Player Ratings: New England Revolution at Chicago Fire

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.

Matt Reis – Average Rating: 7.5 (Brian 7, Sean 8)
Denial on Dilly Duka’s blast was vintage Reis, and his confidence inside the 18 doused a pair of Fire attacks. What goalkeeper controversy? (Brian) … Made four saves – none netter than the fantastic diving effort on Duka’s shot – for the shutout and did an excellent job preventing dangerous rebounds and being quick off his line when he needed to be. (Sean)

Kevin Alston – Average Rating:  5.75 (Brian 5.5, Sean 6)
Held it down on the defensive side, but was a rare sight going forward, likely attributable to playing behind Smith. (Brian) … Picked up where he left off at the end of last year when he was on the left – with a solid, conservative performance. (Sean)

Jose Goncalves – Average Rating: 6.25 (6, 6.5)
Communicated well with Reis and Soares, won some dangerous challenges, and even though he isn’t very speedy, his ability to anticipate a run or pass was evident. (Brian) … Read the game very well defensively, though his distribution out of the back wasn’t great at times. (Sean)

A.J. Soares – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
A different – and improved – player when partnered with a skilled veteran. Showed good instincts and made a couple of game-saving tackles. (Brian) … After going through a bit of a sophomore slump last season, Soares showed well to start 2013 and it looks like he could form a good partnership with Goncalves. (Sean)

Andrew Farrell – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
An impressive debut. A couple of glaring mistakes, but on the whole, he looked like a season pro. Explosive speed allowed him to make some solid recoveries, and picked his spots well going forward. (Brian) … Some excellent play that showed Farrell’s huge potential, mixed in with a few rookie mistakes. Showed plenty of confidence, but perhaps too much at times on a couple of ventures forward where he dribbled too much and turned the ball over. (Sean)

Donnie Smith – Average Rating: 4 (Brian 4, Sean 4)
Admirable effort, but looked uncomfortable on the ball. Couldn’t get on same page with teammates and was burned deep inside his own end in the 27th minute sequence that saw MacDonald murder an open look. (Brian) … A forgettable debut for the rookie. After a promising preseason, Smith didn’t quite seem ready for the speed of MLS regular season play and made a few mistakes that could’ve been costly. Still, some positive signs in the attack. (Sean)

Clyde Simms – Average Rating: 5.75 (Brian 6, Sean 5.5)
Quietly consistent, aided the defense and stayed within himself, making short, safe passes. Complimented Cisse well. (Brian) … Typical Clyde Simms performance – easy to forget he was out there at times, but played smart, no mistakes, and for the most part it worked. At times the Revs needed a bit more presence in midfield. (Sean)

Kalifa Cisse – Average Rating: 6 (Brian 6, Sean 6)
Added bite to the attack, even though he should’ve done better on his 5th minute header. Gave the midfield some much-needed physicality. (Brian) … Some good runs early. Showed he could contribute to the attack, but the spacing between the central midfielders still needs work. (Sean)

Lee Nguyen – Average Rating: 5.5 (Brian 5.5, Sean 5.5)
Flashed some fancy moves, and helped spear the attack, but some of his final passes were lacking. (Brian) … Didn’t have the impact on the game he’s capable of and struggled to find attackers with his crosses and set pieces. Still, looked dangerous when he had the ball. (Sean)

Juan Toja – Average: 5.75 (Brian 5.5, Sean 6)
Couldn’t put away a couple of dangerous chances, but he strengthened the attack nevertheless. Applied some high pressure, won back possession a few times and will probably do better given more time with his teammates. (Brian) … Seemed to find his way into the game as it went on with some great combination play in the attack. Contributed to the build-up of the goal and had a few chances himself that perhaps he should’ve done better with. (Sean)

Jerry Bengtson – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 6, Sean 6.5)
It wasn’t a pretty finish, but ugly goals count for just as much as the pretty ones. Good holdup play and positioned himself well in the attacking third. (Brian) … It seemed like the Revs couldn’t find him in the first half, but Bengtson kept working hard and made no mistake when he got his chance. (Sean).

(sub) Kelyn Rowe – Average Rating: 6.25 (Brian 5.5, Sean 7)
Cool chip to Bengtson helped seal the deal, but also won the poor Larentowicz clearance moments before. Could’ve had two assists had Toja converted his 56th minute chance. Tough to see him get beat up so much. (Brian) … A spark plug off the bench. Great chip to set up Bengtson’s goal and Rowe’s overall smart play after entering changed the game for the Revs. (Sean)

(sub) Diego Fagundez – Average Rating: 4.5 (Brian 4.5, Sean 4.5)
Needless yellow card, didn’t add much off the bench. (Brian) … Turned the ball over too easily after entering and picked up the Revs only yellow of the day. (Sean)

(sub) Chad Barrett – Average Rating: N/A
Not enough time to make an impact.

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About Sean Donahue

Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He has covered four MLS Cups, in addition to covering various international matches, including World Cup Qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has done freelance work for the AP and ESPN Boston. Sean 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. Sean can be reached at nesoccertoday@gmail.com or followed on twitter @SeanLDonahue