New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: New England Revolution at Chicago Fire

Matt Reis put in a solid showing in net, despite the Revs loss. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

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 Julian Cardillo contributed ratings for the New England Revolution’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire.

Matt Reis – Average Rating: 6 (Sean 6, Julian 6)
If not for Reis, the end scoreline could’ve been far worse. Looked in vintage form with some fantastic diving saves. (Sean) … Made some nice saves and nearly saved the penalty kick, but nothing he could do on the second goal. (Julian)

Kevin Alston – Average Rating: 3.75 (Sean 3.5, Julian 4)
A few nice runs early, but struggled mightily with Patrick Nyarko and lost his mark on multiple set pieces. With Cardenas – who doesn’t have great defensive awareness – in front of him, Alston took way too many risks on ventures forward. (Sean) … As always, good job of getting forward, but doesn’t get back in time. Poor job of marking MacDonald and Rolfe all night. (Julian)

A.J. Soares – Average Rating: 3.25 (Sean 3, Julian 3.5)
Nightmare game as he gave up the penalty – slide tackling in that area is always a risky proposition – and was beaten by Sherjill MacDonald on the second goal. Had trouble all night with Chris Rolfe and beating his marks to headers. Had a decent shot late, but passing out of the back wasn’t as sharp as usual. (Sean) … Passing out of the back was poor, so was his marking of Chicago’s forwards. Definitely a penalty kick, no matter what the commentators say. (Julian)

Stephen McCarthy – Average Rating: 4.5 (Sean 5, Julian 4)
Decent showing, some saving tackles and blocks but also had a few missed tackles and was caught forward a bit on the play that led to the penalty. (Sean) … Passing out of the back was marginally better than Soares, though he, like Soares, fell asleep on the second goal. (Julian)

Chris Tierney – Average: 3.75 (Sean 4, Julian 3.5)
Had no shortage of trouble with the Fire’s speedy and creative attackers, like the rest of the defense. Didn’t venture forward much, though set pieces were decent. (Sean) … Set pieces were lacking and he struggled for pace at left back. Didn’t really seem to fit in offensively or defensively. (Julian)

Clyde Simms – Average Rating: 3.75 (Sean 4, Julian 3.5)
Another sub-par showing from Simms after he was Mr. Consistency to start the season. Left Rolfe – and left Soares out to dry – on the penalty play and was often pushed further forward than his central midfield partner. Clearly needs work on his shooting. (Sean) … Many loose passes, some lapses, and a few ill-advised shots. Simms is definitely not looking like the seasoned veteran he was earlier in the season. (Julian)

Ryan Guy – Average Rating: 6 (Sean 5.5, Julian 6.5)
No shortage of effort – demonstrated by his late sprint back to cover on defense and prevent a third goal from the Fire. Still, though his performance was admirable, center midfield hardly seems his best position and some of his best work offensively came when he drifted to the right. (Sean) … His efforts earn him lots of praise as he tried to do whatever he could to help the team snatch a result. Maybe central midfield isn’t his true position, but he at least put his best foot forward. (Julian)

Fernando Cardenas – Average Rating: 4.5 (Sean 4.5, Julian 4.5)
Mixed night. Got the goal, which probably raises his rating a point, but was one of the players who seemed to fall asleep a bit on the throw-in leading to the Fire’s second goal. In general, defensive awareness wasn’t good enough and was unable to do enough offensively to make up for it. (Sean) … Yeah, good job getting the ball to go into the net, but he was stopped way too easily most of the other times he went forward. (Julian)

Lee Nguyen – Average Rating: 4 (Sean 4, Julian 4)
Fairly invisible night before being pulled at halftime. Perhaps slowed by injury. (Sean) … Really quiet night from Lee, probably due to injury. (Julian)

Blake Brettschneider – Average Rating: 5 (Sean 5, Julian 5)
Showed some strength in the hold-up play up top. Some decent passing and pressure up top, though he never had a shooting chance. (Sean) … Actually looked calm and confident. Decent runs, though he struggled to get his foot onto any pass or cross. (Julian)

Saer Sene – Average Rating: 3.75 (Sean 4, Julian 3.5)
Decent service into the box led to Cardenas’ goal. Otherwise passing was pretty poor and resorted to long shots while seeming too hesitant to shoot in and around the box. (Sean) … Someone explain to all of us what his position is. Forward? Midfielder? Winger? Saer, just get in the box and shoot. (Julian)

