Sounder at Heart readers were pleased with the Seattle Sounders' efforts in the 1-0 win over D.C. United in Washington, D.C., June 28. No starter earned less than the 5.72 given to striker Kenny Cooper. Then again, only Gonzalo Pineda earned higher than a 7, finishing with a 7.09 average from more than 225 ballots cast.
The scores, mostly between a 6 "good" and 7 "very good" seem to show the game was workmanlike and positive, but perhaps nothing that excited readers too much. It's the kind of scores the Sounders seem to earn as they continue their winning streak, with readers saving 8s and higher for when something more spectacular happens.
Still, it's hard to complain when the team goes on the road against the team leading the Eastern Conference and wins, especially when they are missing two of three designated players - both strikers. This has been a really great year so far. And those strikers will both be back in the fold soon and gearing up for a second-half run that, if things stay on course, seem to be leading to a run at the Supporters Shield.
Here's the full look at the community ratings for this game. Reader scores follow the player's name, followed by my ratings in parenthesis and then the difference between those two numbers in italics.
Player: Average Fan Rating (Author Rating) Difference
Stefan Frei 6.48 (6) +0.48
Brad Evans: 6.41 (7) -0.59 I asked a question this week about what happens when DeAndre Yedlin returns. Do we see Brad return to the midfield and Yedlin reclaim his right back spot? Or was it possible they would switch? I have to think Yedlin answered the question rather resoundingly with his solid performance in the World Cup matchup against Belgium. He opened a lot of non-Sounders fan eyes with that performance and made it fairly obvious why he is the best right back in America's future. Interestingly, two or three times during the game TV analyst Taylor Twellman mentioned he thought Yedlin was going too far forward too often, a similar comment to what has been said on these Sounder at Heart discussions through the spring. I thought Twellman was being rather harsh given how much Yedlin added to the attack for the U.S. from the wing, with little evidence his defense cost the U.S. anything. In terms of Evans, I expect that yet another solid game means he will find a spot in the midfield without question when Yedlin returns. It will be interesting to see where Brad ends up, and who ends up sitting out on this team that seems to have 12 legitimate starters for 11 spots.
Chad Marshall: 6.97 (6) +0.97 I generally take a difference of about a point like this to mean I probably missed something. That said I'm not sure what Chad did that made him worth a 7 more than a 6 in this one. Love to hear some feedback.
Jalil Anibaba: 6.78 (7) -0.22
Leo Gonzalez: 6.40 (6) +0.40
Osvaldo Alonso: 6.48 (7) -0.52
Gonzalo Pineda: 7.09 (7) +0.09 This is the first time this year that Gonzalo has won man of the match honors from the community ratings. I think it has taken us all awhile to adjust to his game and see what it is he brings. It's been obvious for a long time that signing Gonzalo was a steal almost on the level of Mauro Rosales, but his game is so much less flashy, so much more hard work and little things like top-quality positioning and super-accurate close passing that perhaps it took something like his amazing pinpoint cross for the goal to really open people's eyes. Let's be honest, if this team had not signed Gonzalo it would not be 10 points in the clear of the next best MLS team as we enter July. He's been a godsend.
Lamar Neagle: 5.84 (5) +0.84 One reader raised a question about why I was harder on Neagle than Pappa in this game in terms of my notes and score, especially given their number of giveaways was similar. All I can say is that I felt Lamar's giveaways were incredibly wasteful and easily avoided compared to those that Pappa made. I need to learn some things about creating GIFs from videos and such at some point so I can perhaps illustrate this more clearly. As I said in Sunday's piece with my ratings though, I generally am OK when Lamar is giving up the ball trying to make a run into the box or feed off a pass that could be goal-dangerous. The giveaways I marked him down for in this one, all in the first half, came with very little pressure and high and far away from the goal. They were just completely unnecessary, and in some cases just seemed like lost concentration rather than an attempt to create something that proved to be too difficult.
Marco Pappa: 6.81 (7) -0.19
Kenny Cooper: 5.72 (5) +0.72
Chad Barrett: 6.93 (7) -0.07
Michael Azira: (58th minute): 5.61 (5) +0.61
Aaron Kovar (72nd minute): 5.71 (6) -0.29 One person gave Aaron a 10 in this week's ratings. I'm guessing either it's one of his buddies from around town or perhaps a family member. Either way, Aaron has really impressed Sounders supporters in the past week, I think.
David Estrada (85th minute) 5.32 (incomplete) ~
If I could, I'd like to address one more issue here. We had some questions raised again in the comments Sunday about if we throw out scores and such. I'd like to make it clear that the point of this exercise is to let as many people as possible give their opinions, to create something that truly is of and by the community. Nobody is going in and just picking out some scores we disagree with and deleting them. That said, we had one person give every player on the team a 1 save Marco Pappa, who received a 2. I don't believe that was a legitimate person trying to cast a legitimate ballot. It could be a person who made a mistake and hit "submit" before filling out the ballot. Or it could be someone who is just trying to mess with the system. Either way, I took that one line out this time. If someone actually voted that way, meant it, and wants to come on here and defend giving 13 of the 14 players who played in this victory a 1, I'd really, really love to read that.
The key to the 1-10 scale:
7. Very good
10. World Class