserved. They were in the game late but easily could’ve allowed more than two goals.

On a 1-10 scale, 5.5 is average and I didn’t rate many Sounders to that standard. Fortunately there’s a quick turnaround, not a week to dwell on the dismal showing. Let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — In a perfect world he anticipates the two goal-producing crosses even before they’re hit and grabs them off his line. In reality though, I’m not sure he deserves a lot of the blame for the scores. Saves ranged in difficulty but peaked on a brilliant diving stop of White’s header late. Was also up the task against Wolff early and Kitchen. Started distributing out of the back instead of booting the ball to keep possession, which was a positive influence I thought. 5.5

D James Riley (off 59) — A poor night. Was errant in the possession game and had a bunch of giveaways. Got beat bad by Pontius early. Had some poor clearances and put him teammates in tough positions. Didn’t handle man-marking duties nearly well enough on the first goal by Wolff. Deserves less of the blame on the Davies goal, but might’ve put himself in a position to help there. Pushed high but not much danger came from his side. Taken off early. 3.5

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Was very strong for the first 10 minutes then got beaten badly by Davies. Dragged him down but got away with it. Also got away with a big tug on White’s jersey on a corner kick. The big moment came when he took an awful line to defend Davies on the first goal. Got beat behind a couple other times, including Davies on the far post in the second half. To his credit, he also won a lot more tackles than any other defender. 4.5

D Patrick Ianni — Was involved in both goals against. First he didn’t disrupt much of Davies’ cross to fill in for the beaten Hurtado. On the second goal he kept Wolff onside then was the closest defender on the goal, letting the cross get to the veteran forward at the far post. Had a couple poor clearances and also got away with dragging White down in the box at one point. Had a couple positive moments too and might’ve deserved to draw a PK himself when he was smacked in the back, but he didn’t get the call. Like Hurtado, he’s a good target on set pieces but couldn’t direct anything on target. 4

D Tyson Wahl — Had an active night running up and down the left flank, but not a lot was positive. Beaten a couple times by Najar. Also had an awful giveaway that nearly led to a goal by the youngster, whose shot caromed off the post. Sent up a lot of long balls that lost possession. Was good on set pieces and created a fair number of chances in crosses. Had to step to Najar on the second goal, so he can’t be blamed too much for letting Wolff get in behind. Might’ve been the best in the back, but not by much, and almost by default. 5

M Osvaldo Alonso — A lot less to gripe about in his performance. I thought he was strong in the middle and won his share of tackles and headers. Unlucky on a couple decisions by the ref. Might’ve got away with a hard foul in the box on Kitchen, but I thought he won the ball fairly. One of the better performers. 5.5

M Brad Evans — Schmid said after the game he got too ahead of the play sometimes and didn’t help enough with possession. Was just a tad off on both ends of crosses, either sending them in and trying to get on the end of some. Limited his giveaways compared to his teammates. Also helped set up the PK and finished it calmly. Skied a wide-open shot set up by Montero and couldn’t handle another chance where he was nearly in on goal on a pass from Friberg. Would’ve liked to see more danger overall if he was pushing forward more than Schmid wanted. 5

M Erik Friberg — Very hot and cold. Had some good balls over the top of the D.C. back line, but also had way too many turnovers in the middle of the park. Didn’t drop back to his defenders to receive and advance the ball, which led to a lot of long balls. Played a role in each goal as he didn’t run with Wolff on the first and was beat by Najar on the second. Had some good crosses on set pieces, but it was a night to forget. 4

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 76) — Nearly had another dramatic goal getting on the end of a Levesque cross, but Hamid came up with a big save. Won a lot more headers than that, too, including some when he was being dragged down in the box. Probably should’ve earned a PK, but Grajeda wasn’t buying it. Like Evans, was just off on both ends of crosses. Had a handful of giveaways but was active and involved. A lot of good (decent combinations and involvement in attacking third) mixed with bad (giveaways and also lost his mark, Kitchen, on a corner kick for a near goal). I was surprised he came off though. 5

F Fredy Montero — Tracked down a defender very early on, won the ball and had a breakaway, but spoiled it with a poorly executed chip. Was pretty active, but didn’t combine and playmake as much as you want. Had a number of sloppy giveaways. Drew a booking and took his fair share of shots (including one wicked bender that Hamid barely kept out). Cleverly earned the PK and set up a couple chances but you could tell the cast/wrist was bothering him at times. 5

F Nate Jaqua (off 64) — Was the target of a lot of long balls and he didn’t keep possession on nearly enough of them. Really wasn’t involved in much danger at all. Had a chance in the box at one point, but lost it when he maybe should’ve hit a shot on the first touch. Had another shot deflected, however it wasn’t hit with much authority. Booked for a dangerous foul on Kitchen, but didn’t provide nearly enough of a presence up front before he came off. 4

SUBSTITUTES

M Mauro Rosales (on 59) — Wasn’t the right move in hindsight as he pulled his hamstring in the 78th minute. It was hard to tell on TV, but he definitely took himself out of the action. It’s a shame because he had been a positive change. The new shape allowed the team better fluidity. He also combined well with Montero and had a few good crosses. Even had a dangerous flick while playing injured in the 89th minute. 5.5

F Roger Levesque (on 64) — Wasn’t the sub many hoped for but he created two assist-worthy plays: first on a great cross to Flaco for an open header and then leaving off a ball to Montero for a shot to the upper 90 (each produced big saves by Hamid). The production per minute was the best on the team, I felt. Very positive. 6

M Leo Gonzalez (on 76) — Had very little impact. Not as much as Flaco was having right before he was taken off and not as much as outsiders believe Mike Fucito would’ve had. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

It’s tough for me to judge this one since I wasn’t able to ask him questions after the game. I’m not sure if Fucito was 100-percent available, but I think he should’ve been in the game if he was. Especially after the KONG broadcast told me all about Bill Fucito’s nine-hour overnight commute to the game. I want to think something was up, because I can’t understand bringing in Leo Gonzalez at that point and at that position. The first two subs I thought were positive for reasons I stated above in their ratings, but overall this was a bad performance. Schmid said D.C. was “extremely motivated,” but to me that’s another way of saying they were hungrier and wanted it more. That doesn’t hold up as the reason for a poor showing. Neither does Mauro Rosales being hurt for the last 15 minutes. It wasn’t a catastrophic performance (14 shots, 50-percent duels won, 51.7-percent possession), but it wasn’t nearly good enough. 4

REFEREE HILARIO GRAJEDA

Inconsistent. Or maybe he was consistently inconsistent. Lost control of the game a couple times and early in each half. Got some bookings right, but I was confused by a lot of his calls in the run of play — especially in the penalty area. Allowed a lot of physical play in the box (wasn’t that another of the league’s points of emphasis this season?) but that went against both teams. Probably didn’t affect the outcome of the game, but it wasn’t run smoothly. 4

* * *

What do you think? Who is rated too high or too low?

COMMENTS

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