MLS Game of the Week Player Ratings – Sounders 2-1 Dynamo

Matt BargerCorrespondent IJuly 12, 2009

CARSON, CA - APRIL 18:  Freddie Ljungberg #10 of Seattle Sounders FC crosses the ball during the MLS match against Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center on April 18, 2009 in Carson, California. Chivas USA defeated Sounders FC 2-0.  (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

The top of the table clash was a stunner.  Not only did we see good attacking play on both sides, but we also saw a lobby for the fifth official with Montero’s first “goal.” I still think Chabala cleared it off the line.   


As part of this series, I will be giving player ratings after each Game of the Week in the preceding MLS Week Preview. Player ratings are something desperately needed in MLS coverage these days. 


For your reference, I will rate a player with a 5 for an average performance, a 3 for a below-average performance, and a 7 for an above-average performance.  It will take an earth-shaking performance for a player to receive a 1 or 10 (or 2 or 9 for that matter).


EDIT: Brandon Rust has also published player ratings for the Sounders. Please check out his article here


Houston Dynamo


GK Pat Onstad – 7: Usually the losing goalkeeper should get the lower scores, but the Canadian was bailing his team out with saves of the year in the second half. Nothing he could do about the second goal, and very unlucky on the first.


RB Brian Mulrooney – 4.5: Looked capable but out of place at right back. Especially with Zakuani running at him.


CB Julius James – 4: Anonymous during Seattle’s many chances during the second half.


CB Mike Chabala – 7: Very unlucky on his goal-line block of Montero’s first goal.  Constantly frustrated the Sounder attack, and saved the Dynamo many times in the first half.


LB Craig Waibel3: Deserved the yellow card; deserved the boos. He looked slow and frustrated against both Montero and Ljungberg, delivering cheap shots to both.


CDM Ricardo Clark – 6: Strong return from Confederations Cup play for Clark.


RM Brian Mullan – 6: Instrumental in Brad Davis’ first goal, a bright point for the Dynamo offense, beating his Tyson Wahl on the ball more times than Wahl would care to remember.


LM Corey Ashe – 5: The diminutive winger made his speed count in the last third of the game, but couldn’t deliver the ball well at all.


CAM Brad Davis – 7.5: Brilliant playmaking to set up his goal in the 13th. Looked dangerous throughout, and should have seen more support from his strikers.


ST Kei Kamara – 5: Despite some threatening moves, Kamara was known more for his tackles from behind than his finishing this game.


ST Dominic Oduro – 4.5: Mostly anonymous, uninspiring runs on the ball.




CAM Danny Cruz (54’ for Mullan) – 5: Developed a few chances late, but struggled to make a substantial impact.


CB Eric Ustruck (60’ for Chabala) – 5: Replaced the injured Chabala well and had a goal-saving tackle against Montero.


ST Ade Akinbiyi (62’ for Oduro) – 4: The former Stoke City striker decided to play as a target man. Too bad Kei Kamara wasn’t playing as his support striker, and his midfield wasn’t serving the ball in the box.




Seattle Sounders FC


GK Kasey Keller – 4: Some decent saves from Keller today, but the first goal was a defensive breakdown Keller needed to organize better, and his distribution from the back was less-than-ordinary.


RB James Riley – 6: Instrumental in both attack and defense, shutting down Kei Kamara with one of his crosses counting as a shot on goal.


CB Jhon Kennedy Hurtado – 5: Marshalled the back line well after the first goal, but received an unlucky yellow card for Brad Davis’s mediocre dive. 


CB Patrick Ianni – 5.5: Tale of two halves for Tyrone Marshall’s replacement. His opportunistic bicycle kick goal in the second half was ultimately negated by his collection of half-clearance howlers that led to Houston’s scoring chances and goal in the first half. I think this is the only time a bicycle kick goal-scoring defender will get a 5.5 and snubbed from MOTM from me.


LB Tyson Wahl – 4: Unfortunate side effect of left backs in the modern game: instrumental overlapping in attack, but ultimately absent-minded on defense.


RM Freddie Ljungberg – 8 (Man of the Match): Ljungberg has finally hit his stride.  The former Arsenal star showed why he is the outfield captain with his scintillating passing and leadership on the Sounders’ fastbreak. Showed grit and determination despite being marked and fouled heavily, and his fine delivery into the box were repaid with Ianni riding the bike into the net.


CM Peter Vagenas – 4: Ianni looked more of a defensive midfielder than Vagenas today. 


CM Stephen King – 6: Strong on both attack and defense, showed the box-to-box grit that his team should take note of.


LM Steve Zakuani – 7: Average brilliance from Zakuani today, who made the most of his runs at an out-of-place Brian Mulrooney. 


CF Fredy Montero – 7.5: Brilliant run by Montero into the box for his first “goal.”  Fredy is finally clicking with his teammates when he dribbles the ball as well.


ST Nate Jaqua – 6: Incredible ball to Montero for the first goal.  Needs to play more like a target man than the support striker, but did look very menacing in attack.




LW Sebastien Le Toux (for Zakuani 56’) – 7: The wing isn’t even his natural position.


CF Roger Levesque (for Ljungberg 90’) – NR: Can’t rate Roger for garbage time curtain call minutes.