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Seattle Sounders vs. FC Cincinnati: Player ratings

Patented Fredy wonder-strike salvages point, nothing more.

Seattle faced a must-win game at home against Cincinnati and did not come through. Despite a resurgent second half performance, there were too many big mistakes, and the Sounders couldn’t overcome multiple player absences and a lack of cohesion, which ultimately led to a 1-1 tie. This doesn’t officially end the Sounders season, but the chance of Seattle making the playoffs for a 14th straight year is remote.


Stefan Frei – 6 | Community – 7.4

Frei has had a strange year. Although he hasn’t given up an abnormal number of goals, it’s the type of goals the Seattle team defense is conceding that is infuriating for any observer. Again, Seattle seemed to have control of possession when they inexplicably conceded, mostly against the run of play. Asking this group to score multiple goals was too much to expect.

One thing I liked: In the 76th minute with a tie game and Seattle pushing enormous pressure forward, Frei kept Seattle’s chances alive with a massive point-blank save.

One thing I didn’t like: Stefan was caught in between two minds on the goal against, originally coming out to support a flailing defense then backing to his line with a few steps before then moving forward to ultimately miss a well-placed shot in transition. This was a footwork mess.

Going forward: Seattle’s defense has somehow given up the fourth fewest goals in the West, even though it feels much worse after games like this.


Abdoulaye Cissoko – 5 | Community – 4.9 (off 55’ for Roldan)

Cissoko came off a contentious week of practice to acquit himself fairly well, starting on the left of the defense and adding some size and physicality to the match. He brought a tidy 87 percent passing to the backline and led the team with six tackles.

One thing I liked: In the 19th minute it was Cissoko who came across to save a badly beaten Kelyn Rowe with some clutch defending on Alvas Powell.

One thing I didn’t like: With a very stretched defense, AB was the last man against Brenner in the 24th minute and made a mess of it, losing the man then awkwardly diving and pushing the ball into the Cincinnati runner, allowing a 1-v-1 against an out of position Frei.

Going forward: Seattle needed a bit more fight in this match and a bit less in practice.

Jackson Ragen – 6 | Community – 5.7

Ragen started in the middle of the defense and did a solid job controlling the defense, and outside of some (admittedly big) defensive lapses, the team held shape and possession well. Jackson had the fifth-most touches on the team and was smart in the decisions he made on where to share the ball.

One thing I liked: A 32nd minute over-the-top ball to Will Bruin showed a recognition that Seattle needed to be much more aggressive vertically, an opinion not shared by many teammates in the first half.

One thing I didn’t like: Ragen had a number of pretty rough fouls in the second half after being caught in space, with one on a break in the 53rd minute earning him a yellow card and another nearly card-worthy foul in the 66th.

Going forward: Jackson looks ready to be a full time starter.

Yeimar – 6 | Community – 6.2

Yeimar turned in another statistically strong outing that was marred by some large gaffes. Two tackles, five interceptions, four clearances, a blocked shot and 80 percent passing were only part of the story.

One thing I liked: Yeimar filled up the stat sheet, both defending across, behind the other defenders on numerous occasions, and winning back post headers on offense.

One thing I didn’t like: It is a given that Yeimar is going to do the right thing for his own statistical success, but he might not make the right play for the betterment of the team, and that’s exactly what happened during the Cincinnati goal, as he was caught way out of position.

Going forward: Yeimar was both excellent and struggled in this match, a symptom the entire team suffered from.


Kelyn Rowe – 4 | Community – 5.6 (off 69’ via red card)

Rowe had a terrible match, punctuated by a few moments of utter brilliance, followed by getting sent off and putting his team in near-impossible circumstances. His defensive work was a struggle for most of the night, but he excelled in a short stretch in the second half, leading Seattle with two key passes on an anemic attacking evening.

One thing I liked: After struggling much of the match, Rowe made a brilliant dribble in space to beat a man in the 58th minute, then threaded an incredible cross field pass to Fredy Montero for an assist. Two minutes later he unlocked a diagonal run through the box by Cristian Roldan that nearly gave Seattle the lead.

