Here is a key to the standard 1-10 scale.
7. Very good
10. World Class
Another August Seattle Sounders game, another mediocre performance. If it weren't for that U.S. Open Cup Semifinal I think we all would be pretty low right now.
I will be interested to see people's ratings for the 1-1 home draw against San Jose. Will we all vent our frustrations about a lost month in scores for an individual game? Was there anything great to take from a less-than-stellar performance?
I personally scored eight of the 14 Sounders who appeared below the 5.5 that marks the middle of the 1-10 scale we use. Only Obafemi Martins had a performance that reached a "very good" 7 for me, and none were better. Kenny Cooper earned the lowest score on my ballot for his ineffective turn as a wide midfielder, earning just a 4.
Enter your ballots and then read on to see how I scored the players in another "meh" performance that has me longing for the days when I struggled to decide between 8s, 9s and 10s.
Stefan Frei: 5. I have said many times through the year that there was nothing Stefan could do to stop some of the goals opponents have scored. I don't feel that way about the Earthquakes goal in this game. It took Cordell Cato quite some time to beat Yedlin and cut the ball across goal for the finish. Given that, I can't figure out why Stefan didn't have time to get out and knock that cross away or dive on it before it got across goal. A great goalkeeper stops that before the shot. Stefan is a good goalkeeper, but I don't think he is a great one at this point. He did have one nice save earlier that I marked down as a positive contribution
DeAndre Yedlin: 6. DeAndre had the second-highest score in my notebook, but he was beaten very badly by Cordell Cato on the goal. I was shocked, to be honest. You hardly ever expect to read the words "beaten by Cordell Cato" in an MLS roundup. That said, I thought DeAndre was very active in this game, with magnificent passing, especially in the first half. If it weren't for play that led to the goal I would have scored DeAndre a 7 and perhaps argued for him as man of the match.
Chad Marshall: 6. Chad was again solid, if not spectacular. He remains the best defender on this team by a wide margin, but I didn't see anything this game that would earn him a score above "good." My notebook had him slightly higher than Traore and slightly behind Yedlin in terms of impact on the game.
Djimi Traore: 6. Either Djimi is feeling a lot better and that has led to much better timing or San Jose is just bad enough that they can't take advantage of Djimi going to ground like other teams have. Whatever the reason, Djimi was on tonight and ended up having a pretty good game, with his adventuresome nature paying off in five solid tackles, trailing only Yedlin in that stat for this game.
Jalil Anibaba: 5. Jalil's start here clearly had to do with the number of games on the Sounders crowded schedule right now. He's not a left back. I don't think he was terrible in this game, but watching the replay of the goal I wondered why Rose was given the role of marking Wondolowski while Jalil seemed to be standing around out of place. You can't really blame the goal on Jalil in any way, but his positioning on that play baffled me. I had Jalil at a flat 0 in my impact plays notebook, with three positive and three negative marks. Not an impactful performance.
Osvaldo Alonso: 5. Ozzie had another pretty decent performance, but in terms of impact I only had him at plus-3, which means despite his 90 percent passing completions and his four tackles I didn't see a lot of impact. I have always appreciated that Ozzie takes and makes easy passes and good choices, but like his teammates he couldn't find the killer pass to open up San Jose for the goal to win the game.
Andy Rose: 5. Another OK game from Andy. It's nice he has come off the deep bench and rolled out several decent performances in a row. If I have any criticism of him in this one it's that his pushes forward often led to a massively crowded center of the park. He was basically on top of Barrett and Martins at times and it was worse when Dempsey came on. He needs to work on runs that complement their positioning instead of making it so none of them can get a free run or enough room to make a cutting pass.
Kenny Cooper: 4. I don't know any other word to describe Kenny's run out in this one beyond "ineffective." He did so little positive in this one that I didn't have any marks in my notebook at all on the positive side, compared to three on the negative. I know Kenny played some wide midfield with Dallas last year, but I just don't see it. It's not where he is effective. For evidence consider how his passing effectiveness was the worst in the midfield by a decent margin - 10 percentage points worse than Rose and 16 percent worse than Alonso and Pappa. And he touched the ball the least too.
Marco Pappa: 5. As smarter minds have pointed out in other pieces, Marco is hurting the team by crowding the center of the midfield too often. Sigi forced he and Cooper to switch sides at one point to try and find a cure for that, but it didn't seem to help. Rose was going forward, Barrett and Martins were taking turns coming back for the ball and Marco and Cooper were both cutting into the middle. It was a mess in there. If it weren't for Yedlin there would have been zero attacking width in this game. Given Marco's crossing ability I'd love to see him stay outside more often.
Chad Barrett: 5. A good finish from Chad for the goal. That earned him a plus-2 in my notebook. Then, the rest of the game he basically gave that away. I had him at an even 0 when he came off in the 71st minute. I imagine some of you will grade him higher considering he scored, but given the totality of the effort I just couldn't do it.
Obafemi Martins: 7. MOTM. A great pass to Barrett to free him for the goal earned Oba an assist. I thought he was clearly the best player on the field for the Sounders, and did the most to try and get the team the second goal, with tireless efforts and some nice combination play. I had him at plus-6 in my notebook, which is right on the edge of a 6 or 7 for me. If I did half-points I would probably give Oba a 6.5 for this one. But that's still enough for him to be my man of the match.
Lamar Neagle (66th minute): 6. I believe this team is more threatening to the goal when Lamar is on the field. He didn't have any shots on goal, but he authored a nice cross and his passing was very nice in this one. The team seemed to really pick up when he came on and I had him with as many positive impact plays as Alonso and Rose in a much shorter appearance.
Clint Dempsey: (71st minute): 6. This team is just not the same without Clint. He attempted only five fewer passes than Cooper despite playing less than half the time, and completed his passes at a much higher rate - 86 percent compared to Cooper's 74 percent. Here's hoping he gets a second wind soon after his comments about feeling a bit tired.
Brad Evans: (78th minute): 5. Not much impact from Brad in his 22-plus minutes. His crosses were particularly tough, completing only one of six attempts. I had him at a 0 for this shift in terms of impact plays.