(sub) Benny Feilhaber – Average Rating: 5.5 (Sean 5, Julian 6)
Mixed night off the bench. Some good work and great effort defensively. Again, often stuck too far back, even behind Simms, and passing in the attack was too slow at times. Fire defense was able to read several of his passes to cut them out. (Sean) … A nice spark off the bench with some nice passes. Seemed to do better to avoid being fouled and kept his cool reasonably well. (Julian)

(sub) Jerry Bengston – Average Rating: 5 (Sean 5, Julian 5)
Some positive glimpses, but also some signs of fatigue from his crazy playing/travel schedule. (Sean) … Just too tired to be that involved in the attack. (Julian)

(sub) Kelyn Rowe – Average Rating: 4.75 (Sean 4, Julian 5.5)
Passing was poor and was run off the ball far too easily. (Sean) … Some nice ideas, but his final pass was definitely not killer. (Julian)


  1. W Peter Jones

    August 19, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Hi there, I am wondering if the MLS checks the performance of the refs in the MLS like the do with the Premier Leauge??

    • Sean Donahue

      August 19, 2012 at 11:15 am

      They do — and they’ve suspended refs in the past — but I didn’t see much wrong with the ref last night.

  2. Brian

    August 19, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Are the ratings based upon the individual and the maximal potential or equivalence for a given position? Is a 5 rating based upon performance of a league wide average or the individuals average? For example, if Simms had he identical performance to guy last night would he have a 6 or would he have to do considerably more? Thanks

    • Sean Donahue

      August 19, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      They are based on equivalence at a given position, otherwise it would be impossible to rate someone on their debut. That said, they are certainly subjective ratings (hence why there are often differences between our two ratings) and players playing out of position does play a role in my thought process when giving a number (In the sense that I gave a 5.5 to Guy, but might have leaned towards a flat 5 if Feilhaber had the same performance), though I can’t speak for the other writers. I don’t consider Simms’ and Guy’s roles identical, as I believe more is expected out of Simms defensively and Guy offensively. If a player is fighting through a clear injury, that can also play a role in my rating.

  3. Mat

    August 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Another terrible game. You’re ratings are right on. Would like to have seen Jerry in the Starting 11 as well as Diego or someone other than Sene or BB. BB is lucky to have a bench spot on this team. And Sene..ugh.

  4. Soul

    August 19, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Read and threw up in my mouth! Next!

  5. rick sewall

    August 19, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    The Rev players talk as if the games are quite even, the team losing only because of a couple of mistakes. They are kidding themselves, were lucky that the score was as close as it was. I am coming to the conclusion that better players are needed. I hope I’m wrong.

  6. W Peter Jones

    August 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Hi I think Rolfe took a dive in the Penalty Box ?Did the ref check with his linesman regarding the penalty.– I thought Mr Heaps was going to make wholesome change in the team last night game What does he see in BB the DC United reject he only scored one goal all season? I think he has to change the defence and attack ie bring Polak and Barnes in .Hey if Allston and Tierney are going to attack the have to defend as well in which they are not doning

  7. gome

    August 19, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    @ Jones, when I saw that play I was thinking the same time, until I saw the replay. Rolfe had a good first touch and the ref was trailing it all the way. The challenge caught the ball as well, but that first touch by Rolfe made him untouchable, so really, it was a silly challenge by AJ. Sad to see we are not the same team vs Chicago. They still have Rolfe but Taylor is retired. Just so not fair.

  8. W Peter Jones

    August 19, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    We may mind that Toronto (Mr Mariner) may be leap froging the REVS at some point during the season they are only 3 points behind us?? Can anybody tell me what is the amount of years Mr Heaps has on his contract with the REVS??? I wonder what is the percentage that a ex soccer player makes a good soccer coach

  9. W Peter Jones

    August 19, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    bentmusket is reporting on twitter that the revs have picked up Dawyne Smith Jamican waived by Seattle playing for Phitsburg Riverhounds he was with the revs at the begining of the season from the supplemeny draft I do not know if this is true story

    • Sean Donahue

      August 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      Smith just played for Seattle in today’s reserve game. Seattle has his MLS rights from the waiver draft because the Revs did not sign him after drafting him. I believe he’s currently in Seattle on a trial basis. I wouldn’t expect him to be coming to the Revs anytime soon.

  10. rick sewall

    August 20, 2012 at 11:09 pm

    It would be nice if the Rev staff could conduct a purely technical practice. Boy do they need it, and the players would love it. Unfortunately, the coaching staff’s knowledge of soccer technique is inadequate, and therefore this type of activity can’t at this time be done. Their mindset is tactical. Talk is cheap, obviously, but it would be very easy for me to prove what I am asserting if I could show what I mean on the field. Any responses?

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