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August 19, 2011 at 7:38 AM

Sounders FC 0, Chivas USA 0, player ratings

friberg chivas.jpgPhoto credit: Jim Bates, The Seattle Times

A bit late I know, but two-game weeks make it harder to get to the tape. For those that need a little refresher, the scoreless tie had a fair amount of talking points: e.g. Alvaro’s missed penalty kick, the PK that wasn’t in the 89th minute.

A positive that can’t be ignored is the Sounders’ defense earning its first MLS shutout in five games. I thought the guys in the back were solid, though it’s not like Chivas USA was pressing forward all too enthusiastically.

A couple notes: Seattle is on a 7-1-4 run in league and hasn’t lost at home in a competitive game since May 25. Let’s get to it…

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Didn’t have very many notes for the captain as he earned his seventh shutout of the season. Came off his line extremely well in the 40th minute to stop an open chance by LaBrocca. Had a couple other comfortable stops. Also gets credit for organizing his back line. 6.5

D James Riley — Very active, and the good mostly outweighed the bad. Won a large number of headers. Was also beat a couple times and committed some fouls in bad spots. Would’ve liked to see the possession game a little sharper, but he very nearly had an assist late in the game with a cross to the far post that Flaco almost slammed in. 6

D Zach Scott — Perhaps his best of a three-game stretch in the starting lineup. Had to shake off what appeared to be an early wrist injury, but was solid (like he always is) in the air. Was the victim of a couple soft foul calls, though had some big tackles as well. With Ianni and Hurtado on the mend, you have to think he’ll get some more time on this next road trip. 6.5

D Jeff Parke — A near-flawless game defensively I felt. Can you remember any dangerous moments from Chivas USA forwards? Maybe one? Also had a great early free kick to Fernandez that helped set up the penalty kick. With other center backs having issues, you could make a case he’s the team’s MVP right now. 7.5

D Tyson Wahl — A strong showing. Played as physically as I remember this season. Inadvertently took Mondaini out of the game by kicking the ball in the forward’s face, and then nearly had an assist with a cross that Noonan could’ve headed in. Long balls in the passing game weren’t quite successful, but he was active on the left flank and solid defensively. 6.5

M Osvaldo Alonso — Didn’t have the dominating impact in the middle, but his B-game is still well above the league average. Defensively he was on point and all over the place, but offensively he gave possession away too easily. Drew a couple bookings well and will be rested going into Saturday’s game in Dallas. Not good for the hosts. 6

M Erik Friberg — Pulled the strings in the middle quite well I felt. Put himself in position for a lot of secondary assists by setting up a lot of crosses from the wings. Added some defensive grit in the center of the park beyond Alonso, and was able to turn a couple balls won into instant offense. Mis-hit on a shot actually led to an open goal for Noonan. Booked for dissent at the end, but Stott could’ve handed out at least 36,000 yellow cards if he wanted. 6.5

M Alvaro Fernandez — Missing a PK in a 0-0 game will hurt you, though he put himself in a position to earn that spot kick as well. Had another great chance for a go-ahead goal on a second-half cross by Riley, but Kennedy came up with a big reflex save. Had quite a few giveaways, but was able to stay involved. Had some good moments, but the PK miss looms large. 4.5

F/M Mauro Rosales — Another one who could’ve had an assist, but his 16th-minute cross to Noonan was an inch or two high and the forward couldn’t direct it on goal. Kennedy was able to anticipate his crosses all day, so several ended up in the hands of the Chivas USA goalkeeper. Set up a couple chances for Friberg and Montero. Really stood out to me defensively as well. 6.5

F Fredy Montero (off 83) — Had some great moments of skill, but couldn’t quite produce that special moment to provide a goal. Was his fourth MLS game in a row with three or less shots. Helped set up a chance for Wahl, but the shot went wide. Also set up Riley for some crosses. His day was encapsulated on a second-half chance, where he did well to almost set up a shot, but was tackled away by Michael Umana at the last second. No blaming the effort, just the effectiveness. 5

F Pat Noonan (off 69) — Really needed to put a goal away. and he knows it. Making his first MLS start in over a year, he had a couple headers within the first 16 minutes that he should’ve done better on. Then had an open net in front of him in the second half, but Kennedy was able to scramble back to keep out the slow shot. Holdup play was inconsistent. Competition at forward is going to be interesting to watch over these final months and Saturday’s performance was a step back. 3

SUBSTITUTES

F Nate Jaqua (on 69) — Didn’t have too much time, but beat Lopes early on and had his driven cross blocked. Then was shoved out of position in the box by Umana. Defensive pressure led to a couple Chivas USA turnovers. 5.5

M Lamar Neagle (on 83) — Has to be one of the league’s better game-changers late in games. Earned a PK that should’ve given his team a great chance at the win, but it wasn’t called. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

While I think Noonan has plenty to offer this team this year and beyond, it’s hard to argue that starting him Saturday didn’t work out. Neither did having Fernandez take the PK. You also have to wonder if Fucito might’ve had something to say at some point in the game. That said, by the run of play the Sounders should’ve won and deserve a fair share of the culpability as well. 5.5

REFEREE KEVIN STOTT

Until the 89th minute I thought he was having a decent-enough game by MLS standards. There were some complaints, but not super loud ones. The early PK call might’ve been a little soft, but that’s no excuse not to penalize Lopes for a dreadful lunge and foul of Neagle. Should’ve gone by the reaction of the players: Lopes’ hands went to his head in disappointment, Neagle cheers and grabs the ball, other Sounders cheer. No one knew what was going on, even though everyone knew what the call should’ve been. 3

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What do you think? Who’s too high? Too low?

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