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August 10, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Sounders FC 2, Sporting Kansas City 1, player ratings

carrasco kc.jpgPhoto credit: Peter Aiken, Getty Images

What a finish, eh? Two goals in two minutes to steal a win on the road. Not only that but snap Sporting KC’s 14-game unbeaten streak and end its perfect home record at Livestrong Sporting Park. Not only that but tear out KC’s hard in stoppage time for the third time in four games. I could go on…

Certainly the big moment in the game was the red card to Omar Bravo, which he compounded with ridiculous antics immediately afterward. The Sounders struggled early, but were able to settle down and control more of the game with the man advantage.

Let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Was threatened a bit early, but handled those chances well, including a reflex save on either Kamara or Sapong (couldn’t quite tell on the replay) that he tipped over the bar. Was a little slow off his line to challenge Kamara on the goal, but having some help from the defense would’ve been nice. Had other good stops on Kamara and Sapong to keep his team in the game before the late dramatics. 6.5

D James Riley — Had a couple poor giveaways and might’ve gotten away with a handball in his own penalty box, but I thought he had a solid two-way impact on the game. Picked his spots going forward and should’ve had an assist on Flaco’s header that missed by a mile. Pretty solid in defending, especially against the dangerous Bravo. Active and involved. 6

D Zach Scott — Most of the action came his way. Provided a number of saving tackles, but also was beat a few times, most notably on Kamara’s goal off the throw-in. Had some very good moments in possession, but a;so some head-scratching turnovers. Very busy, providing some of Seattle’s best moments in the back, but also some of the worst. 5

D Jeff Parke — Unlike Scott, didn’t have as much come his way. That meant less tackles/headers, but also less mistakes. Was spun like a top by Sapong in the 32nd minute, but was otherwise solid. Kept Bunbury pretty quiet late in the game. 6

D Tyson Wahl — A workmanlike effort against his former team. Got beat a couple times in defense, but limited the danger created. Was able to push forward up the left a little bit with the man advantage and swing in a couple crosses. The team didn’t earn a lot of set pieces, which also kept him from maybe having a bigger impact. 5.5

M Osvaldo Alonso — Was extremely disruptive. Considering the heat and the amount of minutes he’s played recently, it was amazing to watch. Did have quite a few more turnovers than you’d want, but KC players certainly felt his presence all over the field. Positioning with Carrasco in the middle was better. Won some key defensive headers and also made some darting runs forward. Another solid night. 6.5

M Servando Carrasco — Hasn’t seen too much time recently and it took him a little while to get into the game. Second half was much busier than the first and he really settled in as a calming presence on the ball after the red card. Defensive presence was obvious, though he did have a couple giveaways. Set up Rosales’ equalizer with a great pass from the wing. 6

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 55) — Schmid hinted earlier this week that the heat and work load might’ve have gotten to him. That’s certainly a reasonable explanation, because he wasn’t too involved. The biggest moment came when he headed a Riley cross well wide. Perhaps he lost track of where he was. Won some defensive headers, but was mostly hard to find. 4

M Mauro Rosales — Tends to draw some physical defending and it appeared to bother him early. Took some nasty hits and didn’t get the call on a lot of them. Wasn’t extremely active on crosses from the run of play, but stepped up in crunch time. The equalizer was a perfect example of the skill and composure that he brings. Also made the run that set up Neagle’s winner. Definitely starting to catch notice around the league. 7

F Fredy Montero (off 55) — Schmid indicated on the in-game interview with Arlo White that he wasn’t pleased with Montero’s effort and movement. He further indicated his displeasure with an early substitution. Like Rosales, was also roughed up a bit (included a two-handed shove from Zusi that went unpunished). Had a couple shots and good moments of combination/holdup play, but the sharpness wasn’t quite there. 4.5

F/M Roger Levesque (off 67) — Another one of the attacking options that struggled to create much danger. Passing was off, as Schmid also indicated in the in-game interview. Holdup play was mixed. Did well to win the ball in the air, but didn’t have the impact you’d want. 4

SUBSTITUTES

F Pat Noonan (on 55) — Big play was drawing the red card from Bravo, but after that he wasn’t too involved in the attack. Did play a part in the buildup to Neagle’s winner. 5

F Mike Fucito (on 55) — Was active and had another dangerous look on goal, but his driven shot was saved. Fortunately tackled off the ball to set up Neagle for a shot. 5.5

M Lamar Neagle (on 67) — The most influential of the subs and not just because he had the winning goal. I thought he had an immediate impact on the right wing, though certainly coming into an 11v10 situation helps. Might’ve had a goal earlier if not for a ridiculous sliding kick save by Nielsen. 7

COACH SIGI SCHMID

I thought starting Carrasco over Friberg was a good move, even if it sacrificed a little in the possession game. Subs had an impact, as did moving Neagle over to the left late in the game. Early struggles might’ve been due to fatigue, so maybe a couple more changes would’ve been beneficial, but that’s hindsight. Hard to argue with getting three points on the road. 7

REFEREE JAIR MARRUFO

The big call was the red card. Personally, I felt it could’ve gone either way. I think the red card was justifiable, but a yellow card wouldn’t have been a huge outrage as Bravo pulled out a little and did win the ball. Let the game get a little physical was appeared to be mostly in control. Missed a few calls, but that happens every week. An acceptable performance in my opinion (though maybe last week’s bizarrely officiated CCL game has thrown me off). 5.5

* * *

What do you think? What ratings would you change?

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