Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
Note: With the closeness of the games right now the player ratings posts are a bit out of sync. I'll have the community ratings for the Houston MLS game ready on Friday but wanted to jump right in on last night's amazing U.S. Open Cup win and allow you to cast your ballots on that one as soon as possible. I'll attempt to get these community ratings done Saturday before that night's MLS game.
Seattle Sounders FC romped in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals in a way none of us have ever seen before. The 6-0 dismantling of the Chicago Fire was as dominating a professional soccer game I have ever watched at the MLS level, particularly the second half, when the Sounders scored at will and broke the spirit of Chicago to the point they were not trying all that hard at the end.
The Sounders won every phase of the game, from good goalkeeping, to flowing and accurate passing, to superb finishing from the feet and heads. I would give the team a 10 for this performance. Alas, these player ratings are individual ratings and the scores individually will be lower than that, but I don't want anyone to think these scores take away at all from the amazing team performance we all witnessed Wednesday night.
Cast your ratings, then read on to see how I scored the players individually in the huge victory.
Stefan Frei: 7. Stefan was dominating in the first half. His stops on really good chances from the Fire were up there with his best saves of the season. I give him a lot of credit in this one. A couple of the stops he made probably weighed heavily on Chicago players. If they could have scored early, when the Sounders struggled just a bit, perhaps we would have had an entirely different game. His first-half saves made it so the Sounders could push forward and add on without concern of a comeback. He wasn't challenged in the second half, really, after the Sounders dominated.
DeAndre Yedlin: 8. Brilliant play from DeAndre in this one. His moves to the front dismantled whatever cohesion the Fire had tried to muster by pulling them out of shape and forcing them to defend out-numbered. Still he made every run back to cover and there wasn't a single time I can recall where an attack came through his abandoned flank because he was too far forward.
Jalil Anibaba: 7. A lot of won battles in this one, and better-than-normal clearances from Jalil too. I'm trying to give some credit to Chicago's attackers here, who in all honestly are not very scary with Mike Magee out, but Jalil really held them at bay, particularly in the final 60 minutes.
Zach Scott: 6. I didn't have Zach down for quite as many clearances and other impact plays in this one as Anibaba. But he was still good. It's hard to think of a play where he didn't do well with what was thrown at him.
Brad Evans: 6. I worried a few times in the first half when it seemed Brad was a bit out of phase at left back, making runs into the center of midfield with the ball at his feet to try and contribute. But I realized at some point that my fears were misplaced. I had no negative marks in my notebook next to Brad's name the entire game. He didn't figure as much into the offensive explosion, but he was still quite effective.
Osvaldo Alonso: 6. Like Scott and Evans, I can find little to complain about here. Ozzie had one uncharacteristic early giveaway in his own end, but other than that he was pretty flawless. I imagine if he had played longer he would have been able to contribute to the blowout more and thus would have earned a higher score.
Andy Rose: 8. Two perfect headers for goals. But more than that was the runs Andy made to get open on the goals and on several other possessions throughout the night. He kept pushing forward and through Chicago, opening up lanes for a pass or for the forwards to shake free on their own. Andy's score here shows a limitation of the "impact plays" notebook I use for ratings. He didn't have a huge number of impact plays in terms of his foot on the ball. But his positioning in defensive support, the runs he made and his finishing were all enough to push him to an 8 for me.
Lamar Neagle: 6. I thought Lamar did well in this game, with only a couple negative marks in my notebook. He didn't have the impact of a Rose, Pappa or Cooper, but he was a vital cog in the victory.
Marco Pappa: 8. MOTM. This game was Marco Pappa at his flowing, passing best. His corners were right on, as were his crosses. It's not just that his passing was accurate; it's that it was deadly. He opened up Chicago and made it easy on his teammates to finish them off. It was difficult to pick a man of the match in this one, with so many deserving players, but to me Marco made the attack what it was with his ball-control and passing. Just ask Andy Rose if you don't agree with me.
Chad Barrett: 6. Chad scored almost exactly the same in my notebook as Alonso, Neagle, Evans and Scott. I'll be interested to see the community ratings of these players. I thought they were good, but didn't do enough to earn some of the higher ratings I passed out in this one. Love to hear your thoughts about that.
Kenny Cooper: 8. Two well-taken goals and some slick passing and combination moves. I scored Kenny second-highest in my notebook behind Pappa and I think you could make a legitimate argument for him as man of the match instead. His goals were well taken and his pass on Martins' goal was perfect. The only thing I can say about that is the Fire had clearly given up at some point and perhaps that made it a bit easier. Still, a good player doesn't let up in those situations. If the other team is lying down you just hop over them and head toward yet another goal. That's what Kenny did tonight - like a shark with blood in the water.
Michael Azira (64th minute): 6. I thought Michael put in a decent shift. The thing that was most promising about it is that he knew he replaced Alonso and he seemed to know that meant he would be the chief rover in front of the back line, making it difficult on Chicago to move forward. His positioning seemed to show he understood the role well, and he combined with Rose to make sure the defense was never in danger in the final 25 minutes.
Obafemi Martins: (74th minute): 6. Come in, score a goal then call it a night. I liked Oba's effort given his role in this one and the state of the game when he entered. Like Cooper, he didn't show mercy and his finish at a tough angle was very nice.
Leo Gonzalez: (84th minute): incomplete.