With Randal away this match and unable to cover player ratings, I am pleased to announce that you’re all stuck with me today. So, welcome!
A couple reminders: First, different writers inevitably have different scales. There’s no broad guideline for what ratings should look like. Second, Randal is much better at this than me.
Andrew Putna, 6.0: While not specifically responsible for any goals this time around, Putna was surely an improvement from our match against Portland. But an improvement is not everything, and his distribution left much to be desired. This is, I believe, Putna’s biggest weakness, and it was not terribly surprising.
Aaron Herrera, 6.0: It pains me to give Herrera a low rating, simply because I believe he is usually fantastic and easily one of our best players on the pitch. Last night, though, he gave up a penalty unnecessarily, and it hurt our chances at the match. However, he didn’t check out of the match after that point, and his distribution was generally pretty good.
Justen Glad, 8.5: It’s difficult to believe it had been since 2016 that Glad last scored an MLS goal, but we are forced to reconcile that with the fact that he was not terribly far away from a hat-trick against Seattle. His ability to find space for a header from set pieces, both from throw-ins and corners, was unexpected. It also bodes extremely well moving forward.
Marcelo Silva, 6.5: This was a reasonably good match for Silva. He wasn’t perfect, but he also didn’t make any major mistakes, only committed one foul (in a safe-ish area, no less), and was good for a clearance or two, too.
Donny Toia, 6.5: Toia looked a step above where he was last match, and he contributed in the attack. There is not much else notable to say about him, though, which is probably just fine.
Pablo Ruiz, 8.5: This rating is not just about the goal. This is also about how good Ruiz was overall. He put hardly a foot wrong all match. His passing was short and crisp, and it connected the midfield. I genuinely think Ruiz has done a lot in the last week to win a starting spot, and at this point, I think the bigger question will be who his partner is — Everton Luiz? Damir Kreilach? Oh — and he also scored a peach of a goal. Not bad at all.
Damir Kreilach, 7.0: It was not a brilliant game for Kreilach, but nor was it a poor one. His presence certainly helped Ruiz excel and find his spots, so he certainly gets credit there. It is not important that Kreilach does something special every match — this was a nice, average game for him. No complaints.
Justin Meram, 6.0: Having just played 70 minutes does not help my consideration of Meram, but I surely should recognize the good he brought. I actually thought he was an interesting attacking figure at times, and he had some good ideas. However, he looked utterly gassed toward the end — I get it — and that meant there was some period of ineffectiveness before his substitution.
Albert Rusnak, 7.5: This was not a bad game for Rusnak, but it was also not an outstanding game. I suspect he was in the good range. The last couple matches have actually seen him moving away from a pure possession player who slowed things down, and he’s starting to look like a differentiator again. He had one shot that pinged off the post, and he was generally much better from set pieces, though not perfect.
Maikel Chang, 5.0: This rating is not entirely fair, because Chang was substituted at halftime. But Chang struggled to get engaged in the match, and as a result, the halftime sub for Giuseppe Rossi made sense.
Corey Baird, 5.0: Baird had one good opportunity in the match, but beyond that, this turned into a difficult match for him. He looked frustrated, ineffective, and like he needs a rest. Still, I don’t think we need to call for a substitution here — there was nobody on the bench that would have done better and still provided width.
It is telling, then, that through all this, Baird did still have dangerous moments, even if they were a bit frustrated or sloppy. I am increasingly convinced he can become a consistently dangerous player, and somehow, this poor performance bolstered my thinking.
Giuseppe Rossi, 5.5 (45 minutes): Surprisingly, given more time in the match, Rossi’s influence did not grow alongside it — but I suspect that’s because he was crowded out in the middle. There is not much to say here, which is too bad.
Sam Johnson, 4.0 (20 minutes): Johnson had no shots and only four passes, none of which connected with an RSL player. It was a substitution to forget. As with Rossi, I believe the presence in the middle of the park from Seattle’s center backs made this a difficult proposition to begin with.
Everton Luiz, N/A, and Kyle Beckerman, N/A (3 minutes): I would like to talk about both of these players together, because really, they came on at the same time and provided the same purpose. They were there to bolster the midfield, win tackles, and build attacks with center backs involved in the attack. I actually thought it was a bit of a novel way to handle that approach late in a match, and I liked it a great deal more than a center back coming off and playing with fewer defenders. See, center backs tend to be great in the air, and I thought it was a good thought. It didn’t end in a goal, but it’s one of the more interesting parts of the match, for me.