New England Soccer Today

Player Ratings: New England Revolution vs. Chicago Fire

Clyde Simms was our an of the Match on Saturday. (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 Brian O’Connell and Sean Donahue contributed ratings for the New England Revolution’s 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire.

Bobby Shuttleworth – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Hardly tested, but commanded the air well by snuffing out a pair of dangerous crosses in the first half. Easy save on Nyarko earned him his second shutout. (Brian) … Could his night have been any easier? Maybe not, but he did everything asked to get the shutout, though he was bailed out by Guy when he was beaten on a 51st minute corner. (Sean)

Kevin Alston – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
The most active defender on the field (91 touches), stayed true to his defensive duties and helped shut down Chicago’s right flank. (Brian) … Another strong showing from Alston, who has found new life since moving to the left. Still, with how much he gets forward, it would be nice to see some better shots. (Sean)

Darrius Barnes – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Good communication with Soares and Simms to render Rolfe and afterthought; only qualm is that he’s capable of better distribution (60% pass completion rate). (Brian) … Solid showing, though distribution is usually better. (Sean)

A.J. Soares – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Passing out of the back was impressive (84.4% pass completion rate), and avoided the costly mistake. A performance to build upon. (Brian) … Error free showing with solid distribution, though the Fire attack didn’t offer much in the creativity department. (Sean)

Ryan Guy – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5, Sean 6)
Saw the most touches among all Revs players, likely a result of the overall defensive approach, oh, and Gonzalo Segares in his area of the field. To his credit, didn’t make any glaring mistakes. (Brian) … A couple positioning issues, but made some key plays, including a hugely important header after Shuttleworth failed to reach a corner, and overall put in a strong performance while clearly not playing his best position. (Sean)

Blair Gavin – Average Rating: 6.5 (Brian 6.5, Sean 6.5)
It wasn’t so much that he saw the ball a lot as it was what he did with it at his feet. Off the ball runs were sound, as well. (Brian) … There wasn’t anything too flashy from Gavin, but he put in a solid two way showing in the center of the midfield and that, perhaps more than anything else, made those around him in the midfield better. (Sean)

Clyde Simms – Average Rating: 7.5 (Brian 8, Sean 7)
Talk about the unsung hero; not only did he help bottle Rolfe and keep the Fire’s attack in check, but his 93.7% pass completion rate, and team-high 12 recovery runs unquestionably strengthened the Revs shape. (Brian) … Looked like the Simms who was so impressive at the start of the season when Shalrie Joseph was out there with him. It may have been his first time partnering with Gavin, but the pair seemed to function together as a unit much better than any other central midfield pairing the Revs have used over the past three months. (Sean)

Kelyn Rowe – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5, Sean 5.5)
Displayed good vision and technique on assist to Diego, and became more involved in the attack than his previous three performances. (Brian) … Got the assist for Fagundez’s goal, and had a decent showing, though the offense was unable to generate many chances. (Sean)

Diego Fagundez – Average Rating: 6.75 (Brian 6.5, Sean 7)
High class goal decides the match early; still gets forced off the ball a lot, but out wide, it certainly wasn’t as frequent as it is when he plays centrally. (Brian) … Fantastic goal to win the match and should’ve had a late assist on a solid run if Bengtson had finished. Not much offense in the game, but Fagundez seemed to be involved in most of it. (Sean)

Dimitry Imbongo – Average Rating: 5.25 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5)
Actually linked with his teammates pretty well (85% pass completion rate), but fired off an obligatory bad shot late. A quietly encouraging performance. (Brian) … His best passing night since joining the team and had some good moments offensively, but shooting and off the ball runs still left something to be desired. (Sean)

Jerry Bengtson – Average: 4.25 (Brian 4.5, Sean 5)
Confounding performance; forced off the ball often, passing accuracy barely over 50%, and missed another sure goal in the final minute. (Brian) … Worked hard, but the Revs didn’t get a DP to work hard, they got one to score goals and the one fantastic chance Bengtson got, he wasted. (Sean)

(sub) Juan Toja – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
His effectiveness seems to be waning as the season progresses; mediocre performance does little to aid the attack in the latter part of the game. (Brian) … Fantastic pass to spring Fagundez free on the play that led to Bengtson’s chance, but otherwise unable to spark a stagnant Revs offense to life. (Sean)

(sub) Chris Tierney – Average Rating: 5 (Brian 5, Sean 5)
Odd to see him so far up and central; didn’t do much to help the attack, though. (Brian) … Not sure what role Heaps wanted him to play, but he was all over the place and didn’t make much of impact off the bench, despite expending plenty of effort. (Sean)


  1. Chris B

    October 24, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    I agree on Simms. I personally think Diego edged him out for MOTM but I definitely see where you’re going.

    Just curious- How do you guys grade goalkeepers? GK is obviously the most unique position so I feel if a GK has little to do shouldn’t they have a high grade? I think it’s a bit unfair to give Bobby a grade in the 5 range. I know he wasn’t spectacular, but he did basically everything he had to do. Shouldn’t he therefore have an 8 or 9 out of 10 on account of a shaky moment here or there but a generally solid performance?

    I’m finding it hard to articulate what I want to say, but I think you understand my confusion.

    • Sean Donahue

      October 24, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      Rating goalkeepers with little to do is difficult, but isn’t a completely unique scenario in my opinion. Along the same lines, if a team possesses the ball really well, dominates an opponent and a center back has little or nothing to do all night, it’s pretty much the same scenario. If a forward on a team being dominated has no chances through no fault of their own, it’s not all that dissimilar a situation either.

      In none of those scenarios would I consider giving and 8, 9, or a 10. I couldn’t justify giving an 8, 9, 10 to someone for doing little or nothing, while giving the same rating in another game for someone with 10 spectacular saves, 5 goal line clearances, a hat trick, etc.

      To take it a step further, a 5 isn’t a “bad” rating, it’s a rating for an average performance. In my mind, every player essentially starts the game with a five. A bad play moves that rating down a bit, while a good play moves it up. Someone who gets a shutout and makes some big saves will get a better rating than someone who gets a shutout with 0 saves. Admittedly, that explanation may make the ratings sound more objective than they really are, but it’s the best way I can explain it.

      All that said, Shuttleworth was not flawless. His distribution found teammates less than 50% of the time. He also made one pretty significant mistake, which was magnified by how little he had to do, and if an opponent gets to this ball instead of Guy, all of a sudden that 5.5 looks very generous:

      • Chris B

        October 25, 2012 at 3:56 pm

        Looking back on what I said and reading what you said I think I understand you now. A 5-6 makes sense for Bobby specifically and any GK with little to do for that matter.

        Thanks for explaining your methods/thoughts!

  2. Robert

    October 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    Off-topic – when do you plan on reviewing the team this year, and the team going forward to next season? I’m curious which player contracts expire after this season, and possibly any moves that you would like to see the team make in the off-season. Thank you. And keep-up the great work.

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