Haven't seen any replays yet, so this is all from my perspective around the 50-yard line. Using my patented three plusses to three minuses system, since I'm kind of sick of the silly 5 to 9 by halves system.
- Sounders season to date: 1 Goal / 17 Shots on Goal (5.9%)
- Opponents to date: 3 Goals / 6 Shots on Goal (50%)
- Rest of the league: 25 Goals / 83 Shots on Goal (30%)
Leo Gonzalez ++: Solid on defense against a speedster in Ashe. Earned a penalty. Oh wait, what? He didn't? YOU'RE KIDDING ME. Worst performance by a ref I've seen in a long time. How does he get a job at this level without knowing what Denial of a Goal Scoring Opportunity means? How do you call a dive on a slide tackle from behind? Brutal.
Osvaldo Alonso +++: Just does what he does. Takes the ball away from the guys on the other team and then gives it to the guys on his team. Best in MLS at it.
Jeftrick Parkanni ++: The dynamic duo is back. I love Hurtado, but these two worked great together last year and they were rock solid tonight. I hear the goal deflected off of Parke, but come on. Do you remember a Dynamo forward doing anything tonight? No, they did absolutely nothing.
Erik Friberg ++: Still working on getting a better understanding with his teammates, but you love his passing touch and his aggressiveness. He's like the reverse Pete Vagenas. Every pass goes forward if it's humanly possible. We scored on a corner that he kicked. He seems to kick them well.
Brad Evans -: Eh. No big mistakes, no really shining play. He seems to show up everywhere on the field and look helpful. Isn't that what they said about Makélelé?
Zach Scott -: Don't remember much about Scott's play. I do remember him getting torched in the second half and saved by an offside call. I also remember him holding the ball up pointlessly in injury time when the Sounders desperately needed to advance the ball.
O'Brian White ++ : Everyone who complains about him after this week because he hasn't scored (and there will be many people, especially in the national media) is an idiot. That header scores 95% of the time. And his backheel to Evans was sick. And he runs hard.
Steve Zakuani + : Probably not 100% healed and he's still warming into this season, but he punished Sarkodie a few times. He also got yelled at by Keller for not breaking out fast enough after a change of possession, which seems to happen at least twice a game. I don't know about you, but if Kasey Keller yelled at me about something I'd probably stop doing it. Was also too lackadaisical about coming back onside twice and blew great opportunities. Steve can do some things that 99% of the players in this league can only dream of doing. But you know what every single one of them can do? Get back onside.
Fredy Montero ++ : Nothing went in, but he did what he does: putting in hard shots from odd angles out of seeming nothing. Seriously, if you're a central defender and Kasey Keller just punted a long ball and it's just you and Montero waiting for it, what do you think your chances are? 40%? 10%? Your sphincter is clenched, I can tell you that.
Kasey Keller +: Didn't have anything to do. Had no chance on the Houston goal, which was deflected at least once. Did Houston have another shot on goal? The stats say yes. I don't remember it. Good distribution. Good yelling at Zakuani.
Mauro Rosales +++: Wow. He's like an attacking version of Alonso. He's ferocious around the ball, he has good touch, and he's decently fast. Also, when he ran up to take a long shot off of a deflection he didn't sky it 40 yards into the air, which is something no one else in this league is capable of. If he keeps it up, expect him to take the job at right wing and force Alvaro to the bench.
Nate Jaqua -: My recollection is that he was only on the pitch for a short time, but I just checked and he was on for 30 minutes. I guess that tells me he didn't have much impact. Still getting in synch.