An excellent defensive outing that lacked attacking bite led to a 0-0 draw on Saturday night between Sporting KC and the LA Galaxy. I think we all hoped for more from the home opener, but I also think there are some reasons to be positive as we break down each player's contribution. Let's get to it!
1 - Never Play Again. You shall be cursed to the fifth generation for your travesties.
5 - Your play was completely unoffensive. You are a cream wall in an office park building.
10 - You are the chosen one! They will forever sing of your aptitude! You are the most interesting man in the world!
Finally, for all of the player ratings I am giving them an early season grace period (only for a couple more games). So, a 5 today may be a 3 in August.
John Pulskamp - 6.5
Was only called upon for two shots on goal, but they were good saves. Will be interesting to see if he retains the netminder role as Tim Melia gets healthy.
Graham Zusi - 5.5
Got embarrassed a bit by Raheem Edwards dribbling around him a few times early in the game. That run of play nearly forced Zusi to give up a penalty which is what makes me dock his score below a 6. Otherwise did traditional Zusi things with crosses and had some slick combinations with Tzionis near the end of the game.
Robert Voloder - 7
Was crucial in defense showing athleticism and drive to win the ball that I had not seen from him before. Prevented runners from getting behind several times.
Andreu Fontas - 5.5
Reliable defensively however as the distributor of the center-back pairing he struggled more in this game and gave the ball away several times as he would try to cut lines.
Tim Leibold - 6
Looked good in his first start, regularly stepping up to pressure the ball carrier or make an interception. Combined well with Thommy and Salloi a number of times as well. My only real gripe was that his crosses were a bit wayward.
Remi Walter - 6.5
Walter was once again all over the field breaking up plays and cycling the ball. Had an excellent shot from outside the box that tested Jonathan Bond in goal.
Roger Espinoza - 4.5
Seemed to be a step slow often and hung onto the ball too long on several counterattacks.
Erik Thommy - 7
Tested the keeper several times and generally drove the ball forward. Would like to see him make a few more decisive passes but was, as always, a bright spot on the field.
Khiry Shelton - 3.5
Honestly had one of his better games in a while but still lacked the ability on the ball, the passing, or the shooting ability to unlock the defense.
Willy Agada - 4
Got a lot more service but only put one of his five shots on frame. Also struggled to press in the second half of the game. Feels like he really needs a goal to get some confidence back.
Daniel Salloi - 4
Fired into bodies a stunning amount and also passed to no one more than you would hope. His move at the top of the box to try to get the ball on his right foot felt telegraphed and easy to defend against. That said he got around the outside several times and he at least was consistently trying to shoot.
Marinos Tzionis - 5
Had some slick combination play with Thommy and Zusi and found himself in some good spots offensively. Also brought much-needed energy to the game although personally would have liked to see him replace Agada who looked spent. However, he wasted a good chance with indecision and often looked out of place defensively.
Nemanja Radoja - 4.5
Came one for a 23-minute outing and looked like he had a lot of talent but not a lot of chemistry. Made many conservative passes but did little to drive the ball forward or provide a spark of energy off the bench.
Ben Sweat - 4.5
Struggled to progress the ball much in his substitute outing but also did nothing particularly egregious on the defensive side of the. ball
Peter Vermes - 6
His team looked the better side this week and I think he set them up in a way that could reasonably lead to success. His subs were also earlier albeit somewhat ineffective.
In MLS you need to win your home games to make the playoffs, so this feels like two points dropped. That said the team looked good and is still missing many of their best players so I am hopeful that we can actually score our first goal of the season soon. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!