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September 30, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Sounders FC 3, Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1, player ratings

jaqua vancouver.jpgPhoto credit: Geoff Howe, AP

Death. Taxes. Player ratings published so late you forgot about the game in question. I know it’s tedious, but I want to make sure I review the tape well enough.

Upon second look, it really wasn’t a pretty win. The score flattered the Sounders and the defensive performance was definitely below par. If not for a miserable display of performing by Vancouver’s new DP, Mustapha Jarju, the game would have been very different.

That isn’t to say there were some great performances. Fredy Montero and Kasey Keller led the way for Seattle. Let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — Early stop on Boxall was huge, but couldn’t do much on the goal not long after. Glancing save moments later on Jarju was phenomenal and kept it from being 2-0 ‘Caps in the first half. A couple shots were hit right to him, but he handled them well and didn’t give up any second chances. Kept Seattle in it when losing, then preserved the lead when winning. 8

D Zach Scott — Had some difficult moments on the ball early on. Then saw Camilo race right by him for Vancouver’s lone goal. Recovered and won a fair amount of headers, as usual. Was beaten by Camilo and Chiumiento for dangerous crosses from the wing, but had one of the biggest defensive plays of the game by blocking Camilo’s shot toward an open net in the second half. Playing on the right isn’t his most comfortable position. 4.5

D Jeff Parke — Jarju beat him a couple times early and he couldn’t quite pressure Hassli enough to disrupt the build-up to the goal. Settled down and looked like his old self after that for most of the game. Had a big block on a dangerous Hassli shot in the second half. Nearly conceded a PK by taking down Camilo and was booked for the challenge. 5.5

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Like Scott, he was appealing for offside on Vancouver’s goal instead of racing back right away. Jarju beat him to the spot several times on crosses, but couldn’t finish. Came up big often, but had a few more mistakes and giveaways then we’ve been used to. 5

D Leo Gonzalez — Was the best Sounders defender from what I saw. Steady and reliable for most of the game and had a team-high 118 touches. Salinas gave him a lot of issues as a second-half substitute, and that prevents the rating from being higher, but he’s really been performing well in the second half of the season. 7

M Osvaldo Alonso — Let his mark, Chiumiento, run right by to set up Vancouver’s goal. Not sure his disruption and ball-winning was at it’s best in the first half, when the hosts were creating a bunch of chances. Helped set up the first goal with a win at midfield and a pass forward to Jaqua. Second half was much better I thought. Won a lot more 50-50 balls and got forward well at times. Drew some fouls, too. A positive performance, but not his best. 6

M Brad Evans — Finally, reestablished some stability at the PK spot. Also had an assist by setting up Montero’s shot for the third goal. Was booked after Marrufo messed up a throw-in call. Also had the turnover that led to the Vancouver goal (though it was several passes later). Like Alonso, won a lot of 50-50 balls in the second half. Was a calming, steady influence while the Sounders protected its lead. 6.5

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 79) — Was Seattle’s most effective wide option. Earned a lot of corner kicks, at least three, and also drew a fair amount of fouls. Had his rebound chance blocked by DeMerit’s arm to set up the penalty kick. Made a lot of quality runs forward and combined with Montero well. Nearly had an assist to Jaqua, but the open header was hit wide. 7

M Lamar Neagle — Was unfortunate not to score, with two well-driven shots denied by the woodwork. Beyond those exceptional moments, I thought he didn’t have enough of a consistent impact. Had too many giveaways and a couple in bad spots. Involvement was definitely better in the second half. 5.5

F Fredy Montero — Led the way with two goals and was remarkably active. I had dozens of notes for him, mostly good and some bad, as he was all over the place. Combined well and was strong in holdup play. Helped set up the first goal as his shot was saved toward Flaco for the PK-inducing rebound. Second goal was pure class, something that would’ve been highlight-worthy in any league. Third goal was admittedly lucky. Though as Arlo said, you can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. If he can keep this up for another month and some, watch out. 8.5

F Nate Jaqua (off 66) — Hadn’t started since June and was a bit rusty in the first 20 minutes. Struggled early with holdup play and possession. Got into the rhythm of the game and was involved in both goals while he was on the field. Set up Montero’s initial shot on the first goal and battled with DeMerit to set up the second. Had a very good look on goal in the second half, but headed it wide. 6

SUBSTITUTES

F Sammy Ochoa (on 66) — Continues to be goal-dangerous in his limited minutes and his first score is surely coming. Hit the post after winning a header on Montero’s free kick. Holdup play was very good. Also drew a booking on Hassli. 6.5

M David Estrada (on 79) — Hadn’t seen first-team action in a while, but provided energy off the bench. Got a shot attempt, but it was blocked. Nearly conceded a PK late. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

Walked out of a rival’s stadium having won a trophy, could be worse than that. Gave some guys like Jaqua, Ochoa and Estrada minutes and got some productivity out of it. Second-half adjustments clearly made a difference and tilted the game in Seattle’s favor. Certainly a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year. 8

REFEREE JAIR MARRUFO

Let play go for the most part, but I don’t think it ever got out of control. Some Sounders thought there might’ve been a red card on the PK, but I think he got it right with the yellow. Had a few head-scratching calls (Alonso taken out from behind by Koffie, no foul?), but managed to stay out of the way pretty well for the most part. 6

* * *

What do you think of last week’s performance? Who’s rated too high or too low?

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