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May 9, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Sounders FC vs. Columbus Crew, player ratings

renteria.jpgPhoto credit: Jamie Sabau, Getty Images

I got to watching the tape last night and I stand by what I felt earlier: a tie was a good result. Considering that it was Sounders FC’s third game in eight days. Considering that the conditions were horrible and tired legs were clearly evident in the second half. Considering how shorthanded Seattle was with Brad Evans and Mauro Rosales out — not to mention the long-term injuries. Considering all that, there should be little to complain about (though the midweek game is another story).

Obviously the big moment was the PK decision, which I thought was quite soft. Not incorrect, just very soft. Especially after watching the carnage in both penalty boxes Wednesday against D.C. United, where each team probably had three PK appeals apiece with the same merit as the one called Saturday. I still think Patrick Ianni was one of the best in Cascade Shale on the night.

One last note: since coming back from wrist surgery, Fredy Montero has been directly involved in a scoring play in all five games — cast and all. In the one game he didn’t have a goal or assist (D.C. United) he helped set up and draw the penalty kick. Anyways, let’s get to it.

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GK Kasey Keller — Made five saves and looked very comfortable on each one. Well maybe four of them, the one on Robbie Rogers’ breakaway looked to be a bit fortunate after deciding to come out and stopping halfway there. Couldn’t be asked to do much on the PK, obviously. Prevented rebounds and managed things well. Not sure any of the stops were beyond what you’d expect someone to make, though. 7

D James Riley — Got off to a good start. Harassing defense. Got forward and provided good service into the box. Won headers. Then was beat on a couple dangerous plays, first by Rogers on a breakaway and then by Gaven on a cross at the near post. Either could’ve very easily been a goal. Also beaten by Rogers and Balchan in the second half. Had a noticeable impact on offense and threw his body around in the back to block a few shots and crosses. 5

D Jeff Parke — A strong return to the lineup. Wasn’t as active as his center back partner, but was strong and reliable. Stepped to the ball well and won a lot of header. Distribution in the back improves with him there. Was one of the defenders caught watching Rogers on the breakaway, but there aren’t too many negative notes. 6

D Patrick Ianni — A great night that was soured by a soft PK call. Until then he might’ve been the game’s best player, and he was still up there. Was a nightmare for Renteria to deal with (though was beat once for a dangerous chance). Won countless challenges, tackles and headers. Played safe when he needed to. Interestingly, also had to separate Rogers and Schmid in postgame. 6.5

D Leo Gonzalez — Also returned to the starting lineup Saturday and I’m not sure he did enough to supplant Tyson Wahl full-time. Had some good moments and got forward well at times. Was beaten by Gaven far too many times and was lucky those chances never led to a goal. Already one yellow card from a one-game suspension as well. 4.5

M Osvaldo Alonso — One of his better games in a while in my opinion. Was a strong presence in the middle of the field. Stronger in possession and won a number of tackles and second balls, like he always does. Had a decent shot from distance and is due to score on one soon, I feel. Distribution was better. Provided the toughness needed to get a point on the road. 7

M Servando Carrasco — Earned his second start of the season and also brought a lot of toughness. Provided great defensive cover in the middle when Alonso was tracking someone on the flanks. Took some decent set pieces. Dealt and received punishment but was strong on the ball. Got a little feisty with Renteria at one point, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Had a crucial tackle on Duka in the box. A good showing. 6

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 89) — The phrase “wins header” showed up over and over in my notes. A lot of the offense went through his side on the left, but he wasn’t directly involved in too much danger. I can’t remember a shot or cross that would’ve shown up in a highlight reel. Definitely provides a different dynamic on the left flank, but it’s something everyone will have to get used to. Had some good moments in defense, as well, but just an average night overall. 5.5

M Erik Friberg (off 66) — Floated in a brilliant cross to Montero for an early assist. The touch he puts on the ball in those circumstances is always superb. Wasn’t too involved beyond that. Conceded a lot of free kicks on his side and committed a lot of handballs it seemed. Was also an afterthought defensively for the most part, beaten several times on the flank, but did cover the far post well on one set piece. Too many turnovers and not enough involvement overall, but gets a boost for the crucial the assist. 5.5

F/M Roger Levesque — Versatility was on display in this one. The guy who practiced a lot as a right back this season started at forward. Then moved to right midfield in the second half. Then over to left midfield at the end. Was involved in the goal buildup in the beginning and was a menace to the Crew back line with his work rate. Was fair in his hold-up play, pushed off the ball a lot though. Also had a bad foul near the end to earn a booking and concede a dangerous chance. Had a gift of a chance given to him but couldn’t get much on the shot. 5

F Fredy Montero (off 84) — When he scores goals like he did in the 7th minute he’s almost unguardable in this league. That type of effort, combined with his playmaking ability in the hole, shows why he can take over games and lead a team. Now will he? I’m still always surprised to see the lack of respect he gets from referees. He gets shoved, kicked and smacked all over the place. Was also booked unfairly from my view. Tracked back to help defensively a couple times. Also combined with the wings well at times. Held the ball up pretty well too. 6.5


F Nate Jaqua (on 66) — Biggest impact was winning two defensive headers on corner kicks at the end to preserve the draw. Also painfully blocked a shot. Had a decent cross to Levesque at one point, but the impact on offense was limited. Curiously went to the far post on a Fucito cross that seemingly had no chance to get there. 5.5

F Mike Fucito (on 84) — Only moment of note was a nice right-footed cross from a tough angle that gave Hesmer some problems. INC

M Lamar Neagle (on 89) — A nice birthday moment for the local product. Showed some pace and defensive effort on his side. INC


Down four potential starters to injury and some others due to fatigue, so he didn’t have a lot of options. Some people (myself included) thought Fucito might start, but if Montero was able to go, he should have. Starting Carrasco was a move that paid off well. Tried to get fresh legs on with the subs, but I might’ve made the moves a couple minutes earlier. All things considered, it was a positive result against a good team with a shorthanded squad. 6


All over the place. Made some good calls at times and then some baffling ones. Not sure either team was happy in the end. I’ve talked about the PK decision and I thought it was too soft to decide the result. If he was going to be that quick with the whistle, I would’ve liked to see it all game. Consistency game to game is hard to ask for, but consistency within the game should be a baseline request. 4

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What do you think? Who is too high? Too low?


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