Man of the Match: Kei Kamara-8
He is simply the hottest player in MLS at the moment, even including the strike duo in New York. The confidence shows in everything he does, and the goal was expertly taken. I would prefer he puts away that second chance, but the pace and power to discard A.J. DeLaGarza was so impressive. Again as the game concluded, he killed it with the ball at his feet in the right corner, and provoked a card perhaps unfairly that killed a minute and a half.
Didn’t have to do much, and was positioned right to make LA’s few chances go astray.
Got beaten a couple of times by between him and Collin, but was solid in defense. Great one-time shot made Saunders make excellent save.
He was dominant in the back clearing the ball away from Robbie Keane. Perhaps a different referee calls him for fouls in some of those instances, this one did not, so Collin gets the nod.
Had something come of his errant clearance that ended up with Chad Barrett, I may have rated him worse. Another game without solid chances for the opponent and dangerous throws is another good game for Besler.
The lack of Landon Donovan in the first half can be attributed both to his defense and how far he played up the pitch. He put in a few dangerous crosses, none to any result but solid nonetheless.
Julio Cesar Santos-8
A lot of times I forget he’s on the field, either due to how well the other midfielders shield him (ironic, since he’s in the game to shield the defense). Today, he both had more time on the ball to good use and he was confident in making tackles that regained possession for Sporting. He was the key to the huge gap in possession, as LA had no ball winner of his equal yesterday.
I said I underrate him because he has been so consistent. In this game, I made sure not to despite being the least impressive of the midfielders in my eyes. His early free kicks were a tad heavy, but still dangerous and he did well keeping possession when the game was tied and late with Kamara to kill time.
Sometimes when I watch Espinoza, I see the player I control in FIFA games, running full speed to the spot where he expects the ball and then going right on by the ball. Sometimes, that constant pace and chaos pays off and today it seemed more controlled. He provided Convey to set up the first goal and with Zusi and Julio Cesar locked down the midfield.
Much better from Convey than last game. We expect him to do what he did on assisting Kamara, but expected it from the left not cutting in from the right.
Taylor Twellman apparently thinks much like I do, and spent most of the game raining down praise on Sapong’s willingness to hold up the ball with his back to goal. He did that fantastically, and helped keep the game calm for SKC. I would love for him to get more chances, but the decoy role on the goal was enough for today.
It doesn’t seem as much changes when this switch is made. Peterson always seems to get a chance or two that doesn’t amount to much. Then again, I could say much worse things about a constant sub.
Nothing went bad after he left, but Sporting didn’t control the game as much. Perhaps this is due more to the game’s nature than Nagamura himself, just noting.
He wasn’t in the game long enough, but almost got a goal anyways with his chance to end the game that Saunders saved.
A Note On ratings
Everyone is a 5 to start. If I’m watching a game on TV from home, I’m taking notes on each player, and the team as a whole. If a player isn’t making any obvious contributions but the team is succeeding, then the player is doing his job. He would get a boost for good team performance or a drop for poor team performance. So there may be losses with lots of 4’s and wins with lots of 6’s. To get a 9 or 10, you will have to be devastatingly good and to get a 1 or 2 disastrously bad.