Sounders @ Houston Dynamo Player Ratings
By Brandon Farris
This was actually a rather entertaining match to watch, truthfully the score could have been 4-4 when all was said and done, but thankfully for the Dynamo everything fell into place for them where the Sounders weren’t as fortunate.
Opportunities were had and missed by the team as a whole but let’s take a look at how/what everyone did during the match.
Michael Gspurning- 4.5- Having been out the last four weeks from an injury that was sustained in San Jose, this was not the way that Gspurning wanted to come back into play giving up 3 goals. On the first goal blame can be shared all around between him and his defenders. They were in the box but none of them seemed to react as the shot came off of Giles Barnes foot and planted nicely into the middle of the net in the 17th minute. Where Gspurning can be blamed was getting too far away from the net leaving it wide open.
On the second goal, also by Barnes, the defense just left him wide open and in the 22nd minute he planted a shot about 30 yards out that sailed over the 6 ft 5 in Austrian’s head to double the lead.
The third goal was just a mix of defenders not clearing the ball out of the box and Will Bruin just putting it out of his reach. However Gspurning came up with a huge save in the 90th minute that prevented the Dynamo from going up 4-1 and giving the Sounders a very small silver lining of hope that they could make magic happen in the four minutes of stoppage time.
DeAndre Yedlin- 7.0- To me easily the player of the match, he was on the pitch the full 90 and near the end of the match where you could even see the Houston players getting exhausted by the Texas heat and humidity, Yedlin still had a lot of gas in his tank outsprinting some of the subs that Houston had just brought on. He also planted several very nice crosses in the 81st and 94th minutes that created chances for Lamar Neagle and Brad Evans.
Patrick Ianni- 5.5- Saturday marked his fourth consecutive start now with the first team and in those four weeks he has been getting lots of praise by head coach Sigi Schmid. Overall he had a decent game, though in two of the scoring opportunities for the Dynamo, he could be partially to blame. The first one was the goal in the 22nd minute. He was closest to Barnes and should have been applying more pressure onto him.
In the second goal he could have defended better, it was the one in the 74th minute where he and Evans each got a touch on the ball but neither was just able to clear it out of the box and that set up the Bruin shot and the third goal.
Offensively in the 71st minute Ianni had a great touch off a corner and headed it straight for the back of the Dynamo net before it was knocked away and denied entry.
Djimi Traore- 4.5- This was not a great game for Traore. Defensively he came out and just didn’t look great, although he made a nice play in the 3rd minute. Six minutes later and allowed the defender to get by him and almost score the first goal of the match.
In the first goal in the 17th minute, he let Barnes get around him and take the shot that would go on to put Houston in the lead. In the 31st minute Traore collided with Ianni and almost gave up yet another goal for Houston which would have put them up 3-Nil at the time but thankfully the Dynamo botched the shot. One last example we saw of this came in the 63rd minute when the Dynamo attacker got around him but luckily for him it went just wide of the post.
Leonardo Gonzalez- 5.5- Gonzalez showed up and made a couple nice defensive stops in the box but also made a couple hard fouls, one of them getting him booked in the 43rd minute and then nearly sent off in the second half, when he let his elbow fly loose and it struck a Houston attacker in the face to set up a dangerous free kick. He may not be that blessed if there are two many repeats.
Mauro Rosales- 6.0- Rosales had several opportunities to get the Sounders on the board. The first one arrived in the 36th minute when Lamar Neagle sent a cross into the box and he headed it wide. In the 55th minute he sent in a nice corner kick that his attackers were not able to do anything with and it was another missed opportunity for the team.
Shalrie Joseph- 6.0- Although Joseph got the only goal for Seattle, his first one ever wearing rave green (well shale kit at this match), he had several issues with ball control and that led to several key losses for the team that killed several drives.
However after he did score his goal, it was like someone turned beast mode on in him as he suddenly was all over the ball and looked extremely hungry to put a second goal up on the board for his team. The jury s looking forward to his next performance in the derby.
Osvaldo Alonso- 6.5- Alonso had a typical Honey Badger type day that we have come to expect out of him, nearly scoring his first goal of the season during the match before a Houston defender managed to get his leg in front of it in the 67th minute. He made a couple good tackles and was all around the ball most the match in good ways.
Marc Burch- 6.5- Burch made his first start since the Chivas Match back in late July,. You couldn’t tell he even stepped off the field. His play in the midfield position has been great. He keeps lining his teammates up to get shots and has been providing some decent defensive stops. He managed to get a shot off in the 53rd minute that went inches above the crossbar and that was just the way the match had been going for Seattle.
In the 65th minute it was Burch who planted the free kick perfectly into the box that allowed Joseph to head it home and at least get Seattle 1 goal. He came through again in the 71st minute and brought in another nice delivery that would eventually lead to a Seattle corner.
Clint Dempsey- 6.5- Dempsey made his Seattle debut as a starter in Houston where he was greeted with mass amount of applause since he is a native from the state. He came out and got things going very quickly getting a shot off in the 1st minute that went just wide left of the post. He was just all over the ball offensively and really was a play creator during the entire match.
He tried shots from several different places but just wasn’t able to get any of them to cross the goal line and into the back of the net. But with no Obafemi Martins or Eddie Johnson for the match he really stepped into the role that those strikers would thave taken.
Lamar Neagle- 5.5- Truthfully you didn’t hear his name much but when you did it was cause something big was happening on the field.
He took several shots with them going wide or getting blocked. His best opportunity came in the 81st minute when Brad Evans fed him a nice cross that he went on to tap off the post and that provided Tally Hall just enough time to get his arm around it and prevent it from fully crossing the line.
Brad Evans (Rosales Sub 62’) – 7.0- This week Evans didn’t get the start since he played in the USMNT match on Wednesday against Bosnia.
Schmid brought him on just after the hour where he added a new spark for the team in the Texas heat. He had an opportunity in the 94th minute to get on the score sheet for the fourth consecutive match but his header just narrowly missed getting into the net. He had several excellent crosses that when headed just couldn’t seem to find their way into the net. Evans helped spark a comeback in Bosnia and almost did the same for the Sounders in Houston on Saturday Night.
Zach Scott (Traore Sub 82’) – N/A- With only eight minutes out on the pitch it wasn’t really enough time to give him a rating. You didn’t really hear his name ever come over the broadcast or see him enough to be able to raise or lower his score.
Eriq Zavaleta (Burch Sub 85’) – N/A- Although he got one shot off I don’t feel that we saw enough of him on the field in five minutes to really be able to give him a fair rating. But from the couple times he has been seen on the field he has a bright future.
Sigi Schmid- 6.5- Overall I thought Sigi did a decent job with what he had to work with between a couple of his players seeing some playing time in Bosnia in the middle of the week on National Duty to working with injuries that Obafemi Martins suffered last week in Toronto.
Also having Eddie Johnson on suspension for yellow card accumulations didn’t help.
The only thing I would have said he should have done differently was possibly bring Brad Evans on earlier, something about Evans lights a spark that gets this team really going (look at the Jamaica late goal for the USMNT earlier this year),.