Now that was quite the spectacle. The 46,000-person crowd. The six-goal game. The early lead, which slowly disappeared to the shorthanded visitors, only to be rescued by Roger Levesque off the bench. And did the Sounders really get three goals off corner kicks?
Erik Friberg (above, middle) netted his first goal with a spectacular effort. Osvaldo Alonso scored again — that’s two in the last two home games. There were some great performances, a lot of good ones and a couple so-so ones, but this team continues to rise up the standings.
Let’s get to it.
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GK Kasey Keller — New York had a lot of possession, but not a lot of dangerous chances on goal. Some felt he could’ve done better on the Dane Richards shot, but it certainly took an unfortunate deflection. I don’t think it goes in if it isn’t redirected by Zach Scott. Keller did get a fingertip to it, but I’m not sure you can entirely blame him for it. On the second goal there were certainly nothing that could be done. Handled everything else well, but nothing else was too troubling. 5.5
D James Riley — Not much danger came from his side. Austin Da Luz and Joel Lindpere were mostly quiet over there. Solid on defense and also pushed forward well at times. A couple long balls created some danger. Possession and crosses were pretty good. Earned a booking for taking down Lindpere, but it looked like Friberg was more at fault. 6
D Jeff Parke — Really starting to establish himself in the back. Maybe that’s why Dwayne De Rosario took him out with a cheap shot at the end of the game. Great defense and distribution. Handled the speedy Richards well. Had one shaky clearance, but negative notes were rare. 7.5
D Zach Scott — It’d be easy and lazy to say he had a bad night since both New York goals last touched him. And while it wasn’t a spectacular night, it wasn’t a shocker like I’ve heard some people say. Had a lot of quality, saving tackles and was strong against De-Ro. Did, however, have some very poor giveaways and clearances. Needs to be more consistent, but the good moments were quite good. 5
D Leo Gonzalez — Wore a black armband in honor of a fallen friend Dennis Marshall, so it must’ve been a hard night for him. Had an assist on the go-ahead goal and was very strong defensively. Unfortunately one of the moments that resonates from the night is the Solli nutmeg in the buildup to the second goal. But other than that he made a lot of tackles and pushed forward well, too. Was booked late to earn a suspension, but with a game Sunday (and Wahl likely to start), it might not be the worst thing. 6
M Osvaldo Alonso — Rack up another goal for the Cuban, this time on a deflected volley. And now that he’s scoring he’s becoming one of the most unstoppable players in the league. Completely harassed Lindpere all night. Limited his giveaways in the possession game and made a couple great runs forward. Drew a booking on Da Luz, but also picked up one himself to earn a suspension. I thought he was the best player on the night. 8
M Erik Friberg — Perhaps the runner-up for MVP in my estimation. The goal was extremely well taken, but not nearly all of his influence. I was very impressed with his defensive performance as he won a lot of big tackles in crucial situations. Drew the corner kick to set up the second goal. Did well to set up Alonso’s dangerous shot late (which earned the corner kick before the third goal). Did have a couple giveaways at times, but it was probably his best performance as a Sounder. 7.5
M/F Mauro Rosales — Wowed the ESPN announcers with his activity, but we’re getting used to that by now. Took the corner kicks that led to the first two goals. Had some other quality crosses as well. Did well to win possession in midfield. Also took some hard hits, one of which drew a booking. Pushed up to forward late in the game. Strong on the ball, but you might’ve liked to see him a little more involved in the play on offense. 6.5
M Alvaro Fernandez (off 73) — Probably the Sounder I most wanted to see more of. Gave away possession far too often and didn’t get nearly enough touches. Had a couple moments, including a near chip of Sutton. First half was pretty quiet and it wasn’t much better later before being taken off. 4.5
F Fredy Montero (off 81) — Didn’t have a major influence on any of the goals, but did do some behind-the-scenes work. Disrupted Sutton a bit on the second goal. Involved in the buildup to Alonso’s shot to set up the third. Also put in some pressure on the Red Bulls back line, which ultimately led to Sutton’s gaff on the fourth. That doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like to see more direct involvement in danger and scoring chances. Besides a good run and a blocked shot in the first half, there wasn’t too much. Did drop back and get involved, but had to call for a sub later on with an injured quad. 6
F Mike Fucito (off 58) — The trend continued, where he gets some quality moments, but needs to get a little more involved on a consistent basis. Made some good runs and combined well at times. Also had some sloppy giveaways. Was better at the start of the second half, but ultimately came off early. 5.5 [Ed note: I had this score at a 5.5 in my notes, but I messed it up transferring it to the blog. It was previously listed as a 5.]
F/M Roger Levesque (on 58) — If you didn’t know by now, he had a pretty special game. Winning the Gonzalez corner kick for the first goal was 100-percent effort. So was pressuring Sutton into the mistake in the back. Had some other strong moments, especially defensively and in the air. A night to remember. 7.5
M Servando Carrasaco (on 73) — A positive influence I thought. Came in for Fernandez but played centrally to disrupt New York’s possession in the middle. Made some good tackles and passes. 6
F Nate Jaqua (on 81) — Active and won some headers in his short time. INC
COACH SIGI SCHMID
The only lineup decision that deserves some question is Zach Scott over Patrick Ianni. People might’ve questioned the Levesque sub at the time, but it turned out to be the game-changer. Making the most of opportunities on set pieces was nice to see. So was coming back after blowing an early two-goal lead. Like I said earlier, this team is on the up. 7.5
REFEREE MICHAEL KENNEDY
Didn’t see much of him and that’s a good thing (and not a short joke). Managed the game extremely well I thought. Was fair with the bookings and kept things under control. Did run into Alonso at one point, but we’ve seen refs do that before. Again, judging on the league standard, it was a very strong performance. 8
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What do you think? Where do you see it differently?