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Seattle Sounders vs. 2020: End-of-season player ratings, #25-#21

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The kids, and the kid at heart.

#25 Justin Dhillon

Realio’s rating: 5.00 in 1 appearance

Community rating: 4.76

MOTM = 0 High = 5 Low = 5

Dhillon had a small window to make an impact while Will Bruin was recovering from knee surgery. He failed to take advantage of that tiny chance, and was an afterthought for the remainder of the year. The fact that he only showed up in one late appearance on the season was indicative of how the coaches view Justin’s ability to contribute.

What I liked: In his single, five-minute appearance, Dhillon showed energy and the ability to win a header. He has size, a quick burst, and a proven scoring touch at a lower level.

What I didn’t like: As soon as Bruin returned, their play became redundant and with Will being the better player, Dhillon failed to show he deserved any more time.

Moving forward: At 25, Dhillon might be reaching an age where he won’t get enough chances on Seattle’s roster to prove he’s MLS caliber. Indications are he may already be gone.

#24 Danny Leyva

Realio’s rating: 5.00 in 2 appearances

Community rating: 5.23

MOTM = 0 High = 5 Low = 5

Did you remember that Danny Leyva started the first Sounders MLS match of 2020? He played a half, giving way for Jordan Morris to sub in after the break. The only other time he played this season was a 20-minute sub appearance in the Florida tournament against Vancouver. Soon thereafter he was hurt, and unfortunately didn’t see any more time this season.

What I liked: Leyva started the season opener at age 16! He is remarkably clean in possession, making smart, first time passes and moving the ball around beautifully. The ceiling is sky high for this young player who looks comfortable on an MLS pitch.

What I didn’t like: Danny lost nearly an entire year to injury, and that is so unfortunate because he has shown incredible growth every year within this organization. Putting the “breaks” (ugh, I hate that pun, too) on his development for a year is a shame.

Moving forward: With the reported return of João Paulo, there is a bit of a logjam ahead of Leyva at defensive midfield, but what a great group of role models this young player has to learn from. There is incredible growth potential for Danny, and his talent will likely give him greater playing time as he realizes this potential.

#23 Ethan Dobbelaere

Realio’s rating: 5.00 in 2 appearances

Community rating: 5.47

MOTM = 0 High = 5 Low = 5

Similar to Leyva, the young (17 during season) Dobbelaere had a single start and short sub appearance on the season.

What I liked: In his first seven touches as a Sounder in a sub role, DoubleDare created a key pass, and his tactical play looks solid. As a starter, he was aggressive and should have earned a PK, while providing near-perfect passing.

What I didn’t like: Only having two appearances from an exciting young player was disappointing. With a team leaning on veterans, he needed to differentiate himself from the pack, and didn’t.

Moving forward: Even with five subs available, Ethan couldn’t find his way onto the field. He is only 18 years old currently and has a high ceiling, though, and he should press for wing minutes that suddenly look very attainable.

#22 Harrison Shipp

Realio’s rating: 5.00 in 2 appearances

Community rating: 5.61

MOTM = 0 High = 5 Low = 5

Once upon a time Harry Shipp was on this team, and he played the first two matches of the season for Seattle.

What I liked: In his last appearance for the Sounders, Shipp had a glorious pass in the 93rd minute onto the run of Morris that nearly gave Seattle a win against the Crew, a team they only played once this year.

What I didn’t like: Shipp retired prior to the early season tournament and was never really replaced, while Seattle lacked a dependable wing player for the remainder of the season.

Moving forward: Shipp is an incredibly diligent person and wouldn’t make this decision without putting a lot of thought into it. He is likely to be successful in whatever he chooses to do, but the selfish part of me would love to see him again in a few years affiliated with soccer in some new capacity after getting his advanced degree. He is the kind of smart, capable, thoughtful person who the soccer community would be greatly benefitted by keeping in the fold.

#21 Josh Atencio

Realio’s rating: 5.00 in 6 appearances

Community rating: 5.35

MOTM = 0 High = 5 Low = 5

Surprisingly, the young player with the most appearances for Seattle was the 18-year-old Atencio, playing his first year for Seattle and getting into a handful of games throughout the season. These six appearances were quite deceiving, however, as he accumulated a grand total of 14 minutes of field time plus stoppage.

What I liked: Josh always looked like he belonged on the field, each appearance displaying great touch and the ability to string passes and keep possession. He ended with a combined 91 percent passing for his entire 2020 campaign, great numbers for someone whose job was to come in late in matches and find teammates.

What I didn’t like: At times, Atencio was dropped into a jumbled back line and he looked a little lost. While his touch and passing were good, his positioning varied greatly and he sometimes wasn’t sure where to be on the field.

Moving forward: The experience of getting into six games is something that should translate into improvement as he earns more minutes. Josh will need to work on finding a position to settle in at next year, and with such a deep team he needs to keep improving and look to maximize the meager minutes available.