Stephen McCarthy played at center back for the first time in an MLS match on Saturday. (Photo: Joshua Pearson).
After each match the contributors to New England Soccer Today will rate the performances of the New England Revolution players who made an appearance on a 1 to 10 scale (1 horrendous, 5 average, 10 perfection). This week Sean Donahue and Brian O’Connell contributed ratings for the New England Revolution’s 1-0 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes.
Matt Reis – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
What could he do on Wondolowski’s goal? Nothing. Did little to settle his back four, and while his distribution was good, he seemed tentative to give his defenders directions. (Brian) … Not much he could do on the goal, but lucky not to be punished for a couple of low crosses he came out for and didn’t get. Distribution was solid. (Sean)
Kevin Alston – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4.5)
When panicked, he simply heaved it downfield. Dribbled into trouble and kept cutting inside. (Brian) … Often caught forward, though defending was solid when he was in position. Played too many long balls (Sean)
Stephen McCarthy – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
All in all, had a decent game. Found space when pushing up, and was one of the few defenders not launching endless long balls. (Brian) … A few miscues and positioning issues in the first half, but McCarthy looked comfortable and played well in the second half. (Sean)
John Lozano – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Brought a much-needed intimidating presence to the central D; outmuscled Lenhart and was good in the air. Stayed home when necessary. (Brian) … Strong debut. Used his strength and size well. (Sean)
A.J. Soares – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4.5, Sean 3.5)
Hard to fault him playing out of position, but he didn’t step up. Shaky defense seen throughout, never looked comfortable. (Brian) … Clearly not comfortable at left back. Questionable positioning defensively and passing was poor out of the back. (Sean)
Kelyn Rowe – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5, Sean 5.5)
Got into good positions, and but his passing wasn’t nearly as crisp as it was during the preseason. Not used to the speed of regular season action. (Brian) … Looked dangerous in the attack at times and made some good plays defensively. A few miscues as expected for a rookie making his MLS debut. (Sean)
Clyde Simms – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 7, Sean 6.5)
Impressive Revs debut; distributed well, tracked back in transition, and cleaned up the messes inside the defending third. (Brian) … Man of the match for the Revs. Did well winning the ball and making smart passes to keep possession. (Sean)
Shalrie Joseph – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4.5, Sean 3.5)
Giveaway led to the deciding goal, and overall, just had a sloppy night. Errant passes and poor touches betrayed him all night. (Brian) … Poor performance for the Revs captain. Too many giveaways, including the one leading to the Earthquakes game-winning goal. (Sean)
Benny Feilhaber – Average Rating: 4.75 (Brian 5.5, Sean 4)
Guilty once again of trying to do too much; too many touches, and while his blast in stoppage time nearly did it, he was off his game. (Brian) … Solid late shot that went just wide, but otherwise passes were poor, wasted an offensive possession with a speculative shot, botched another good chance with a poor touch and for long stretches was completely absent from the left wing. (Sean)
Fernando Cardenas – Average Rating: 4.25 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4)
Too antsy to throw himself into the attack; passing was not great, and failed to give his midfielders a decent target. (Brian) … Worked hard, but was often caught offside and struggled to combine with his support in the attack. (Sean)
Blake Brettschneider – Average Rating: 4.25 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4)
Tentative form all around; late on passes and where was he on the Nguyen pass in the 81st minute? (Brian) … Some good hold up play on a couple occasions, but whiffed on a great chance and struggled to find space in the attack. (Sean)
(sub) Tyler Polak – Average Rating: 4.75 (Brian 4.5, Sean 5)
Confident pushing up the wing, but in the rear, he was beaten and bruised. (Brian) … Look dangerous going forward, but questionable positioning when the Revs had to defend. (Sean)
(sub) Lee Nguyen – Average Rating: 6.5 (Brian 7, Sean 6)
Great vision, smooth passes and nice set of runs; put himself in prime position for a start next weekend. (Brian) … Great spark off the bench. Looked dangerous and may have done enough to earn a start next weekend. (Sean)
(sub) Ryan Guy – Average Rating: N/A (Brian 4.5, Sean N/A)
Added very little spark to the attack coming on; largely ineffective sub. (Brian) … Not enough time to make an impact. (Sean)
Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He hosted Revolution Recap, a weekly radio program covering the New England Revolution and U.S. Men's National Team from 2005-2008. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters, and can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian O'Connell has covered the New England Revolution since 2006, and has written extensively for the Associated Press, Revsnet.com, and New England Soccer News. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters, and can be easily reached at BOConnell21@aol.com.