By Cory Ritzau
It was night of ecstasy for the home team, winning the US Open Cup in dramatic fashion. Sporting KC earned the lion’s share of the shots, shots on goal and possession and converted it into a shootout victory to earn the 2012 Lamar Hunt trophy in front of their home fans.
Jimmy Nielsen – 6 – Was not asked to do much on the evening, including the penalty shootout. But give him credit for his antics that may have caused Alonso and Johnson to second guess themselves in the shootout.
Seth Sinovic – 5 – Tasked with handling Rosales on the evening was always going to be difficult, but he did well in getting forward and getting into his fair share of the attack. He was subbed off after logging a lot of distance in 110 minutes.
Matt Besler – 7 – For a centerback, his penalty shot had even the best of center forwards envious (not pointing any fingers EJ). But more importantly, with the exception of a few bursts of speed from Eddie Johnson he kept the Sounders offense quiet on the whole.
Lawrence Olum – 6 – He too got beaten on a few occasions by the speed of Johnson, but most importantly he did not panic as Besler and Olum created nice support for one another. He too was key to a quiet night for Montero.
Chance Myers – 5.5 – Myers was not asked to do much as Caskey did not provide much of a threat, nor did he get forward all that often. Seemed a solid quiet evening for Myers.
Julio Cesar – 7 – In two years Cesar has vacillated between holding midfielder and centerback and was fantastic on the evening in the midfield. He helped keep Fredy Montero very quiet and set behind the high pressure of Nagamura and Espinoza to collect numerous loose passes by the Sounders.
Roger Espinoza – 6.5 – After a terrific Olympics, Espinoza returned to provide a solid effort in shadowing Alonso for much of the evening. His high pressure made things uncomfortable for the Sounders in their attempts to build up the attack.Paulo Nagamura – 6 – After taking a nice gash early on in the game, he returned to give a good effort including the game’s deciding penalty kick. He was not quite as precise as we have seen him in distribution but he wasn’t the only one with the physical style and sloppy play ruling the run of play.
Graham Zusi – 4.5 – Zusi picked up a knock after a turnover in the first half and never seemed sharp. Gonzalez controlled him well all night on the right side. He offered up a dreadful penalty in the shootout and owes his teammates a big thank you or he would have worn the title of goat with that effort.
Kei Kamara – 5.5 – Kamara had two well take penalty kicks, but was well marked by Zach Scott on the left. Scott has to be one of the more physical outside backs and it was needed in many tussles with Kamara throughout. Kamara also lost Scott on the set piece his team conceded late in the game.
Teal Bunbury – 4.5 – Bunbury worked hard on the evening but could not convert the effort into quality scoring chances. He did well to earn a yellow card on Ianni after a nice turn, and tried to sneak shot near post late in the first half, but otherwise was handled well by Hurtado.
CJ Sapong – 4.5 – Sapong was forced to chase after the Sounders seemed to settle down late in the game and in overtime. Not unlike Bunbury who he replaced, Sapong couldn’t put his imprint on the game but did well to pick up a second yellow on Ianni near the waning moments.
Michael Harrington – 5 – Harrington tried his luck with Rosales and did well as the game lost a lot its pace in the overtime, and defensively he helped see the game out to reach the shootout.
Agree with our assessment of the Sporting KC players?