Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Skip to content

Realio’s Ratings: Open Cup runneth over

It was ugly, it was wild, it was a mess, it was glorious.

Last Updated
7 min read
Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports

The midweek Sounders versus Louisville City FC US Open Cup game had it all: it was glorious and agonizing and ecstatic and wildly infuriating all at the same time. There were a dozen players who came up through local development, some truly awful plays, refereeing even more awful, and just enough moments to give you hope, followed by struggles that parallel the first team Sounders. Moments to step up by someone, anyone, were ignored or squandered. And yet, this match also highlighted a new hero to add to the lore of notable Starfire matches.

Because we have a number of games in the next three weeks, I’ll focus on number ratings for Open Cup games, a brief line on each player, and their MLS potential. 

Andrew Thomas – 10 (MOTM)

This may be the easiest rating ever given. Thomas was big during the match, and huge in the shootout, preventing four goals and scoring one to single-handedly move Seattle on. He carried the team in one of the biggest performances by an individual Sounder in memory. 

Outlook: Andrew’s distribution, especially with his feet, isn’t great – so he’s not ready to replace Frei for the MLS starting job yet. But distribution can be learned. The natural athleticism to be the best penalty kick defender this team has ever had? Not so easy to learn.


Cody Baker – 4

Baker wasn’t good on offense or defense, struggling to defend wide spaces and finding himself unable to stay goal side from the fullback position. When he got into offensive areas, he wasn’t able to provide much offensive support, which was a general problem for the team. 

Outlook: As an audition for MLS minutes, Cody didn’t cover himself in glory or separate himself from the pack. 

Jon Bell – 5 (off 90’ for Lopez)

Bell did almost nothing noteworthy through his time on the field. That in itself was significant because the players around him were making silly mistakes and gifting possession away. He should have looked better against that level of competition, but the fact that he didn’t make big blunders was notable. 

Outlook: I wasn’t a fan of Jon getting so many minutes in this match given the news of Yeimar’s injury. 

Stuart Hawkins – 5

Hawkins is very young, and he played like it. Against that level of competition, he seemed on par with them, thus great for his age. Many of his best plays came after his own mistakes, but he did well to recover. Being able to get yourself out of a jam is a great skill, but more useful is not getting in those jams in the first place. 

Outlook: Stuart is not ready for first team minutes, but there's talent there and time for that talent to develop. 

Alex Roldan – 4 (off 90’ for Chú)

Captain Roldan was a big disappointment, showing neither the leadership nor the skills to compete. It’s shocking how much his play has regressed this year, when he can’t excel even against USL competition. Somehow Alex was an MLS All-Star in 2021 and effective as recently as last year. The penalty may have been for stupidity, as there’s no reason to have his arms up there unless he's auditioning for “wacky wavy inflatable arm guy.” 

Outlook: Alex may not play this weekend, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. 

Defensive Midfield

Josh Atencio – 4 (off 87’ for Kitahara)

Atencio struggled for the second match in a row, and news that he was dealing with an illness may explain that. Excuses aside, he didn’t display the crispness and dominance we now expect from him. While missing a lot of passes, the midfield was overwhelmed at times and lacked the cohesion to connect front to back. 

Outlook: This may not change his first team minutes, but with Obed Vargas on the upswing, Josh will need to show more than he did in his last two appearances. 

Danny Leyva – 6

Leyva struggled in the run of play, getting absolutely thrashed by Louisville’s physical play and not getting any help from the referee to prevent it. He looked proficient in moving the ball forward, showing vision and a passing connectivity that others lacked. His set piece delivery was fantastic, and he dialed up an assist for the second Sounders goal via pinpoint accuracy to Other Danny. Up until about half of the PK shootout, he was MOTM material, including scoring his penalty try. 

Outlook: The set piece magic Leyva brings is a need on the Sounders team, but he remains behind other midfield options. Rotational minutes could open the door to bigger things if Danny can improve in field play against MLS competition. 

Attacking Midfield 

Paul Rothrock – 5 (off 81’ for Kossa-Rienzi)

Rothrock wasn’t very good. Then he scored from out of nowhere. Then he wasn’t good. Then he subbed out. Credit is due for an excellent finish to get the Sounders the lead right before half, but Paul’s strength is movement and connection with other similar-minded players, and the team was such a mess he didn’t connect with anyone. The side of Baker-Rothrock was a dud. 