One thing I didn’t like: Outside of those two brilliant offensive actions, Kelyn struggled most of the night with defensive positioning and was unable to get into the offensive third to support with any frequency. He compounded this rough night by committing a 69th minute red card offense which further decreased Seattle’s slim chance of winning the match.

Going forward: Rowe clearly had moments of brilliance in his game, but unfortunately they were surrounded by disappointing touch and defense — and an ejection — which more than offset the good.

Danny Leyva – 5 | Community – 5.8 (off 55’ for Chú)

Leyva had another 55 minutes to show what he could do. He was part of a desperately anemic attack that controlled the ball and the middle third of the field but was powerless in getting the ball into attacking areas. His 63 touches were at least aggressive, as he tried to push the ball forward and ended with a 78 percent passing rate.

One thing I liked: A nice 35th minute cross smartly picked out the head of Will Bruin and Seattle needed more from this pretty pass.

One thing I didn’t like: Although Seattle had the ball a lot, the midfield was a dead zone as Leyva and Co. failed to move the ball through it very well. A number of Danny’s errant passes put undue pressure on the defense throughout.

Going forward: This match showed the lack of central playmaking from the starting defensive midfield pair, something that will need to be rectified.

Joshua Atencio – 5 | Community – 6.1 (off 75’ for Medranda)

Atencio again was central and was part of the good and the bad for Seattle. On the good side, he had 64 touches and four tackles, roaming the middle to limit Cincy through central areas. On the bad side, his 74 percent passing showed his inability to combine with teammates centrally.

One thing I liked: It was nice to see Josh try to push the pace, especially in the second half as he changed to more vertical and over-the-top passing.

One thing I didn’t like: I was surprised to see Atencio pushed off the ball in the 19th minute, losing a physical battle on the edge of the box and allowing a Cincinnati chance.

Going forward: This match showed the lack of central playmaking from the starting defensive midfield pair, something that will need to be rectified.

Ethan Dobbelaere – 5 | Community – 6.2

Fan favorite Dobbelaere returned to the starting lineup as a wingback and played up and down the right side for Seattle. He brought endless energy up the wing, translating that into the second most touches (76) and an 87 percent completion rate, including a key pass.

One thing I liked: With Yeimar getting wild going forward, it was smart defensive work by Ethan in the 14th minute that covered a mid diagonal run that was wide open.

One thing I didn’t like: For as much as Dobbeleare was on the ball, he did very little effectively with it. Whether it was bad central passes, errant crosses, or passes to no one, Ethan was excellent at getting into great positions and terrible at converting that into goal-dangerous chances for his team.

Going forward: Just being an “effort” guy will only get you so far; the skill checks have to be passed at some point.

Attacking Midfield

Albert Rusnák – 6 | Community – 6.4

Rusnák was absent for long periods of this match, but the times when he was on the ball and combining with Montero were the best moments of the first half. He had very few options going forward, often getting the ball and then turning to find zero runs available.

One thing I liked: Getting Rusnák on the ball was the only way to find connections going forward and he used dribbling and incisive passing to control the second half.

One thing I didn’t like: Albert was absent for long periods of this match, and an unnecessary, terrible backheel in the 33rd minute both stopped a counter for Seattle and handed one to Cincinnati, summing up how the first half went.

Going forward: Rusnák kept looking for impact players around him and found his search wanting.

Fredy Montero – 8 (MOTM) | Community – 7.5 (MOTM)

For large portions of this match, Montero looked like the only player interested in making the playoffs. He brought effort, skill, leadership, and drive, which were almost completely lacking from the rest of the team. He led the team in touches, shots, goals, and defensive intensity.

One thing I liked: Everything positive had Fredy involved. In the first half that meant getting out of their own half — often due to a “kick it toward Montero” plan. In the second half that meant being both the playmaker and the most goal dangerous attacker, leading to a fantastic 58th minute goal that gave Seattle a chance.

One thing I didn’t like: Fredy wasn’t able to translate his intensity to others, as a sluggish Seattle offense rarely looked dangerous when he wasn’t involved.

