As I was walking back from the game last night, I reflected on each player’s performance and how it made me feel. Based on that, I developed a set of tiers to rank each or thier performances. The tiers are organized from the best performers to the worst, but inside the tiers, there is not an order for who performed better. I just feel like this would be a more accurate way for me to evaluate player performances than giving them a letter or number grade. I also threw in a referee evaluation at the end. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Brooks Lennon - Brooks didn’t have much time on the ball, but he worked hard the whole time he was on the pitch. Also, the reaction from the crowd when he came on was incredible. It almost sounded like the stadium was full!
Nick Besler - Besler worked hard the whole game and looked exhausted by the end. I feel like more than anyone, he got let down by his teammates. He’s still the better Besler.
Taylor Peay - Peay had some great tackles and had a pretty solid game. He was also one of two players still hustling at the end.
Pablo Ruiz - I thought Ruiz had a good showing, but wasn’t as defensively stellar as I hoped. Let me say though, I feel happy every time he sends a long pass. That kid can drop a ball on a dime. Also, he should teach Sergio Ramos how to take people down without hurting them. Then Ramos should teach him how to do that without getting a yellow card. (I’ll just stop here with that one. I’m getting off topic)
Aaron Herrera - When we start a rookie in any game, I always expect that they will be shaky at times, but I also expect to see what they are capable of doing. I think we got both of those from Herrera last night. Side note: is he known for his long distance shots? His one long shot in the first half was a bomb and wasn’t that far off frame.
Ricky Lopez-Espin - Ricky had a quieter night than Herrera, but he did well in his first start considering that he is more of a center forward than a winger. He put in some good work and put pressure on the defense well. The same rookie expectations apply.
Connor Sparrow - Sparrow got hung out to dry on those two goals. He did come up with some great saves though.
Luis Silva - I thought Silva did a good job given what he had to work with. He wasn’t getting the service he would normally get, but he put in a decent shift of solo work.
Andrew Brody - Brody worked hard, but didn’t have much to show for it. I never really felt like he was a threat. Whenever he got opportunities going forward, nothing very dangerous came out of them and I really felt like Herrera was more dangerous offensively than he was.
Adam Henley - I still believe Henley will be someone who we can work with long term if he says healthy, but I really think taking all that time off because of his injury, although necessary, really hurt his game. He had some pretty bad moments in this one.
David Horst - I’m putting the first goal mostly on him. Sure Henley didn’t cover the guy who scored, but Horst should have closed down the cross. He had some good moments, but it wasn’t good enough for me.
Jose Hernandez - I really was disappointed with Hernandez’s performance. He didn’t move off the ball on offense and his passing wasn’t great. At this point I wouldn’t mind if we dropped him down to the Monarchs, which would also free up an international roster spot for us.
Alfredo Ortuño - Sure he only had 12 minutes, but he could have at least looked like he wanted to play. He may have sprinted once. Maybe. His shot on goal was ok, but he either needs to step up or get out.
When I first saw that they weren’t PRO refs, I was so happy! I ate my words very fast. Also, apparently you can do anything to someone when they jump up for a header, just as long as you jump with them, otherwise it’s a foul. You learn something new every day. After seeing that, I don’t know how I can complain about PRO refs anymore.