Stefan Frei has been growing in the eyes of Sounder at Heart readers as the season has gone on.
The Seattle Sounders FC keeper earned Man of the Match from readers for his performance in the team's 2-0 victory over Houston Dynamo on Aug. 10.
Frei stopped a penalty shot and commanded his box well all night in the MLS regular season victory in Seattle, earning him a 7.52 rating from the more than 350 readers who submitted ballots, his highest community rating of the season. He also had a great game mid-week in the Sounders U.S. Open Cup semifinal victory, which is also likely to lead to a high rating.
Given Frei earned two ratings below 4 in May, it's fair to say the fans have warmed to his game as he has grown more confident in his box.
Read on to see the full set of scores from the community for the win. Reader scores follow the player's name, followed by my ratings in parenthesis and then the difference between those two numbers in italics.
Player: Average Fan Rating (Author Rating) Difference
Stefan Frei 7.52 (7) +0.52
Brad Evans: 5.85 (6) -0.15
Chad Marshall: 7.16 (7) +0.16
Djimi Traore: 5.70 (5) +0.70
Leo Gonzalez: 6.16 (5) +1.16 A big gap here between the community rating and the one I gave Leo. I know in the comments on the ballot story there were some questions about how my rating could be as low as it was at a 5. As I explained there, I thought Leo was good on defense, perhaps a 7 in that sense. But I really felt like his passing numbers and such were a weakness in that performance. It's true that he didn't make any flubs that cost a goal or anything like that, but he was below average in that aspect of his game in my book. Still, given his stout defense I can see why others disagreed.
Ozzie Alonso: 6.53 (7) -0.47
Gonzalo Pineda: 5.96 (6) -0.04
Lamar Neagle: 4.73 (4) +0.73 As has been the case for much of the season, the ratings for Lamar seemed to raise the most questions and discussion post game. One comment in the thread with the ratings ballot in particular asked a question about bias, and used some statistical comparisons. I will say I don't think I am personally biased against Lamar. I have some biases and try to admit them. I tend to love Ozzie Alonso so much, for example, that I have to check myself carefully when I do his scores to make sure I'm not overrating a performance because of that attitude. As far as Lamar goes, I went back and checked and my ratings and the community ratings on him have been almost exactly the same throughout the year - with less than 0.01 difference between my average score for him and the community's average score back when I did the mid-season ratings roundup story in mid-July. I suppose it's possible we all are a little too hard on him, though.
Marco Pappa: 6.50 (6) +0.50
Clint Dempsey: 5.61 (5) +0.61
Obafemi Martins: 5.41 (4) +1.41 It's not often where I just totally disagree with the community. But I'm really not sure how Oba's throwaway performance, highlighted by two yellow cards and an ejection, ended up at nearly 5.5 for the community on the whole. Interested to hear what those of you who entered 6 or higher have to say about why you did that in this game.
Chad Barrett: (68th minute) 5.69 (6) -0.31
Andy Rose: (90th minute) 5.35 (incomplete)
Kenny Cooper (92nd minute): 5.25 (incomplete)
The key to the 1-10 scale:
7. Very good
10. World Class