Match Ratings-at Seattle Sounders: 4-8-23
My Match Ratings
My match ratings attempt to assign a number to a player's performance through a match with a 6.0 being the average score. Each player that appears in the match as well as the manager will be given a rating with one individual receiving the Man of the Match (MOTM) award in gold text. The ratings are never intended to be a personal attack on a player or to push an agenda. It is just a way of adding a numerical value to a player's performance. These are simply my ratings and are meant to start a conversation, and do not necessarily reflect the same opinions of everyone who contributes with the City SC Report.
Roman Burki (GK) - 6.0
In my mind Burki's performance looked very similar to the greater team's performance. If you would have asked me for a first half rating he would have received a 7.0. The first goal from Atencio looked like a wonder goal initially but on the replay I think he might have been able to get a hand to that. He looked like he was caught flat footed. The second goal from Ruidiaz should have been dealt with better whether it was Burki holding that cross or letting the center backs deal with it.
Jake Nerwinski (RWB) - 6.0
Nerwinski played a completely different role to anything we have seen so far this season. He got a lot further forward as a wingback with the 3-4-3 or 3-4-1-2, depending on how you want to look at it. I was supercritical at the start of the season in the Austin FC and Charlotte games that Nerwinski was not offering enough going forward. In recent weeks it seems like he's started to contribute a lot more even in the four at the back formations that Carnell has used before this match. I loved the combination of Gioacchini dropping deep to pick up the ball and then switching the point of attack to Nerwinski. Oftentimes Nerwinski had acres of space to attack the Seattle backline. However, he still lacked that final product with supplying a ball into Klauss or Gioacchini. It felt like at times Seattle left Nerwinski unmarked due to the lack of attacking threat he showed throughout the match.
Lucas Bartlett (CB) - 6.0
Bartlett had an alright game against Seattle. I think it was harsh to give him a booking after just six minutes by referee Rubiel Vazquez. Bartlett did deliver a nice cross to Klauss in the 50' mark but it was headed wide.
Tim Parker (CB) - 6.0
Tim Parker had a decent match in CITY's first match using a back three. I am still loving his pace along the defensive line. He and the other centerbacks did an excellent job keeping Jordan Morris quiet especially in the first half which I thought CITY was going to maybe have trouble with.
Kyle Hiebert (CB) - 6.0
Kyle Hiebert had another solid match and I actually really liked the way he looked as a part of a back three. The only thing that I did not love was at times he got isolated 1v1 with Cristian Roldan which was a matchup I think Seattle continued to try and exploit. Hiebert did an alright job dealing with Roldan but at times it did not look like the most comfortable matchup for Hiebert.
John Nelson (LWB) - 5.5
Some would probably say I have been a little too critical of John Nelson this year but honestly he looked alright defensively against Seattle's Leo Chu. However, I don't think this formation really set Nelson up for success. There have been a few times this season that I've voiced my opinion that Nelson needs to be getting further forward to contribute with overlapping runs. In this 3-4-3 shape he is forced to do that just to give the team some width in attack. I do not feel like he provided that to the same degree that Nerwinski did leading to a lack of variety in the attacking third and build up phases of the game
Indiana Vassilev (CM) - 6.5 (MOTM)
I really liked what I saw from Indiana Vassilev in his midfield pairing with Perez. I was a little worried about the fact he was going to have a much younger partner than what he was use to in Blom or Lӧwen but he managed his role very nicely alongside the CITY homegrown talent. He dictated the build up nicely and I thought he was one of the bright spots in the starting eleven this week.
Miguel Perez (CM) - 5.5
Despite my below average score I think Perez looked alright this week against the Sounders. At moments I thought he did a nice job breaking up some of Seattle's attacks at times. But also at times he looked a step slow. I mean that's more than what I would expect out of an 18 year old prospect against one of the best teams in the league.
Eduard Lӧwen (CAM) - 6.0
Lӧwen looked average against Seattle. I liked him pushing up to join Klauss and Gioacchini in the press against Seattle but as I'll discuss later the mid block press left a lot to be desired. He had a few opportunities to create but St. Louis lacked any real chances that he has created in previous weeks
Nicholas Gioacchini (ST) - 5.0
Gioacchini did a nice job of dropping deep to collect the ball at times throughout the game and distributing it to the wingbacks. He delivered a decent cross to Klauss that ended up hitting the post but other than Klauss and Gioacchini were not able to create any really big scoring opportunities.
Joao Klauss (ST) - 5.0
Klauss did not have his best game against the Sounders. He had a decent chance in the first half that glanced off the post but would have been difficult to score from. Bartlett's cross around the hour mark was a good opportunity to challenge Frei but he headed it wide. A lack of creativity certainly did not help the striker pairing this week either.
Njabulo Blom (CM) 64' 6.0 by Default
Blom is someone that I would have loved to see start this game against Vassilev. He would have really helped breakup Seattle's build up play as well as deny Lodeiro an influence on the game. He gets a default 6.0 for this match due to not passing 15 minutes on the pitch which is a rule I have in order to give a player a rating. He went off after just 14 minutes with what appeared to be a groin injury. He is going to miss multiple weeks so expect a lot of playing time for someone like Miguel Perez
Isak Jensen (LW) 74' 6.0
Jensen came on for Bartlett in order for Carnell to switch to a back four. He did not provide much in terms of creating any real chance in his 16 minutes or so on the pitch.
Tomas Ostrák (RW/CM) 74' 5.5
Ostrak was forced inside to pair alongside Vassilev due to Blom's injury shortly after coming onto the pitch. I don't really want to see Ostrák in that role again. I admit that he probably was not expecting to have to do that role when he came on but at times he just looked lost playing that deep in the midfield.
Samuel Adeniran (ST) 74' 6.0
Adeniran has been a nice change of pace coming off the bench this season to give the opposing defense a different type of threat to Gioacchini and Klauss. However, he lacked that X-factor he has shown this season at times in this one.
Célio Pompeu (RW) 78' 6.0 by Default
Pompeu came on for the injured Blom. Nothing was really notable from his 12 minute cameo on the pitch.
Bradley Carnell (Mgr.) 5.0
Carnell had the right idea this week heading into Seattle. I think the 3-4-1-2 was a nice surprise for the Sounders heading into a very tough environment this last weekend for CITY. It gave us flexibility to not only have a solid defense against one of the best offenses in the league but also allowed us to still press from the front. My criticisms from the approach though was that the mid block process that we used left a lot to be desired. At times it felt like the team was not on the same page about when to trigger the press and it led to this half effort press that the Sounders found easy to play through especially in the midfield area. Often times the center of the pitch was overloaded by Seattle since Lӧwen pushed between Klauss and Gioacchini when out of possession. We also lacked any sort of complexity in attack. This seemed like the perfect match for someone like Selmir Pidro. I know it's hard to drop Nelson with the form he's in but we lacked any sort of threat from the wide areas for most of the game leading our attack to just look direct to the forward pairing.
By Keagan Krippel