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Seattle Sounders vs. 2018: End-of-season player ratings, #31-#27

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They played zero minutes in league play, but a few show promise for 2019.

Carlos Cruz / La Culebrita Macheteada

The Rankinator ranking is based on several hundred Sounder at Heart readers’ votes. Realio rated every single MLS regular season and playoff game as well as the two CONCACAF Champions League matches. He did not rate USL or USOC play. His ratings reports will roll out in the coming weeks.

These players had bare snapshots of time with the organization in 2018. Therefore their assessments rely on a tools-based system, similar to baseball.

Goalkeepers are judged on shot stopping, distribution, and leadership.

Outfield players are judged on on-ball in the attack, off-ball in the attack, on-ball defense, off-ball defense, and how they use their physique.

#31 Zac Lubin

Realio’s rating: N/A

Community rating: N/A

Rankinator ranking: #31

Lubin is a St. Martin’s University product with a long history of practicing with the Seattle Sounders. He’s played for the Kitsap Pumas and Sounders U23s as well as five other teams, including three in the USL. The current Phoenix Rising player earned a short-term callup by the Sounders and made the bench once.

Shot stopping

Prone to drops, punches as often as he catches. Can be beaten. When on form, can stand on head, but inconsistent match to match.

Distribution

A classic long passer who doesn’t play with the ball at his feet. Teams avoid passing back to him.

Leadership

When someone regularly practices with an MLS team, whether under contract or not, it is easy to recognize their drive. This is the kind of effort that gets noticed by coaches around CONCACAF, earning him fresh opportunities. His level of work is respected by teammates as well.

Best case for 2019: Lubin returns to Rising for 2019, the first time he will repeat with a team since his time with Kitsap in 2011-12. In 2019 he should be able to double, or better, his nine starts in league play.

#30 Felix Chenkam

Realio’s rating: N/A

Community rating: N/A

Rankinator ranking: #30

Felix earned his MLS contract by being the best young scorer on S2. His four goals remains tied for second on the USL side despite not playing since July 14. He pulled a hammy and eventually had surgery for a herniated disc. Chenkam played 789 minutes in all competitions.

On-ball in the attack

Potent with the ball at his feet, but shouldn’t take more than one touch before shooting. A quick trigger is key to his success. Will look for own shot before trying for an incisive pass. Can be a secondary target for set-pieces.

Off-ball in the attack

Will make solid runs in multiple channels. Quite effective at finding space inside the 18.

On-ball defense

Easily beaten with MLS level dribbling skills.

Off-ball defense

Aggressively presses up the pitch and will attempt to reacquire the ball he lost. Is good defending set-pieces at USL level, but would likely have to move down target list in MLS.

Physique

Plays bigger and broader than his frame. Moderate speed. Effort is strong early in games, can fade.

Best case for 2019: Now out of contract, Chenkam can sign with any team below MLS level or outside of US soccer. He should be able to find a USL side that gives him a starting role once healthy.

#29 Calle Brown

Realio’s rating: N/A

Community rating: N/A

Rankinator ranking: #29

Seattle’s third keeper in 2018, he started more games with S2 than any other player. In his 21 starts he earned a 1.90 goals against average. Brown made the bench for one MLS game.

Shot stopping

Solid catcher with a huge frame. Tough to beat on set-pieces when the defense was set (it wasn’t always). Like most keepers, can be beaten low and wide.

Distribution

Learned to pass well in a short buildup system, improving over the season. Dribbling remained weak.

Leadership

Leaned on experienced defenders to communicate. Some defensive errors may have been contained with stronger communication.

Best case for 2019: Brown is currently out of contract, but should be able to find an independent USL Championship side to compete for a starting role.

#28 Seyi Adekoya

Realio’s rating: N/A

Community rating: N/A

Rankinator ranking: #28

Played zero minutes at any level with Sounders in 2018. Impossible to grade based on the year.

Best case for 2019: Adekoya is with Vendsyssel FF in the Danish SuperLiga.

#27 Jordan Morris

Realio’s rating: 7.00 in one appearance

Community rating: 6.02 in one appearance

Rankinator ranking: #27

Tore his ACL in 85th minute of the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League match at Santa Tecla. Is credited with 90 minutes since Seattle was out of subs.

Best case for 2019: With rehab done, and the miracles of modern medicine, the 15-20 all-competitions goals that Sounders leadership expected for 2018 could come in 2019.