Sounders vs Whitecaps Player Ratings
By Brandon Farris
What a stunner, where to begin with what has happened to this team that was sitting in first and controlling its own destiny just weeks ago? Now they have given up nine goals in two matches, compared to giving up just three in the previous seven. Frustration is an understatement, disappointment was felt in the locker room and Sigi Schmid looked on the brink of tears, as he has done on occasions when answers have been hard to come by.
Michael Gspurning- 3.0- For the second game in a row, he gave up four goals. The defensive line didn’t help him at all by any means, especially on the 2nd goal when both Hurtado and Traore left Kekuta Manneh one-on-one with Gspurning.
But on the first and third goal it appeared he just came too far off of his line and fell too late to try and stop it. Finally on the fourth one he reached out for the ball and got his hands on it but the ball slid through him, between his legs and into the net.
After the game he even apologized for giving up the last goal but also called his teammates out by saying:
“I feel like the rest of the team—horrible. I’m sorry about my team for the last goal because that was clearly my fault. It just wasn’t fun the last few games.”
Portland will be an unforgiving place to correct it.
DeAndre Yedlin- 5.5- The rookie sensation took a hard tackle in the 51st minute that according to him left his ankle tender. He played well offensively, as he usually does, including getting two shots off, one in the 71st minute that was saved by Vancouver keeper David Ousted.
He also played a role in the Seattle goal setting it up at first with his cross that led to the shot from Alonso that was blocked and then covered by Rosales. On defense, well that was another story, being a part of the backline that let Manneh rip them apart. His Rookie of the Year and Brazil chances are all but gone and one might wonder if Rosales in front of him is adequate protection for a youngster who is at his best attacking.
Jhon Kennedy Hurtado- 3.5- For the second match in a row he just didn’t look good out on the pitch. What has happened to the Sounders once reliable defender? He did play the full 90 tonight unlike in Colorado but looked about the same as he did and should have possibly been pulled at halftime.
This is a really worrying time for him to lose form. Zach Scott begins to look more integral to this team by the minute.
Djimi Traore- 3.5- One didn’t see or hear much of his name in the match, except when he was forlornly chasing down goalscorers. He was a part of that atrocious showing from the backline tonight so that makes his score drop but it wasn’t all that high to begin with.
Pat Ianni must fancy his chances of starting on Sunday.
March Burch- 5.0- (off in 60′) Once more, Burch was the pick of the defenders on a bad night.
He was providing crosses and passes in, but he was pulled off early in the 60th minute to shift the emphasis a little onto the attack at 0-3 down or possibly even to rest him for Sunday, as he is one of the more certain starters.
Mauro Rosales- 6.5- He kept the Sounders 14 match scoring streak alive with his goal in the 69th minute. Overall, he seemed pretty good tonight with crosses into the box and passing was good. Still he’s not a 90 minute player and it was therefore surprising to see Schmid leave him in the entire match. It will be interesting to see if it has any effect on how far he can go on Sunday. Unless Dempsey is fully fit, Seattle are going to need his input.
Osvaldo Alonso 5.5- The Cuban was an improvement on Saturday and badly wanted to get his first goal of the season in this match, taking three shots during the match when more intricate ideas had all come to naught. All three were defended well and deflected away. He saw his normal three fouls in a game but could not control the chaos behind him.
The last two games prove that if Alonso performs poorly, the men behind him are not good enough to withstand the amount of pressure they receive.
Andy Rose- 3.5- (off in 79′) Wait he was on the pitch tonight? He took one shot from about 25 yards out. Rose played no factor in this match and really should have been the first player subbed off instead of the last. Perhaps Schmid was trying to give him a chance but it never worked out.
Rose still has great potential but when Alonso is less influential, he lacks the quality and confidence to pick up the slack.
David Estrada- 4.5- (off in 51′) This was the first start for him in a while and you could tell he was a little rusty out on the pitch. He managed to get a decent shot off in the 27th from a Martins pass but had it blocked like six other Seattle efforts on the night.
He was the first sub off even though he seemed to be playing reasonably, possibly a strategy move for Sunday’s derby to allow others some competitive minutes.
It did seem odd for him to start in the midfield in this match. Did the Ianni scratch cause Schmid to put Burch in the back line instead of midfield and force him to start Estrada.
Lamar Neagle- 6.0- Compared to Colorado he had a much improved match today, getting four shots off, three of them requiring being saved by the keeper and one that was deflected.
This was the Neagle we are used to seeing in the forward position. He should have had a goal in the 80th minute or so but Martins was too close and prevented the shot by colliding with him in the box. Someone should have called. It was symptomatic of the bad communication all night.
Obafemi Martins- 5.0- Martins came out and had an average game that we would expect to see out of him. He didn’t seem to fall over in the box at all today and that was nice to see.
He also managed to get two shots off, one header that came from Neagle who reacted first to a poor Ousted punch which went abysmally wide. He did seem off position a couple times including a big one in the 80th minute that potentially cost Seattle a goal chance.
He’s just not justifying his transfer fee at the moment but will continue being selected while Eddie Johnson is away.
Clint Dempsey (Estrada sub 51st Minute) – 5.5- Getting his first playing time in about a month since he came on as a sub against Real Salt Lake back on September 13th, he looked a little rusty. Overall you could tell he had an impact on the match as he would often have two defenders around him but it would be remiss to omit the observation that Vancouver were allowing his side plenty ball by then.
He said he felt good getting back out there and was happy to not have his injury flare up. He came in Sounders were down 2-Nil up but it was Kekuta Manneh who reacted best to his introduction, completing his hat trick shortly afterwards.
Still, he’s back so that’s one positive for the Sounders.
Patrick Ianni (Burch Sub 60th Minute) - 6.0- Ianni came on in the 60th minute and almost put a header home in the 67th minute that, to the Sounders luck as of late, ricocheted off of the top crossbar and out of the goal.
He played decent defense and made the back line start to look good with his veteran experience. Schmid stated after the game that the original game plan had Ianni starting this match but he came up with a leg injury yesterday, then woke up this morning feeling fine but the game plan had already changed and he was used as a sub because of that. That seems weird as the club could have reverted to the original game plan, and Schmid’s excuse of another injury barely makes sense.
But with a back line that has conceded nine goals in two matches now, Ianni has to start on Sunday against Portland. Between the Colorado match and Vancouver, when Ianni has come onto the pitch the back line has only conceded two goals with him in it while he has also gotten two good headers off in those matches.
Again that may be due to the opponent taking their foot off the pedal, but nevertheless Ianni’s star has risen this week.
Steve Zakuani (Rose Sub 79th Minute) – 5.5- This was Zakuani’s first time back on the field since April. He looked well prepared for his first appearance back and produced a shot off in stoppage time that was deflected.
Sigi Schmid- 3.0- This is the second match in a row now that the team has come out and started out poorly before improving once the game was lost. Not that it mattered in the end as the team still gave up four goals.
One wonders if the pressure is starting to get to Sigi, so much talent and money spent on this roster yet such poor results in the last two matches and a lack of productivity/goals even when they are winning and at full health.
He said after the match that everything is on the table and no one is guaranteed to start at this point and they will review each position. Asked if health is at all an issue, Schmid quickly shot that down by saying that the team is fine and if just needs to find its form.
Sounders fans were dreaming of Cascadia Cup glory, but are not even assured of a play-off slot since San Jose pulled out a win against Colorado.
Many are asking if the team peak too early. We will find out on Sunday.