Realio’s score: 6.85 in 13 appearances
Community score: 6.88
MLS App 6, Rating 6.67; CCL App 7, Rating 7.00; MOTM 1
2022 Recap: 2022 ends with a Realio’s Ratings champion who solely performed in 13 matches. We had been left to surprise what may have occurred had João Paulo not torn his ACL within the Concacaf Champions League closing. We won’t ever know, however we do know the crew was significantly better with him than with out. The crew’s file with him on the sphere was good — 5 wins, 3 losses, and 4 attracts for a 1.46 factors per recreation, however that solely tells half the story. A Sounders squad that struggled all year long was significantly better with JP on the sphere. During the video games he performed, Seattle had a objective differential of +12, as he had the power to enhance all aspects of the match. When a defender wanted cowl, JP was the man to pop up and make the play within the field to stop a shot. When Seattle wanted possession and somebody to push by the center, he carried the ball on the dribble into attacking areas. JP had a objective, an help, and 6 key passes in his six MLS matches, which made him one of many high scorers and creators… all from a deep defensive place that usually requested him to be the enforcer as effectively. His 53 MLS duels averaged out to a duel each 8.6 minutes, a mean that was clearly missed as those that crammed in when he was gone exterior of Danny Leyva (Leyva each 7.7, Obed Vargas ever 9.2 minutes, Josh Atencio each 9.3 minutes, Albert Rusnák each 13.5 minutes) weren’t almost as a lot of a defensive hindrance within the midfield. While this may not appear quite a bit at first look, that’s 5 extra defensive actions per match than Rusnák, and the willingness to get into and win bodily battles within the center was vastly missed because the season wore on. JP wasn’t simply good at scoring, defending, and helping, he was additionally wonderful at controlling the match by his possession numbers. He was credited with three turnovers in whole within the six matches he performed, and barely misplaced the ball, regardless that he was typically the particular person getting it below (and assuredly getting out of) duress. This player merely made everybody round him so significantly better, as they knew they had been getting defensive assist and a assured protected outlet, a tireless midfield runner who can be a get away choice able to hitting the essential over-the-top ball or switching go , and an important playmaker who knew when to hitch the assault with a by ball or third man assault. When given an opportunity to strike on objective, he did that. All had been displayed in a MOTM efficiency in opposition to Minnesota away on April 1: “With a extra parallel position to Rusnák, João Paulo was in all places on the sphere, contributing massively to virtually each side of the match. His MOTM efficiency displayed wonderful passing (85 % on a team-high 97 touches), protection (team-high 4 tackles), and attacking (team-high three photographs, two key passes, and a objective). He did all of it. It was an ideal urgent second within the thirty eighth minute through Morris, Roldan, and Nico that created a turnover and fast counter by a vertical run. João instantly drifted into the open house and was discovered by a psychic Nicolás Lodeiro. JP’s first-time shot was a blistering exterior of the correct foot shot from 20 yards out that hit the again of the web earlier than Minnesota knew what occurred.” João is without doubt one of the uncommon gamers who can and can have an effect on all elements of the match. Unfortunately, he tore an ACL at first of the CCL closing and was sorely missed as he needed to watch the remainder of the season from the sidelines.
Going Forward: Coming again from an ACL tear could also be simpler than it was a decade in the past, however it’s nonetheless an enormous enterprise that requires bodily dedication, psychological power, and luck. There is not any assure that João might be nearly as good as earlier than his harm, and he could take a while to search out out who he might be as a player. For each Morris or Lodeiro who returns sturdy from a knee surgical procedure, there’s a Bruin or Marshall who aren’t capable of recuperate as effectively. At 31, JP is younger sufficient to count on that he’ll return as sturdy as earlier than, however he may have a while to acclimate to recreation velocity and aggressiveness. If he can present something close to what he was doing firstly of 2022, he might be a simple comeback player of the 12 months (and darkhorse MVP) candidate in 2023. JP, when wholesome, places up all-time high 5 score averages and , like 2021, was once more the very best ranked player on SSFC in 2022. Everything on the crew begins together with his play, and it’s important that he (and Seattle) work out their id rapidly going into the brand new season.
The 2022 Seattle Sounders crew had the bottom general season numbers ever obtained in Realio’s Ratings, and that correlated to their first time lacking the playoffs. Although many gamers dropped from their averages, a lot of their struggles might be attributed to a protracted season (42 matches rated, the identical quantity because the 2016 season that included six playoff video games) and accidents to key gamers. The core group has one other probability to make a degree earlier than the subsequent technology arrives, and to make that time they are going to be in search of trophies and redemption from a disappointing 2022. Seattle clearly has the expertise to be elite (insert witty CCL quip right here), however must proceed to evolve a system that enables them to succeed even when not carried by superstars. In a protracted MLS season, the distinction is usually just some factors, and final 12 months the Sounders had quite a few misplaced alternatives and dropped factors. The basis from the academy to the primary crew is robust and stuffed with high quality. Figuring out the midfield formation and positioning and discovering one of the best use of seven to eight interchangeable elements would be the first vitally vital missions of the teaching workers. If these points might be resolved, there’s each motive to count on Seattle to compete for quite a few trophies in 2023.