Going forward: Fredy deserved to make the playoffs.


Will Bruin – 5 | Community – 5.4 (off 84’ for Teves)

Bruin had 25 touches. One shot. He did a lot of running but was clearly starved of service and resorted to coming back to near midfield to support.

One thing I liked: Later on, Will seemed to wake up, suddenly finding an intensity right before subbing off that was completely lacking in the first half. His effort and fight were night and day different, dropping to support with holdup and making off ball runs with more desire and pressing with urgency.

One thing I didn’t like: A 35th minute header was saved and could have changed the entire tenor of the match.

Going forward: Bruin trying to run past defenders is something I don’t need to see any more of.


Cristian Roldan – 5 | Community – 6.7 (on 55’ for Cissoko)

Welcome back Cristian, who brought much needed intensity and skill to a team that was lacking both prior to his introduction. He had 44 touches and 93 percent passing.

One thing I liked: A 60th minute header and 68th minute shot forced save attempts, and it was clear how much increased skill he brought to the attack on the right.

One thing I didn’t like: Just missing a 60th minute header changed the complexion of the entire season, for the worse.

Going forward: Having Cristian around for the last few weeks likely would have made the difference in these tight matches.

Léo Chú – 4 | Community – 4.8 (on 55’ for Leyva)

Chú came in and played nearly a half and only had 11 touches.

One thing I liked: A nice 82nd minute cross nearly found a Seattle foot to redirect into goal.

One thing I didn’t like: Other than a few notable plays, you barely realize he’s on the field.

Going forward: Chú is great 1-v-1 to create a cross, but other than that is severely limited on both ends of the pitch.

Jimmy Medranda – 5 | Community – 5.3 (on 75’ for Atencio)

Medranda came in as a more offensive option on the wide left and didn’t do much, touching the ball 13 times and bringing nothing notable.

One thing I liked: Defending in the 76th minute, he covered the back post, preventing a tap-in that would have ended the match.

One thing I didn’t like: Defending in the 76th minute (again), Medranda didn’t cover back at all, allowing a free back post ball that Frei had to stand on his head to save.

Going forward: Medranda was supposed to bring offense …?

Dylan Teves – 5 | Community – 5.3 (on 84’ for Bruin)

Teves brought good effort to the match, finding 11 touches of his own.

One thing I liked: Dylan clearly knows where to go, a valuable trait that saw his movement consistently open up space for himself and others. An 85th minute cross won a corner and his run in the 88th minute into the box was excellent.

One thing I didn’t like: Only 65 percent passing from Teves, who had a number of bad touches and poor execution on connecting with teammates.

Going forward: Dylan has a Cristian Roldan-esque nose for the ball and is similarly often found making unique and special runs that unlock defenses due to a stellar soccer IQ. This is a special quality that has potential to be a game changer, but only if he is able to offset some other attributes that are currently only average.


Rubiel Vazquez – 5 | Community – 4.0

This referee had a fairly straightforward match, calling it loose for much of the first two-thirds of the game and allowing a lot of contact and midfield strife. He tightened up late, eventually ending with four yellows and a straight red shown. The red was hard to argue with, a bad and clumsy foul on the last man isn’t super debatable, although it sure would have been nice to catch a break and have the referee recognize the touch was not reachable.

One thing I liked: Eventually carding Obinna Nwobodo was the right call, although a bit late. Giving a repetitive contact card was also a relief to see, as the play was getting unnecessarily physical.

One thing I didn’t like: I thought as early as the 11th minute a card was warranted on a Júnior Moreno foul, and there were three card-worthy fouls and tactical plays that deserved yellows in the first half, yet we got multiple “last warnings” instead.

Going forward: Seattle used up their one lucky call this year in the last match, it seems.

FC Cincinnati MOTM

So tricky! So shifty! So cool under pressure, it’s Brenner! He played his counter for the goal perfectly, first bending his run to stay onside and beat Cissoko, then settling on the ball before coolly slotting past Frei.

Next up: CCL was fun.

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