Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
I don't think anyone would say that Seattle Sounders FC performed great Sunday night. There were few individuals you could point too and say "that was an amazing game." Yet, the team beat Houston Dynamo 2-0, so it's hard to really find anything that negative to say either.
Perhaps goalkeeper Stefan Frei is the only player on the pitch for which you could say "he made no mistakes." But whatever mistakes were made, the thoughtless turnovers and sloppiness, were more than made up for by just solid play in the defensive end. A win is a win. And a shutout is a shutout.
Read on to see how I scored the players individually in the loss.
Stefan Frei: 7. MOTM. Stefan stopped a penalty and commanded his box well all night. Nothing Houston conjured up seemed to trouble him in any way. He earns man of the match here because of that command, something we haven't always seen from him this season.
Brad Evans: 6. Brad played solid defense. He completed 88 percent of his pass attempts, but unfortunately his crosses weren't very accurate in the offensive end. I had Brad at plus-3 in my impact plays notebook. That is the line between adequate and good in my book, but his contributions added up to "good" on second watch today. He didn't have a huge impact on this one, but he contributed better than some.
Chad Marshall: 7. We all know what the difference between this game and the last two was. Chad brings a calmness to the backline. He always seems to be in the right place and he covers well for his teammates when they make a mistake. No matter who you play next to Chad he makes the defense look organized and professional. The Sounders really have to hope he is healthy throughout the remainder of the season and the playoffs. He is the difference between 1-0 losses and 2-0 wins.
Djimi Traore: 5. Djimi still goes down too much for my liking, but he was actually pretty good in this one. I had him at a plus-4 in my notebook, which should earn him a 6, but I've knocked him down here for the penalty. That's a good example of a play where he went down when he shouldn't have and it almost cost the Sounders dearly.
Leo Gonzalez: 5. I can think of several times this game where Houston players tried to take Leo to the byline and ended up stranded in a corner. Leo's defense was that good. And unlike the last game he didn't seem to tire, perhaps partly because Houston is not as much of a high-pressure team as San Jose was. His passing was a bit off in this one, though, and contributed to the Sounders not being able to hold on to the ball and dominate possession, which is something we often expect these days.
Osvaldo Alonso: 7. Ozzie actually had the highest score in my impact plays notebook, at plus-6, but then he didn't save a penalty. Still, I think I could have made the argument for him as man of the match along with Frei and Marshall. In a game that saw a lot of sloppy plays and turnovers, Ozzie completed 55 of his 61 pass attempts, another game at 90 percent. He connected on seven of his eight long ball pass attempts, which is pretty amazing if you think about it (For comparison purposes Leo Gonzalez was two for seven on long balls). He tied for the team lead in tackles and intercepted passes.
Gonzalo Pineda: 6. Gonzalo was a bit invisible for stretches in this game, but I still ended up scoring him relatively highly for the times he was noticeable. His passing percentage was high and of course he scored a goal on the penalty kick. A good, if not great, performance.
Lamar Neagle: 4. You might be able to argue for an even lower score here. He had the lowest pass completion percentage of all of the starting outfield players. He played 32 fewer minutes and still tied Martins for most amount of times dispossessed. I had only one positive impact play for Lamar in this game, from his cross that Martins missed. This was a rough outing for Lamar.
Marco Pappa: 6. An OK performance from Marco, but certainly not his best. He hit on only 77 percent of his passes and had a hard time working the ball into the strikers. That said, he took the shot that changed the game. I don't know if that ball was going in the goal without the deflection. Still, this team needs some players willing to take shots rather than look for yet another complicated pass in traffic.
Clint Dempsey: 5. I thought Clint was out of the action too much in this one. I had him at minus-1 in my impact plays notebook. He did have one shot on goal, and completed a good percentage of his passes. Even with that, though, whoscored.com had Clint with the third lowest rating using their methodogy, which is basically a stats aggregation. That's more evidence of what my notebook showed, Clint just wasn't in the middle of this one as much as he usually is.
Obafemi Martins: 4. I know people appreciate how hard Oba runs. I do too. But he was a bit of a mess in this one. He was dispossessed five times, completed only about 75 percent of his passes and then earned a red card with two dumb fouls. Neither of his fouls were going to lead to anything. They were just kind-of mindless completely unnecessary. Thankfully, by the time he earned the second yellow Houston had pretty much mailed it in. But this was a flawed effort for sure.
Chad Barrett: (68th minute): 6. I gave Chad a couple of good marks in my notebook in a shift where he was mostly not noticeable. As poorly as Neagle played, I still think he is a better starting choice than Chad at this point. More likely, though, we see Yedlin and Evans on the right in the bigger games going forward, assuming everyone is healthy.
Andy Rose: (90th minute): incomplete.
Kenny Cooper: (92nd minute): incomplete.