I’d like to start with the usual disclaimers. I’m not here to influence your ratings. I don’t know much about soccer, and therefore my commentary on the subject should be taken with many grains of salt. Good teams are defeated by other good teams, not by referees.
All that being said, Chris Penso got his game on in this one, folks! Dude absolutely balled out! I’m not sure if he blatantly disregarded the screams of his VAR to look at Josecarlos Van Rankin’s (uncalled) foul on Nico Lodeiro in the first half, or if VAR failed to do any screaming. One way or another, some impressive work by all involved.
Penso followed that up by carding Jackson Ragen twice in the span of a minute — another decision that had massive implications. I know, I know, Ragen shouldn’t put himself in that position. But the kid was just trying to bring the same physicality that went unpunished again and again in the first half.
Meanwhile, while all this was going down, Portland did about as little as possible to play soccer and control a match in which they were handed multiple advantages in multiple ways. I know, I know, if their roles were reversed, I’d be talking about Seattle’s “scrappy” performance, how they gutted it out, how a win is a win, etc.
Anyways, enough of my bitterness. Well done, Portland. You gave me a great reminder of why it’s called the beautiful game. Bravo.
Here’s the scale:
(Substitutes can be left blank if the player did not play enough to judge)
1 - not a pro (USL/NASL/MLS) quality performance
4 - average USL starter
6 - average MLS starter
9 - MLS All Star
10 - MLS MVP-quality performance