by Shayna Gosney
Stefan Frei (6.5): Frei made a couple key saves in the match- most notably against a dipping Mauro Rosales free kick in the 42nd and Luke Moore’s effort in the 87th. He also showed a great deal of bravery to keep Erick Torres from a brace in the 45th and took the striker’s boots to his chest for his troubles.
However, Frei flapped at a high ball in the 89th and was lucky that no Chivas player was able to capitalize on his mistake in the way that Seattle was for their first goal. His distribution could also use work and would benefit the Sounders greatly in their attempts to keep possession.
Leo Gonzalez – off 92’ (7): Leo saw a yellow for persistent infringement in the 31st minute after a foul on former teammate Rosales, but did well to contain himself afterwards. While he was far less active in aiding the attack than Yedlin, the Chivas offense also found much less success down his side of the field.
Chad Marshall (7.5): Marshall was the master of the clean-up game for the Sounders, as he effectively covered for the mistakes of those around him all night long. Like always, Marshall also won every aerial battle within a square mile of him, and was also credited with an assist on the first goal. He was far and away Seattle’s best defender and a standout performer – something Sounders fans are happily getting used to seeing every week.
Djimi Traore (6): Traore made some great last-ditch tackles as usual, but was caught out of position a couple different times. Lucky for him and the Sounders, Chad Marshall has been nothing short of magnificent. Like Frei behind him, Traore could do with some extra training time focusing on distribution, as his passing needs a bit of work.
DeAndre Yedlin (6.5): Yedlin’s inconsistent season continued as he was solid in the tackle and in positioning early on but found himself needing teammates to cover for him often as the game wore on. He wasn’t helped by Neagle’s tendency to float up to the forward line and stay there, but the young defender will need to learn when to hold his forward runs back just a little when he’s got no midfielder to speak of in front of him and the team has been turning the ball over so easily.
Marco Pappa – off 67’ (5.5): Pappa did solid work in helping to prevent Chivas from developing much offensively down his side, but he was nearly absent going forward. He turned the ball over 27 times (16 via tackles and 11 failed passes) to his 25 successful passes, and saw two of his three attempted crosses sail far from any rave green shirts.
Osvaldo Alonso (6.5): Alonso was unlucky to be called for a dubious penalty in the 4th minute but recovered well afterward to complete 55 of 62 total passes and tie for the team lead in both tackles and interceptions.
Gonzalo Pineda (6): Pineda had the second-most passes completed for the Sounders and his excellent free kick led to their first goal. Pineda found himself battered though, and his production slowed as the game wore on though his effort both going forward and in defense never let up.
Lamar Neagle (7): Neagle scored his second goal of the season in the 24th minute, putting himself in the right place at the right time following a free kick from Pineda and a Dan Kennedy error. He was effective in pushing up to play near Martins when Dempsey would drop deep into midfield, but failed to recover to the right side quickly enough to aid Yedlin when the ball was turned over- which Neagle and his teammates were guilty of often. The result was a massive hole along Seattle’s right flank which was exploited often until Brad Evans came on in the 67th minute.
Clint Dempsey (7.5): Dempsey provided two assists on the night to prove that even when he’s not scoring goals by the barrel, he’s still right at the heart of Seattle’s play. His ability to draw nearly an entire defensive line opens spaces in attack as it did for Obafemi Martins’ long-awaited goal in the 81st minute, and his quick, creative passing continues to make the Sounders’ offense tick.
Obafemi Martins – off 91’ (7.5): Martins put in a lung-busting shift for the Sounders, making endless offensive runs and even flying all the way back to tackle the ball away from Barrera one of the many times Yedlin was caught out. It was evident the Nigerian was getting frustrated, as he showed a tendency to over-hit passes and drag shots wide. His reward for weeks of unselfish play finally came in the 81st minute, when he was played into the Chivas box by Clint Dempsey and ended his cross-field sprint with a deftly chipped finish over Kennedy – and still found the energy to show the traveling supporters a trademark backflip.
Brad Evans – on 67’ (7): Evans took up his position on the right wing and did well to give Yedlin much-needed support. The Sounders found more space to pass once they saw both wings actually occupied, instead of clogging the center of the pitch while leaving a gaping hole on the right side. His return will likely help to diminish the Sounders’ recent tendency to turn the ball over in midfield and ensure that Alonso is not required to cover quite so much of the pitch at all times.
Chad Barrett – on 91’: No rating
Dylan Remick – on 92’: No rating