EDITOR'S NOTE: After much request, we've decided to give player ratings a try. This is meant more as a fun exercise, but we'd really like to see the community ratings and then compare them to ours later in the week. Enjoy.
Can one player be blamed for a team loss? I don't think so. Still, Marco Pappa was a very big disappointment in the 2-1 loss to Toronto. He was often slow on the ball and had some amazingly poor and costly giveaways.
This is the first in what I hope will be a series of player ratings for Sounders games in 2014. The goal is simply to add to the discussion about the team's performance. At the bottom of my comments you will have a chance to weigh in with ratings of your own. I watch games with a notebook in hand and give players plus marks when they do things beyond the normal, such as a pinpoint pass that opens up a chance, a tackle that changes possession, or a clearance that relieves pressure and lessens the chance of an opponent goal. They receive negative marks for giveaways, poor passes that turn over possession, etc.
Pappa received the lowest score.
Frei: 5 You might argue that Frei could have done something more on one of the two goals, but I don't see it. Other than that and a bobble which he recovered in the first half he didn't really have any negative marks. He did have one good save.
Yedlin: 6 My marks show Andre with three pretty positive plays and one negative one. He did a lot in terms of being in the right spot, but was not a huge difference-maker in this one. Solid but not spectacular.
Marshall: 7 Marshall won everything in the air. He came out to mark a player on the first goal conceded, so I don't think you can blame him for that, though it did leave a big hole behind him that neither Yedlin nor Traore filled. I had him at plus-8 in terms of impact plays.
Traore: 4 Traore was slow afoot when it mattered, on the goals. On the first goal he didn't close the gap inside when Marshall stepped up to mark a player and he didn't close out Defoe on the second, admittedly a difficult task. I do wonder if the manager might choose the younger, faster Anibaba for a start at CB soon.
Remick: 5 Remick was poor in the first half. He had a couple unforced giveaways and looked out-of-his-league defending on a couple occasions. Then Kenny Cooper came in for Pappa and Remick was brought into the attack, filling the space on the left and becoming an active member of the Sounders' attempt at pulling level. If he can improve his defense to match his efforts going forward he can really be a difference-maker at fullback. Time will tell.
Alonso: 7 Ozzie had a fairly pedestrian first half. But he completely controlled the game in the second half. I scored him a plus-7 on impact plays, including hard-won tackles, great switch-of-play passing and basically bossing the entire midfield. Michael Bradley controlled the midfield in the first half. The second half was all El Corazón.
Evans: 5 Brad didn't play long enough before getting injured to have an influence on the game. He left just before the 28 minute mark.
Neagle: 5 It is difficult to rate Lamar's game today. He was not good in the first half. He had three obvious giveaways that were just unnecessary and frustrating, but also had a great free kick. In the second half, particularly after he switched to the right, he was much, much better. His excellent through ball to Martins led the counter-attack goal.
Pappa: 3 Pappa is really exciting with some of the passes he can make. His back heel to free Oba for a chance was spectacular. But he was very poor for 80 percent of the time he was on the field. I had him at minus-5 for impact plays for the game, including the horrid giveaway that led Defoe's second goal, the one that turned out to be the game-winner. If it weren't for the four or five amazing passes he pulled off that helped create chances this score would be even lower.
Dempsey: 8 MOTM. Dempsey was all over the field, offering up spectacular passes, winning free kicks and, eventually, scoring the only Sounders goal. This kind of effort was what Sounders fans were hoping for when he came here. I had him at plus-8 for impact plays.
Martins: 7 The team struggled to find Oba in dangerous areas in the first half and in response he seemed to track back an awfully long way. In the second half he was more dangerous, especially when he came out to the right in front of Neagle.
Pineda: (28th minute) 7 Pineda was practically flawless in his 22 minutes in the first half. He is calm on the ball and a very good passer. In the second half he had three unnecessary giveaways and was perhaps not as positive as his first-half showing. Still, I think one could argue that he made a case for starting next to Alonso in the future with perhaps Evans heading out on a wing.
Cooper: (63rd minute) 5 Cooper had few touches and even fewer touches of significance. Still, one could argue that his positioning led to much of the Sounders attack in the second half. He tucked in, and the space invited Remick forward, where he became a much more influential player.
Barrett: (79th minute) 5 Fifteen minutes is hardly time for Barrett to make a difference, but he did have a couple nice crosses.
Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
For a good look at examples of what these might mean, check out this link from the New York Times soccer player ratings.
Love to hear your thoughts and read your ratings.
- Scott Ayers