I was at BBVA yesterday here are My Player Ratings:

Deric – 7 – Solid performance, came to claim a few crosses, one in particular where he bravely went over 2 players. Also a great stuff after Ownby accidentally put one of their players through.

Ownby – 6.5 – Did not look particularly comfortable playing RB on the defensive side. Had a great second half once he got into the rhythm of the game. Did a great job overlapping and attacking, again though defensively not great back there but this was obviously just to fill a hole against a team over unpaid college players.

Arena – 6.5 – Looked shaky at first making several errant passes. But once he got into the rhythm he also looked pretty solid and actually made some pretty good looking passes across the field. Good debut.

Boswell – 6.0 – Solid at the back and won most headers he contended for. He gets a 6 though for his passing. I was a bit frustrated to see him hoof hopeless balls up the field instead of playing short on a few too many occasions.

Chabala – 7.5 – I though Chabala had a great game. I was next to the player tunnel and when the players came out none looked more stone faced and totally focused than Chabala. Had a great game, won almost every ball in the air and was all over everything that came his way. Also overlapped great and kept the field wide. Put in some good crosses with both feet and got the assist on Dixon opening goal.

Bryan Salazar – 5.5 – Good debut for an 18 year old player who was in class at his high school that day and will be sitting in class today. He has not been training with the first team regularly because of school. We played a 4-5-1 / 4-3-3 in which he was wide on the right. He looked a little nervous coming out of the tunnel and it also struck me just how YOUNG he looked. He did show flashes with the ball at his feet and certainly tried to move for the ball but was just not brought into the game by his team mates that much. You could see they were hesitant to pass him the ball at times. Very excited about his potential. He is supposed to graduate next week and then will begin training regularly. Slowly but surely, this time next year we may be very excited.

Camargo – 5.0 – looked pretty rusty at first but got into the groove as well. I am just not that convinced by Camargo and considering his salary and what Creavalle brings AND the international spot he takes up i think he is expendable and liekly on his way out this summer. This was a game for him to take by the horns and he was somewhat absent at times. Did recover the ball well but then held it for too long.

Creavalle – 7.5 – Pulled the strings and was a constant outlet sitting just above the back 4. Always looked confident and always tracked back regardless of whose mistake it was when losing possession. Literally out sprinted players who were yards ahead of him to recover the ball. Really impressed with Warren, he has been a great addition to this team. I recall him against SA (i was at that game last year) playing RB and looking quite nervous, he has come a long way. Could have scored a goal after running at the back line and beating about 3 defenders but chose to slot in Johnson, who was not on the same page.

Dixon – 8.0 MOtM – Dixon pulled the offensive strings. Looked extremely confident all game and made some great passes. also gave away some balls by making risky passes. But that is something i like about Dixon, he has a lot of confidence and takes risks, a flashy and creative player. Scored a good team goal by ghosting into the area with a late run. Really impressed, this was a game he needed to take by the horns and truly did. once the game was sealed at 2-0 he was doing some tricks and making some excellent passes while playing out on the right due to substitutions. definitely belongs in the center though.

Johnson – 7.5 – Also had a great game. Looked dangerous through out. Very excited about Johnson, he looked full of confidence and i also had not realized just how big and strong he is. this guy will definitely have an impact this year. Nearly scored on about 2 or 3 occassions. Looked good running at people while playing LW. Then when playing as a striker he looked very comfortable as a target.

Ching – 7.0 – The captain went 70 minutes and looked very good. He worked hard all game like always and created for his team mates. Tried his best to get on the end of some crosses and had a couple shots on goal early. A good performance and you could tell he was leading this team. Great to see him combine with Salazar a couple times. Solid as always.

Driver – 6.0 – came in for Salazar at the 60th. made an impact running at the RB, could have had about 3 assists and perhaps a goal if he had kept a shot down. played about 25 minutes.

Barnes – 6.5 – came in for Ching in the 70th. credit to Barnes for his focus and getting up for this game, also made an instant impact and looked a class above. clearly the best player on the field when he stepped on. scored a lovely free kick into the top corner. i was sitting behind that goal and it was one hell of a shot. he should take some direct free kicks in MLS play. Brad is legit, but some other guys need a chance on those and Barnes showed why he should be in the mix on those.

Moffat – 6.0 – played the final 10 minutes. came on for Camargo and shut the midfield down, pushing Creavalle up.

final note

massive credit to FC Tuscon. they looked very comfortable int he first half and looked a solid team. They are a PDL team which means they are all U-23s and most are college players who are keeping fit in the summer by playing an extra 10-15 games in PDL. These guys are not paid and most of them crash with each others families if they are not locals. They gave a very good account of themselves considering the limited resources and limited time together.

the 2 centerbacks were pretty damn solid all night, winning many headers in the area and clearing 2 shots off the line. Very impressed by them.

The goalkeeper was also a solid shot stopper, made some fantastic saves, one of them a double save early on. if not for him and his 2 centerbacks this could have been a total blow out, especially towards the end where we createdat least 4-6 opportunities to score.

Also, #9 (Velasco) looked a lively player, taking shots and beating some of our defenders.

respect to those guys, especially when you consider they are unpaid, basically “amateur” (college, not quite amateur but not pro either) players.

On to Frisco………….

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