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October 21, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Sounders FC 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1, player ratings

keller san jose2.jpgPhoto credit: John Lok, The Seattle Times

The game might’ve been a week ago, but you’ll remember the moment captured above. It’s the final of four saves/stops in succession that Kasey Keller made in a wild second-half flurry in his send-off game last Saturday.

It was a night to remember. It was a crowd and atmosphere to remember. It was a comeback to remember. It was a goalkeeping performance to remember. It wasn’t quite a complete team performance to remember, however, so a lot of ratings might be a bit middle-of-the-pack considering it was a win.

Still can’t believe only Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich drew more fans. Anyways, let’s get to it.

* * *

STARTERS

GK Kasey Keller — The man of the hour and deservedly the reigning MLS Player of the Week. Saves increased in difficulty in the first half against Baca (8′), Stephenson (19′) and then a great diving stop on Wondolowski (43′). A poorly executed back-pass set up the unforgettable quad in the second half, when he stopped, in succession: Stephenson, Wondo, Dawkins and Wondo again. Saved one last shot to preserve the win, positioning himself perfectly to stop Wondo’s powerful 90th-minute header. Seven saves were a season high. Like I said in the intro, it was a performance everyone in attendance won’t easily — if ever — forget. What more needs to be said? 10

D James Riley — Got up and down the right flank well, like he always does. Had some crosses that created danger and combined well in the attack. Got beat a couple times, once by Stephenson and then by Wondo on the late header, but for the most part it was a steady showing. 6

D Patrick Ianni — Had the aforementioned back-pass that probably should’ve led to a goal, but didn’t. Was also beaten by Wondo for the 43rd-minute header, but Keller was there again. That’s a lot of focus on two moments; otherwise was strong in the air, and also limited turnovers and fouls committed. 5

D Jhon Kennedy Hurtado — Had the miscue that led to the San Jose goal, a mistake that appeared to be preventable. Settled down to have a pretty clean second half, but gift goals to the opposition will always hurt. Avoided a booking, which would’ve suspended him in the regular-season finale. 4

D Tyson Wahl — Decent impact on both sides of the field. Set-piece service was a little inconsistent, but also contributed with good crosses in the run of play. Besides the assist, which doesn’t fall on him, Baca was fairly quiet. Solid in the air, but had a couple poor clearances/long balls. 5.5

M Osvaldo Alonso — Came very close to a caution with a late scuffle, which would’ve resulted in a suspension Saturday. Pass completion was quite good (50 successful, 8 unsuccessful). Didn’t have a huge impact in the offensive third, but defensive tenacity was good, as always. Did concede a couple bad fouls. 6.5

M Brad Evans — Very nearly had an assist to Fucito, who couldn’t connect on a sliding shot in front of an open goal. Got one later, starting the sequence to Montero’s winner. Thought the first half was good, especially considering the midfield got a bit stretched. A had a couple poor touches in the second half. Duel-winning in midfield continues to be underrated. 6

M Lamar Neagle (off 90+) — Very active and contributed all over the field. While he wasn’t as goal-dangerous as he’s been in the past, I thought his service was very good (off corner kicks and the run of play). Had a few too many giveaways, but it was nice to see a little fire when he got in Beitashour’s face. Pushed forward in between the subs and set up Montero for the winner. 6.5

M Alvaro Fernandez (off 68) — The action seemed to flow away from him a little, so he didn’t get as many touches in the attack. Always good in the air (had a team-high 16 headers) and winning duels. Forced a few turnovers and contributed defensively. Did kick out at Burling to cause a ruckus, but took a few knocks himself. 5.5

F Fredy Montero — In-game notes for him are extensive these days and he’s finding ways to get involved all over the field. Combined well with teammates and held the ball, too. Set up an open Neagle shot and his quick throw-in led to Fucito’s sliding chance in front of the open goal. Tripped in the box, but didn’t get the call in the first half. Headed a nice Rosales cross wide, but made up for it with a well-taken winner. Composure and skill were on display on that one. 7.5

F Mike Fucito (off 64) — Didn’t make any friends on the San Jose backline, that’s for sure, especially Jason Hernandez. Pestered and pushed and battled. Couldn’t connect on the open-goal chance as has been mentioned, and wasn’t very goal-dangerous the rest of the time. Struggled at times to hold the ball. 5

SUBSTITUTES

M Mauro Rosales (on 64) — An injection of life. Even though he was fouled within seconds of coming on the field, he was undaunted. Whipped in a bunch of good crosses, including a couple that Ochoa and Montero couldn’t convert. Timing and precision on assist to Ochoa were sublime. Like coach Sigi Schmid said, he changed the team’s dynamic. 8

F Sammy Ochoa (on 68) — Another positive influence off the bench. Holdup play continues to impress. Was active and combined well. Finished the equalizing goal very well and he was due a goal. 7.5

D Zach Scott (on 90+) — Late cameo added a defensive presence. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

For most of the game it wasn’t pretty, but second-half adjustments were good and substitutes made the difference. Managed to get production out of Rosales without pushing him too much too soon. Ochoa’s continued performances might start to make lineup decisions tougher. Could’ve been a smoother win, but it’s still three points. 7

REFEREE MICHAEL KENNEDY

Wasn’t horrible by any means, but I thought he was a bit inconsistent at times. For stretches of the game I’d think he was calling the game tight, then he’d let what appeared to be some obvious fouls go. I wasn’t convinced Montero earned the PK, so I’m OK with the no call. Didn’t ultimately influence the final score. 5

* * *

What do you think? First 10 in the history of the ratings — warranted or too much of a sentimental pick?

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