Player Ratings: Seattle Sounders 3, San Jose Earthquakes 0
Team Rating — 5.2
Player of the Match — Chris Wondolowski
Overperformer of the Match* — Tommy Thompson
Underperformer of the Match* — Florian Jungwirth
*Relative to season averages
No one thought Dom Kinnear was a fanatical observer of the 4-4-2 formation just because he hated fun. After some exciting wins which saw new manager Chris Leitch unleash the attack, reality has come crashing down on the new regime as the Quakes lost their third straight league match.
In fairness, all of these losses have been on the road. But the combined score of these matches was 12-3. The Quakes had given up 3 or more goals twice since the start of the season under Kinnear, but have now done so three matches in a row under Leitch.
A good deal of the blame on Sunday’s match needs to rest on Leitch’s shoulders. He fielded a 3-5-2 formation, with Tommy Thompson and Nick Lima as the wing backs. One benefit of this formation is that it is supposed to morph into a 5-back shape when the team is out of possession. Instead, the wing backs behaved more like wingers, and the back 3 was stretched uncomfortably. This left Victor Bernardez in particular defending one-on-one much too often for a 35-year old lumbering center back. Florian Jungwirth’s lack of speed was similarly exposed on the opposite flank.
With Wondolowski, Hoesen, Hyka, and Thompson all in the starting 11, Anibal Godoy was left with tremendous responsibility and space to cover. While Seattle finally made the break through on poorly-defended set pieces, the Sounders should have scored at least once in the first half, with the Quakes defense looking shockingly exposed.
Bingham — 5.1
He did make two very good saves. But two of the goals were partially due to his poor positioning, as Kasey Keller was happy to point out in the broadcast. His problems with balls in the air continue.
Bernardez — 4.6
Imperiale — 4.7
Jungwirth — 4.9
None of the back three were good. The different slightly on why they were so bad — Bernardez getting chewed up on the wing and gifting a goal, Imperiale being weak in the air, Jungwirth getting exposed on the wing and passing poorly. But it is worth noting that they were all left with little cover throughout. Both Jungwirth and Bernardez were continuously forced to face down quicker players, and the entire line would be stretched out of position.
Lima — 5.1
Attacked really well at time, but also made several baffling passes. His willingness to attack too often hurt the team, as he was caught much too far out of position to help defend.
Thompson — 6.0
Tricky and dangerous, but also smart. He made good decisions and gave the Seattle defense problems. Subbed off for Salinas, and his departure felt like a white flag.
Yueill — 4.5
A really poor match. He was so often absent on defense, and he passed the ball poorly with too many easy giveaways.
Godoy — 5.5
He was asked to do a tremendous amount, covering the backline and acting as an outside back when the cover was needed. Clearly got frustrated later in the game, and he did not play as hard after Seattle’s two quick goals. He picked up a yellow that suspends him for the next match.
Hyka — 5.5
While he did make a few bad passes and dribbled down dead ends occasionally, his lack of effectiveness can be mostly attributed to Seattle’s efforts to shut him down. He did get involved when he could, and his corners were good.
Hoesen — 5.7
Dangerous when he could combine with Wondolowski, Hyka, and Thompson. He looked lively before coming off, and he departure left San Jose without any target up top.
Wondolowski — 6.3, MOTM
Started the match very well, with good link-up play and two decent chances at goal. Not nearly as effective without Hoesen next to him.
Vako — 5.4
Showed a bit of skill, but could not get involved much.
Salinas — 5.2
Tried to take on defenders, but his most notable contributions were clumsy challenges.
Amarikwa — 5.1
Not much chance to do anything, but did hit side netting after a layoff from Vako