Outlook: There is a talent to getting in the right spot and converting chances, and Paul has this down, as opposed to what’s happened in most Sounders MLS games this year. 

Dylan Teves – 5 (off 86’ for Brunell)

Teves worked hard to combine in the middle but there wasn’t much to combine with, as the wing play was dismal. The forward had to support so deep that there was a lack of space vertically. Dylan was an active runner and worked hard, but the effort didn’t translate to creative play, which is an epidemic system-wide. 

Outlook: Teves looked good mainly because he didn’t have terrible turnovers, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to the next level. He’s a smart hustle guy that doesn’t show elite MLS-level skills. 

Georgi Minoungou – 5 (off 116’ for De Rosario)

The GM was again exciting, willing to take players on with a dribble and his very quick, aggressive attacking was excellent. Unfortunately, this was frequently paired with terrible decision making, worse passing, and an inability to connect with others or understand tactical movement, so Georgi dribbled into defenders or passed to odd spaces or out of bounds. He was like dropping water on a hot pan: it’s mostly splattering, steam, and noise. However, once in a while you get the Leidenfrost effect and the ball finds Rothrock to open the scoring. 

Outlook: It seems like Georgi is all flash and zero follow through, but that may be overly harsh. His assist shows there’s something there, but he needs a lot of polish. 


Danny Musovski – 5

Starved of service, Musovski dropped deeper and deeper to get touches and then didn’t have the speed to stretch the field and create space. When given the ball in good spots he did good things with it, like his excellent run and finish to put Seattle up 2-0. Clearly frustrated by the physicality of the opponents and ineptitude of his own team, Danny brought passion but little else to the match for long stretches. His penalty was terribad.

Outlook: Musovski’s aerial danger and ability to score seem tailor-made for being a late-game substitute attacker, in a similar vein to Will Bruin. Yet, unlike Bruin, Danny keeps getting put on the wing. 


Kalana Kossa-Rienzi – 5 (on 81‘ for Rothrock)

KKR came in and played on the width, mostly in defense. He didn’t add a lot, but was part of Seattle’s late struggles in defense, allowing Louisville to come back and force penalties. 

Outlook: The outside back positions are safe for now.

Snyder Brunell – 4 (on 86’ for Teves)

Brunell made his penalty, which is more than can be said for a few others on the field. “Never looking out of place” is a compliment for a young player who was playing “up” and seemed to exude confidence even if the results were mixed. 

Outlook: At 17, Snyder isn’t ready now, but this experience may help down the road. 

Sota Kitahara – 4 (on 87‘ for Atencio)

Kitahara had a hat trick: barely touched the ball, had little impact, and got pipped by the goalie to take the game-winning PK. Woof. 

Outlook: After Sota looked bland but serviceable in his previous MLS appearance, this one was just bland and didn’t show upside. 

Antino Lopez – 4 (on 90’ for Bell)

Lopez is another young player who looked and played similarly to the other young players. Seattle pitched a shutout while he was on the field, however that was likely due to the goalkeeper behind him. 

Outlook: Even though he’s only 21, there are younger and better prospects in the organization. 

Léo Chú – 4 (on 90’ for Roldan)

Adding Chú to this match was fairly humorous, as the Brazilian had little space on tiny Starfire Field and no cohesive teammates to work with on the few opportunities he had to create something. He kicked one of the worst penalties in a match with plenty of stinkers.

Outlook: Léo’s last two outings haven’t been confidence builders, but with so much fixture congestion he’ll likely get more opportunities and must find consistency in his skillset. 

Osaze De Rosario – 4 (on 116’ for Minoungou)

Maybe brought in to kick penalties, or maybe the game plan was to save De Rosario for the last four minutes of the game and let him cook. Either way he was a net negative, missing his penalty and a chance to be a hero with a weak attempt. 

Outlook: Osaze is young, has the size and pedigree, and knows the coach at Defiance. There is still time but as far as first impressions go, this was “meh.” 


Ricardo Ocampo - 3

It's a miracle there weren’t any serious injuries, as an extra time match that was extremely physical somehow only warranted 27 total fouls called. The three yellows, all to Louisville, were on backline players who continually held, chopped down, and beat up Seattle players. There was far too much physicality allowed, and a lack of control of the match arose from that. 

Outlook: Someone mentioned this was a scab ref from the lockout and boy that adds up. Happy to never see him again. 

Next up: Portland games are something I dread. They are almost never fun. Neither of the teams are good this year.