Okay… I’m making a new segment on the site and we’re going to call it “The Sounders Chalkboard” as we review chalkboard data delivered straight from MLS. Tonights international game hosted by Houston and featuring two Sounders in the US vs. Canada match should prove to a prime opportunity to start this up.
- EJ clocks in good for 19/23 passes, but showed 8 of 10 in forward passes inside the attacking third.
- Only featured in two headers, one of them in the box as pass and a decent set-up.
- He only had one shot, that was in the second half, I largely believe that was off-target due to being deflected. The brilliant referees obviously disagreed.
- The key stat of his performance, at least to me, is that he lost the ball eight times after tackles, five of those were in the attacking half and the rest at midfield.
- Looking at his average position in the game, it was almost 5 yards outside of the 18 yard box and looking at his heat map it’s quite possible he didn’t cross midfield, though in fairness it wasn’t really required.
These are just a few basic observances. I’m sure you all have your own as well. The big thing here is that EJ was kept largely in a facilitating role. Though, he did have some opportunities to try and create some chances. Unfortunately it was rare that he received proper service, cue the Mauro Rosales jokes.
The one brilliant opportunity he had was in the 60′ minute on a cross from none-other-than Brad Evans who produced a well timed cross to a trailing Eddie Johnson behind Brad Davis. He unfortunately miss struck it under pressure and had it sail far over the goal posts. Outside of that moment it largely was a lot of missed moments for the Sounders striker.
- 140 touches… the man was involved with this team.
- Short Passes, Crosses, Throw-ins, Blocks, Clearances, Drawing fouls what wasn’t this guy doing out on the pitch? Well, ya know, outside of not scoring goals.
- Evans passing chart is a wild wacky bowl of string. So rather than try and dissect them all, let’s take note of the three key passes.
- Much like Eddie Johnson, the biggest knock to Evans game was turning the ball over. They combined for over 20% of all lost balls in this game as Evans added 17 to Johnsons 8.
You want to know why not to worry about Patrick Ianni and his … whatever he exactly hurt? Evans was very solid out of the right back spot and I can’t imagine that he would be that much worse shifted over one to Ianni’s spot on the backline. I’d rather have his ability up top for Seattle but his versatile nature enabled him to be a help to the Mens National team tonight.
I wonder with a night like tonight, in which Evans was so crucial in so many roles, where does he land for Honduras? Having Steve Cherundolo out for the up coming match could force US coach Jurgen Klinsmann to carry the Seattle Pocket Knife with him down to Using him at the very least in the 18 man roster with Timmy Chandler coming in to start and replace the veteran US right fullback, Cherundolo.
Regardless of what Evans role is with the National Team going forward he displayed why he’s become such a vital piece for Seattle.