Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
It's a good time to be a Seattle sports fan. This player ratings thread is a half-day late because I paused to watch the Seattle Seahawks win Monday night. As great as that was, it had nothing on the Seattle Sounders very impressive throttling of the Colorado Rapids on Sunday.
Only a very few times this year have I rated every player as good (a 6) or higher. This was one of those games. I thought the entire side was rock solid and a few of the players went beyond that.
Go ahead and enter your ratings for the game and then read on to see my individual player ratings for the win:
Stefan Frei: 7. I think Stefan made his most impressive save of the year in the first half of this game, leaping to spear a tough shot that could easily have been a goal. It got easier for Stefan as the game wore on and the Sounders created distance between themselves and the Rapids, but Stefan had no missteps at all in this one. A very good performance.
DeAndre Yedlin: 6. DeAndre was actually just slightly to the negative in the first half for me, but he more than made up for that with his play in the second half, including a sparkling run that tore apart the soft middle of the Rapids midfield and led to a great attacking chance.
Chad Marshall: 6. Chad was just on the edge of earning a 7 from me, probably more of a 6.5 than just a 6. There were many times that he cleared what little danger Colorado tried to create, in the second half especially. Whoscored.com credited him with seven interceptions and five effective clearances.
Jalil Anibaba: 6. Jalil has caught a lot of criticism in recent weeks on Sounder at Heart threads. I'll just say that I had his score here as high as Yedlin's. He made one fairly obvious mistake in the first half that ended up in my notebook, but he was clean the entire rest of the game. To be honest I think that's all we really want from whoever is playing next to Marshall in the center of defense; just be solid and don't make any dumb mistakes. If Jalil can do that regularly it would be a gift to this team heading into the playoffs.
Brad Evans: 6. Amazingly Brad finished with the lowest score in my impact plays notebook. It's not that he did anything wrong, it's just that he stayed home, played solid defense and did very few things that ended up in my notebook at all. I think he is a fine left back when needed, a solid pro just like he is no matter where he is stationed on the field.
Osvaldo Alonso: 8. This was a classic Ozzie game. He completely controlled the center of the pitch, winning ball after ball and continued to be the most effective passer on the team even though he attempts the most passes. We all know how great Ozzie is, but this game was a reminder of how he can be at his best. He led the team in tackles with four, led the team in touches with 70, completed 53 of his 55 pass attempts, and had one audacious and amazingly accurate long shot on goal. Look at Colorado's midfielders and you see the opposite; players dispossessed, players who completed only 70 percent of their pass attempts. Ozzie owned the middle of the field here and was a big reason why the win was so easy.
Micheal Azira: 6. Micheal wasn't quite as sharp here as he was in the Chivas USA game. His big mistake came on the Rapids' goal, when he went down in the box and did one of those tiny roll-away clearances that just put the ball right on the foot of a Rapids player. That mistake cost him in my impact plays notebook, but it's telling that he still ended up a plus-2 for the game, which earns him a 6 from me. I thought he was good even with that mistake.
Marco Pappa: 7. I imagine some of you went higher on this score. Marco did have an amazingly calm and technically difficult goal, and his passing opened up Colorado when he was on. I don't have anything bad to say about this performance. A goal and an assist are great. I just didn't have Marco as high in my impact plays notebook as the three players who earned 8s from me.
Lamar Neagle: 7. Lamar had an assist on a play with great individual effort and was clean the entire game. It's been a bit, I think, since anyone could logically argue that Lamar is turning the ball over way too much. He earned about the same score as Marco in my notebook, with Marco pulling ahead on the goal.
Clint Dempsey: 8. I think some may argue for Clint as man of the match in this one. I had him with the highest score in my notebook if you don't count the goals. His passing was electric here and, as always happens when the Sounders open up a lead, he became more daring and exciting as time went on, including the magical back heel to Pappa on Pappa's goal and the flying side-kick attempt that hit the post. It's a helluva lot of fun to watch Clint Dempsey play soccer.
Obafemi Martins: 8. MOTM. Two more goals from Oba and another man of the match, from me at least. I think you could argue for Dempsey too, especially as Dempsey was so much more accurate in his passing. But Oba was a threat the entire game, and like in the Chivas game, when he made a mistake he ran down the opponent and tried to win back possession for the Sounders. If someone were to ask me the biggest difference between Oba and Eddie Johnson from last year that would be it. Oba has the hustle and work rate of a Mike Fucito but with a skill level as good as any striker in MLS history. It's a deadly, deadly combination.
Andy Rose (76th minute): 6. Andy was fine out on the right, though he didn't have a huge impact. No negatives and a couple positives earn you a 6 from me.
Kenny Cooper: (86th minute): incomplete.