As a fan of the beautiful game, I can’t help but marvel at Eric Hassli’s goal every time I see it again. Beautiful. Though I can imagine many of you don’t feel the same. Without it, all is right in Sounders FC world. Well, maybe not all, but certainly a 6-2-6 run wouldn’t have people calling for heads. Would it?
I thought there were a handful of good performances and some average ones. Fredy Montero was back in the mix and I thought he was very active, especially in the first half. Mauro Rosales and James Riley also got high marks from me.
Let’s get to it.
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GK Kasey Keller — Everything, it seemed, fell under the two extremes of 1) should comfortably save it, and 2) no chance to save it. Came off his line a couple times well to gather or punch crosses. Saves on Camilo and Leathers deserve noting, but both Hassli efforts were out of his control. 5.5
D James Riley — Extremely active on both ends of the field, in the second half especially, when he really asserted himself offensively. Aggressive. Assertive. Attacked the 50-50 balls. Limited his giveaways and was good for a couple big tackles in the back. One of the bright spots on the night. 7
D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Had too many giveaways, and one in the end proved costly. Not sure of the exact blame distribution with Alonso on the play that led to Hassli’s wonder strike, but you have to be 100-percent sure on passes at that point in the game at that part of the field. Defense was very solid. Also pushed forward for a few chances when he nodded a corner-kick header wide and nearly got to a Jaqua flick in front of goal. 5
D Jeff Parke — Not a lot of the action came his way, but he mostly handled it well. Distribution was good for the most part. Strong in the air. Hassli beat him for a second-half shot, but it was off target. 5.5
D Tyson Wahl — A bit loose defensively. Salinas raced by him for an early breakaway chance. Was also given some trouble on the wings when guys were looking to send crosses in. Set piece service and crosses were consistent, including the one that helped set up the first goal. 5.5
M Osvaldo Alonso — Bizarre night. Scored an incredible goal to give Seattle the lead, but also played a huge part in each of the goals conceded. Certainly the PK was all on him on the first goal. Like I mentioned under Hurtado’s rating, those two share the burden of the second. Was careless with the ball early, and one giveaway set up a great chance for Camilo. Booking for arguing with the ref puts him one away from suspension. In between the crucial moments he was very strong winning balls and helping control the middle — even though he was isolated at times with the rest of the midfield pushing up — but the fatal flaws on the night are too hard to ignore. 4
M Brad Evans — Was the target of a couple early crosses and also helped set up a handful of Montero chances in front of goal. Committed to keeping possession perhaps more than any player on the field, which is something that won’t show up in a stat sheet. Defense presence is always strong. Versatility allowed Rosales to push out wide. Wasn’t allowed in a lot of goal-scoring danger, however. 5.5
M Lamar Neagle (off 59) — Not as involved as he’d been in the last few games. First half was mostly positive in the moments he did get. Active on both ends of the field, as he puts in the work to track back and push forward. Had a few bad giveaways in the second half before coming off early. 5
M Mauro Rosales (off 83) — The best Sounder on the night in my opinion. Scored an opportunistic goal to tie the game in the 81st minute. Before then was whipping in crosses relentlessly, albeit to no avail. Plays with great energy. Set up Fucito’s breakaway chance in the first half. Involvement was very strong in the second half. Set piece service was better, too. 7.5
F Fredy Montero — Extremely active in the first half. Just missed on a couple crosses and pulled the trigger on a couple dangerous shots. Showed to the ball well to help possession and combine with teammates. Nearly finished the chance on a cross to the far post. Second half was much quieter, but it was ultimately a mostly positive return to the lineup. 6
F Mike Fucito (off 65) — Had the great chance just before halftime, only to be tripped up Rochat just before taking a shot. It seems like he was penalized for playing through the contact. Maybe he would’ve done better to dive, which exposes the flaw in the officiating there. Besides that crucial moment he wasn’t involved as much. 5
F Nate Jaqua (on 59) — Provided someone who could win some headers up front, and it helped on the first goal scored even if he didn’t get the touch. Flick nearly found Hurtado in front of goal a bit earlier. Hold-up play was pretty good. 5.5
M Miguel Montano (on 65) — Made his first appearance in a while and bizarrely gave the ball away about every other time he touched it. Schmid wondered if the occasion got to him a little bit. Or maybe it was rust. Either way, it’s possible he’ll drop on the depth chart and earn another chance the hard way. 4.5
M Erik Friberg (on 83) — Only involvement was taking a corner kick, from what I remember. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
One wonder goal away from a nice comeback win. Personally, I think the crucial errors on the night were by individuals and less schematic, though Alonso could’ve used more midfield support at times. Moving Rosales out wide was a good in-game switch. The subs had varying impact. Vancouver did however see more of the ball and have more chances than I was anticipating. 5.5
REFEREE MARK GEIGER
The PK call was correct in my view. The bookings were fair for the most part. Some of the play got a little rough, with Montero and Rosales taking the brunt of it at times. The big moment was penalizing Fucito for playing through contact. Rochat clipped him as the last defender while Fucito shot, so the advantage isn’t letting him play through. The advantage if is he scores a goal, and otherwise it should’ve been a PK and potentially a red card. That’s a game-changing moment, and play went on. 4
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What do you think? Someone too high or too low?