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May 7, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Sounders FC 1, Philadelphia 0, player ratings

rosales philly.jpgPhoto credit: Dean Rutz, The Seattle Times

Two shots denied by the crossbar. Several other near misses. A one-goal margin flattered the visiting Union a bit, but things might have been different. Seattle rookie Andy Rose got a ‘Get out of jail free’ card from referee Ricardo Salazar and the Sounders were able stay at full strength and dominate.

Who knows? Maybe they would’ve dominated down a man.

Rose was just one of a few young faces we saw in this one. Bryan Meredith and Alex Caskey also got starts and acquitted themselves pretty well. Four straight wins, five unbeaten, this team is rolling. Let’s get to it (10 — world class, 5.5 — average, 1 — dreadful):

* * *

STARTERS

GK Bryan Meredith — Once again, not too bothered. Made just one save and it was one he could’ve trapped with his feet. That doesn’t mean he was napping back there. He kept on top of crosses, coming off his line and organizing. Was solid on balls played back to him. Had a nice punch in the dying seconds to preserve the win. That’s a clean 135 minutes, but he’ll be tested soon enough. 6.5

D Adam Johansson — Got forward well and nearly had an assist on a great cross to Fredy Montero in the 19th minute. In one bizarre instance he got tripped up by a TV cameraman’s cords on the sideline in the 34th minute. Not much to do defensively, which will be a common refrain for the back line. Would’ve liked to see a little more consistent impact in the final third. 6

D Patrick Ianni — Had a bad giveaway in the 15th minute, but limited his mistakes otherwise. Had a very good long ball in the 19th minute to start a dangerous attack. Handled his chances defensively and nearly connected on a corner kick in the 43rd minute. 10 clearances were by far a team high. Came up very big when needed in the 87th minute when Philly got a rare chance in behind the defense. 7.5

D Jeff Parke — Won a corner kick offensively that led to an early Montero shot being cleared off the line. Wasn’t called upon too much defensively in the first half. Had a crucial error in the 87th minute that might’ve led to an equalizer were it not for some saving defense from his center-back partner. 6.5

D Marc Burch — Had a couple very poor turnovers in the first few minutes that, fortunately for him, went unpunished. Worked hard to make up for it. Had some big tackles afterward and got involved in the attack with his passing and runs forward. Helped set up an Alex Caskey shot in the 42nd minute and played a good long-ball to Montero in the 47th. Early mistakes could’ve been costly, though. 6

M Mauro Rosales (off 82) — Always says he isn’t a goal-scorer, but he does very well on the rare chances he gets, including his 63rd-minute winner. Drew a lot of fouls and created a lot of good chances (10′, 47′, 49′, 58′, 66′, 81′) that could’ve got him an assist. Raised his arm and hit Herdling in the 22nd minute that might’ve been a booking. Corner kick service was good. Very encouraging that he was able to start three games in eight days. 8

M Osvaldo Alonso — I thought he was the best player on the pitch and his first half was one of the more influential 45 minutes I’ve seen from a Sounder. Was breaking up attacks remarkably well and turning them into instant offense. Was passing extremely effectively and incisively in the attack. Ball winning was second to none. 59 completed passes, 10 recoveries, seven headers won, six tackles won. Showed up a little less in the second half, but I think he was the main guy behind the domination in the run of play. 9

M Andy Rose (off 61) — This is a hard one to judge because I, like many others, felt he deserved to be ejected for two bookable offenses. While I can’t punish him for not being sent off, I can for the fact that he went into that second tackle knowing he was on a card (whether the first one was soft or not). It was a stain on what was actually a decent performance. He hit the crossbar in the 47th minute and had good moments on both sides of the ball. Was good in the air. Did have quite a few turnovers and misplays in a few crucial moments. An eventful debut to say the least. 4.5

M Alex Caskey (on 90+2′) — Amid a couple guys making their first starts, he made his second. Wasn’t afraid to let loose with a couple first-half shots in the 26th minute and 42nd. He can hit those… We’ve seen it in practice… Was quite a bit sloppy with possession and passing, and scuffed a wide-open chance in the 81st minute. Influence was very positive as center midfielder after the Rose sub. Drew some fouls and looked somewhat Erik Friberg-esque in that role. Definitely a fun guy to watch and it’ll be interesting to see how he develops as he gets more first-team minutes. 6

F Fredy Montero — Very unlucky not to score again. Had a shot cleared off the line (7′) and found Rosales for a nice cross (10′). Had a header right to MacMath (19′) and a shot curl wide (58′). Had a shot nearly set up an EJ rebound (72′), a pass set up an open Caskey shot (81′) and his own shot off the crossbar (86′). Did have an assist on the pinpoint pass to Rosales for the goal. Supremely influential in the attack. 8

F/M David Estrada — Started up front for the first time in a while and chased things down like he does. Couldn’t quite connect with a 10th-minute cross from Rosales. Had some good runs and put in the work defensively. Had a good dummy set up a 58th minute Montero chance and a good cross to Johnson in the 82nd minute. Even with all the minutes he plays, he was still making an impact late in the game. Moved from forward to left mid to right mid, which we’re becoming used to. You might’ve liked to see him involved in more danger as a forward. 6

SUBSTITUTES

F Eddie Johnson (on 61) — Knocked down a throw-in in Montero’s path to lead to the goal. Not bad for being on the field a couple minutes. Got involved a lot in limited time with good runs in the final third. Did have a poor pass that led to a Philly break in the 85th minute, but was otherwise a solid shift. 6.5

M Leo Gonzalez (on 82) — Came on a bit late to help close the lead. Left his foot in on Sheanon Williams in the 88th minute and might have some retroactive discipline coming his way, I feel. Also had a needless foul on Adu late. INC

M Servando Carrasco (on 90+2′) — Entered just before the game ended. INC

COACH SIGI SCHMID

Look at the lineup and the points earned — can’t have many complaints with that. Certainly the Rose decision would’ve been more of a talking point had he received the red card. Shuffled the back line, got some youngsters some crucial minutes and Rosales some time to build fitness. Not a bad day. 8

REFEREE RICARDO SALAZAR

I’ve probably made the point known by now, but I think he got the decision wrong with Rose. Quite a few other calls had me confused and he must’ve overridden his ARs on the sideline at least three times, which was odd. I thought Rosales might’ve earned a booking. Certainly Gonzalez at the end. Neither were punished. 2

* * *

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

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