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September 24, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Sounders FC 3, D.C. United 0, player ratings

keller dc2.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

Ridiculously late getting to these again, I know. And by now you’ve heard that the two-game weeks set me behind, so I won’t throw out that excuse again.

The tenor of this dominating win last week changed with the late injury to Mauro Rosales, but that shouldn’t take away from what was a class performance. The Sounders were all over the place, winning headers and loose balls at an incredible rate compared to the visitors.

Rosales was the catalyst, but I thought Osvaldo Alonso was spectacular again. A lot of guys stepped up really in what was a great rebound following the disappointing loss to Real Salt Lake. Let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Had to work in the second half to preserve the shutout, but by then the three points were already in hand. Wasn’t troubled at all in the first half: had to come off his line a couple times and a couple shots were harmless. He even set up a chance for Montero with a quick punt at one point. Late saves on Ngwenya, Najar and especially Wolff were very solid. Handled crosses well, too. 7.5

D James Riley — Suffered an unfortunate concussion, and by friendly fire no less (Zach Scott initiated some head-to-head contact). Beyond that he was very active again and finds himself in an advanced position several times throughout the game. Nearly got an early assist, but Montero couldn’t direct a far-post header on goal. Won some big defensive headers, too. He’s been very consistent recently. 7

D Jeff Parke — Was taken out by DeRo early in what I thought was a bookable foul. Got his revenge by keeping Charlie Davies from doing much at all. Won a large amount of headers when D.C. started to rely on the long ball. Has been ultra-reliable and I think he deserves some consideration to be an MLS Defender of the Year finalist. 7.5

D Zach Scott — Unstoppable in the air it seemed. Any ball that was elevated and his direction was won by the flying Hawaiian. There were some issues when the ball was at his feet, however, especially with a turnover that Ngwenya nearly turned into a goal. Had some other shaky moments in possession, but the defending was quite good. 5.5

D Tyson Wahl — Suspended for Saturday’s game after clattering into Najar for his fifth booking of the season. His defending of the young Honduran was hot and cold. Got beat a couple times and also once by Wolff at the end, but had an impact on both sides of the ball. His 145 touches were just one behind Riley for a team high. 6

M Osvaldo Alonso — You could just feel the frustration of the D.C. United players as he harassed them all over the field. De Rosario was often the target and he had a minimal impact on the game. Beyond his defensive quality, he also completed about 85-percent of his passes. His header helped set up the first goal and his run helped set up the third. Won a lot of possession. Was beaten by Najar a couple times, but was as good as anyone on the field, I thought. 8

M Brad Evans (off 82) — Won a large share of duels and headers in midfield to keep the ball at the Sounders’ feet. Set up the first goal with a pass that helped set up Fucito’s breakaway. Good on the ball and set up danger a few times. Not a performance that shows up in the stats or highlights, but definitely progress as he looks to cement a spot in the starting lineup. 6

M Alvaro Fernandez — Two more goals gives him the team lead with eight in league play. The first was a class finish after some sublime buildup. The second was an opportunistic follow-up after Montero’s header was saved. Had a chance at the hat trick, but fired a shot high. Limited giveaways and had some solid plays on defense. 7.5

M Mauro Rosales — Played a big part in all three goals scored. Shielded Wooland to set up Fucito’s breakaway. His one-touch pass to set up Flaco’s first goal was world-class. Also had the cross that set up the third. Even set up a Neagle breakaway, but nothing came of it. Produces danger at a ridiculous clip, but also gets knocked around almost as often, this time resulting in a sprained MCL. 8

F Fredy Montero (off 78) — Didn’t have his name all over the stat sheet, but he had a great game. Holdup play was as good as I can remember in a long time. Defensive pressure was consistent. Drew fouls and was aggressive with the ball at his feet. Picked up an assist on the second goal and nearly had a goal on the third (Flaco was there for the rebound). Could be getting hot at just the right time. 7.5

F Mike Fucito (off 68) — Wonderful finish on the breakaway with his off foot. Gave everything he had out there and was knocked around like crazy, including a nasty shot from Ethan White into the ad boards. Had some good crosses and traded blows with the big center backs. Pace caused problems. Tweaked his ankle at the end. 7

* * *

SUBSTITUTES

F Nate Jaqua (on 68) — Had seven headers and a couple moments of good holdup play. Came on with a three-goal lead and put in work to preserve it. 5.5

M Lamar Neagle (on 78) — Had a couple breakaways in his short spell, probably could’ve done better with them. INC

M Amadou Sanyang (on 82) — Home debut was uneventful. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

Defensive tactics never allowed D.C.’s offense to get in a rhythm. Alonso neutralized DeRo. Parke did the same with Davies. High pressure from the forwards never let the visitors get comfortable on the ball. Subs didn’t have a huge impact, but by that time the game was won. Some will wonder why Rosales was on the field to be injured in the 89th minute, though two of the subs were made due to injury/fitness concerns. 7.5

REFEREE KEVIN STOTT

Schmid wasn’t happy with him in postgame after Rosales was injured, though I thought things didn’t get too out of the control. DeRo had a hard shot on Parke early that I thought deserved a booking. In the end, I thought it was pretty average based on the MLS standard. 5

* * *

If you can remember back that far, what do you think? Who’s too high or too low?

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