Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
The draw saw several Sounders play excellent games, and it could have well been a win were it not for a couple of poor clearances that gave the Galaxy a couple of way-too-easy goals. It also places the team in a good spot to win the Supporter's Shield, the most significant piece of hardware in MLS in this author's eyes. A draw or win next weekend against LA and the Sounders take home the one award that truly means a team was best for an entire season.
The side was led by great performances from the striker tandem of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, and another from 64th minute substitute Marco Pappa, who turned the game on its head with his deadly passing. But no Sounder was better on the night than Chad Marshall, who earns a 9 here from me for a performance that rivals any he put forward in 2014. With Chad in charge in the back, neither of LA's vaunted strikers, Robbie Keane or Gyasi Zardes, came close to scoring a goal and the Galaxy were left to score their goals off giveaways and scores from unlikely sources.
Enter your ratings for the game and then read on to see my individual player ratings for the win:
Stefan Frei: 5. Nothing Stefan could do about the first goal. And the second took a deflection that left him inches short of a save. Still, nothing here to mark him as a positive in this game either. He was adequate, but certainly didn't match two very good saves on the other end of the field.
DeAndre Yedlin: 6. DeAndre played back and cautious much of the game, but when the Pappa substitution came on and he was told to go forward more, his impact increases. Overall I scored him a "good" 6 here, as his positives at the end of the game, especially the move and cross for the first goal, somewhat equaled out by a couple negatives in the first half.
Chad Marshall: 9. MOTM. Chad has had an absolutely wonderful year for the Sounders this year, and none of the previous efforts equaled what he did last night. In terms of my impact plays notebook I had him at a plus-10, a score reached only a handful of times this season by any player, and never by Chad. He had three tackles, four interceptions, six clearances and completed 81 percent of his passes, according to the stats at Whoscored.com. But as impressively, he shadowed one of the greatest strikers in MLS and made him almost invisible. Robbie Keane took only one shot all game, and it was not on target. Keane's most dangerous attempt of the night was a cheeky chip across the front of the box toward Zardes, a try that had almost no chance of being completed. When was the last time Keane was an invisible man? Almost never. He has 18 goals. He is always a danger man. But Chad neutralized him completely.
Zach Scott: 6. A decent showing in a return to the lineup for Zach. This team is at its best when Zach starts next to Marshall. I scored him a plus-2 for the night, not a huge impact, but he was good enough and that's what you want from him next to the best centerback in MLS.
Leo Gonzalez: 7. Leo was very good here, solid in the back and solid in passing, logging an 88 percent completion percentage. Especially early in the game I thought he was as solid as Marshall, though perhaps he lost a little effectiveness as the night wore on.
Osvaldo Alonso: 7. How odd is it when someone hits on 84 percent of their passes and yet it seems like they were off just a tad? That's Ozzie for you. He has set a standard of excellence so high that when he doesn't connect almost every pass you notice it, as in this game, where a couple of his longer pass attempts did not make their target. Still, Ozzie was his normal bulldog self, leading the team in tackles and almost leading in both interceptions and clearances. A very good performance.
Gonzalo Pineda: 6. I responded on Twitter before this game to someone who thought Gonzo is too slow and that Andy Rose or Michael Azira would have been a better choice for the starting 11. I'm not sure what brings about that kind of thinking, but Gonzo again proved his worth, taking and completing the highest number of passes and basically being the wheel that turned the field from defense to attack. I don't think Gonzo was great here, I had him at only a plus-2 in my notebook, but he definitely brings a different presence to the team than the more attack-minded Rose and the defensive-minded Azira. It will be important for him to stay healthy if the Sounders are going to have a shot to win the MLS Cup tournament.
Brad Evans: 5. Brad received my lowest score of the night. His very poor clearance led to the first Galaxy goal in what could only be called a gift. There has been some debate about whether Yedlin should shoulder some of the blame, and I think he probably should and marked him down a tad for that play as well. But under no circumstance should a player be heading the ball in the direction that Brad did on that play. Just simply never. That said, Brad was a key component to another part of the game plan, shutting down Landon Donovan. Starting Brad over Marco Pappa was a defensive choice, and the right one, as Donovan had little impact on the game as a whole. Taking Brad out for Pappa was also the right choice, as Pappa brought a quality of passing that opened up the Galaxy and led to the comeback.
Lamar Neagle: 6. A nice goal, though I have to admit I was surprised the keeper couldn't do more to stop it. It seemed to be almost right at him. Apart from the goal I didn't have a lot of marks in my notebook for Lamar. He had a decent game, but that's about it.
Clint Dempsey: 8. Sometimes I run out of things to say, to be honest. Clint Dempsey is a very good soccer player and he does stuff that frankly I'm not used to seeing in a decade of watching MLS religiously. The fact that he "tries stuff" so often and still completes more than 80 percent of his passes is just amazing. Clint was right on in this game and consistently dangerous the entire night. It's his play, I think, that makes it seem like the Sounders were the better team in the first half despite the big possession disparity. When Clint gets the ball up the field this team is very dangerous. I scored Clint a plus-8 in my notebook, trailing Martins and Marshall only slightly.
Obafemi Martins: 8. Whatever happened between Dempsey and Oba in the first half seemed to turn Oba up a notch and he would have scored a spectacular turn-and-shoot goal were it not for some top-notch goalkeeping. Both of his assists were top-drawer. I scored Oba a plus-9 in my notebook, just one notch short of what Marshall earned and one notch short of a "superb" 9 for me. Call this an 8.5.
Marco Pappa: (64th minute): 8. It's been a really long time since I gave a substitute an 8. It's hard to have that big of an impact on the game in so much less time than your teammates. But Marco did that. He outscored all but Marshall, Martins and Dempsey in my notebook despite the fact he played fewer than 30 minutes. I always find it interesting, by the way, how highlight packages almost always neglect the passes that created the offensive push forward. On both goals it was Marco who made the key plays to get you to where the highlights begin, first moving across field on a one-two to find Yedlin, who made the cross on the first goal, and then releasing the hydra with a ball to Dempsey past the first line of defense on the second goal.
Chad Barrett (87th minute): incomplete.