Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
By popular demand, we've added another tweak to how we display our community ratings form. We now have the key above my ratings. Oh, and hey, Scott is taking the week off and I'm doing the ratings this week. Ratings aren't really my thing, but bear with me.
Generally speaking, this was hardly a perfect performance. We're getting a bit used to that. But unlike the last couple years, the Seattle Sounders are managing to find results despite the mistakes, errors and lulls in concentration. I suppose it helps to have someone like Clint Dempsey to bail you out, but let's also not pretend that this was all about the Sounders' highest paid player.As badly as the Sounders were outplayed in the first half, that's how much better they were in the second half.
Whatever blame Sigi Schmid deserves for the slow start, you must then also give him equal credit for the comeback. Once again, his subs had a huge influence, with Marco Pappa and Chad Barrett playing significant roles in the game-winning goal. But let's get to the ratings...
Stefan Frei: 5. The first goal was totally on the Sounders goalkeeper. Windy or not, he badly misplayed what should have been an easy grab. He also had a couple questionable decisions to knock balls over the crossbar for corners on shots that seemed to be going over on their own. It's often said that allowing one bad goal is a far worse negative than making a crazy save is a positive. But what if they make two great saves? The first one came in the 83rd minute when he robbed David Texeira by reaching behind him to preserve the tie. He also made a great play to cut off Mauro Diaz's chance in the 91st minute. This was not a great performance by any means, but Frei showed he can come up with the big save.
Leo Gonzalez: 6. Once again, the opposing team opted to attack the opposite flank. Gonzalez seemed fine when he was called upon but didn't really stand out in a meaningful way in the back or going forward.
Djimi Traore: 7. It's often said that center backs that making dramatic sliding stops are often simply guilty of being out of position in the first place. While that is no doubt true often times, Traore still shows a remarkable knack for this. He made at least two such potentially goal-saving tackles during the first half that helped the match from getting out of hand. He also helped keep Texeira in check for most of the night. You could possibly dock him for not being more aggressive on the first goal, but I find that tough to say as Frei seemed to have that ball all the way.
Chad Marshall: 8. Another very good, if quiet performance. Got turned around by Diaz at one point, but that's going to happen when a playmaker is running at a big center back like him. Don't think he was remotely at fault on either goal, did a good job at cleaning up the crosses into the box and was a bit unlucky, again, to not score on a set piece.
DeAndre Yedlin: 3. Rough game, no doubt about it. The penalty alone was enough to knock him down below a 5 as it was completely pointless and put the Sounders in a very precarious situation. He was also pretty well outplayed by Fabian Castillo, who in his defense might be the best true winger in MLS. I'm not super concerned going forward and think he's got better games ahead, but this was not a great performance. Unfortunately, the one moment that may have been a bit redemptive -- when he dribbled out of the back and nearly put Dempsey through for a great chance -- was killed by an offside call.
Osvaldo Alonso: 5. There's no hiding the fact that the Sounders' defensive dynamo was not up to his own standards in the first half. He looked sluggish and found himself out of position more times than anyone would like. But he adjusted at halftime and actually turned in a vintage performance over the final 45 minutes. It was enough to at least make this an average one for him on the whole.
Gonzalo Pineda: 4. Starting to wonder if he's getting a bit worn down, as this was the fifth straight match in which he played heavy minutes. Looked slow, gave the ball away too easily and was a major reason the Sounders struggled in the first half. The second half was better, though.
Lamar Neagle: 3. Just a really bad performance, and I was actually tempted to give him a 2. I know I shouldn't look at this way, but if he had been given that second yellow my score would have gone down. But he didn't get the card and actually settled down some during his final 30 minutes or so. I still think he shows promise as an outside mid, but this game did not help that perception at all.
Kenny Cooper: 4. Didn't commit any horrible errors, but he was just kinda a non-factor for much of the game. He's definitely miscast as an outside mid in a 4-4-2 and he offers virtually no help to Yedlin, who is being asked to get forward a ton. I think Cooper has a place on this team and I've liked a lot what I've seen, but this is not the role he should play.
Clint Dempsey: 9 (Man of the Match, duh). If we did half points, I'd probably give him an 8.5, but I'm not going to stress over a 9. For a second straight week, he was easily the Sounders' most dangerous player and his two goals were both well taken. The free kick strike was especially encouraging as it shows just how much more confident he is, but the give-and-go with Barrett was simply sublime. I don't know that he had any obvious mistakes either, even if this was not quite as dominant a performance as a week ago.
Obafemi Martins: 7. He failed to get on the scoresheet again, but he was in great positions on all three of the Sounders' goals. He would have scored if Stephen Keel hadn't scored that own-goal and it was his pass that unlocked the defense for Dempsey's second. He also drew the foul that set up Dempsey's free kick. Not a dominant performance by any stretch, but especially in the second half he was very effective.
Marco Pappa: 7. Another very solid shift and deserves a lot of the credit for the Sounders' dominance in the second half. His centering pass to Martins started the sequence on the game-winner and he put in several dangerous crosses. I'd like to think he's now just scratching the surface of what he can do.
Chad Barrett: 6. I'm tempted to give him a higher score if only because of the very unselfish and perfectly executed assist he had for the game winner, but he just didn't do enough outside of that the warrant a better score. I will say that you can't ask for much more than a game-winning goal and a game-winning assist in 41 minutes of total playing time, though.
Micheal Azira: Incomplete. Didn't enter the match until stoppage time basically and hardly had anything to do.