Player Ratings: D.C. United Vs. Houston Dynamo, Round 3

The margin of D.C. United's 4-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo is somewhat significant, and not just because of the goal differential in the standings. It was significant because it exposed weaknesses.

One weakness I hadn't counted on was our defending on the wings. The wide players on the Dynamo were running free, and it served to remind me why Chris Pontius was moved out of the left midfield spot where he spent most of his first three MLS seasons. His defensive work rate could use some improvement. Despite that though, Pontius was by far the best attacking threat for D.C. No one scored, but if anyone was going to score, it would have been Pontius. United finished the match with three shots on target, and two were from Pontius. Danny Cruz, on the other hand, offered little besides his strong defensive work rate, and gave up a late penalty kick in the process.

This match also featured the return of the Dejan Jakovic that we've grown to love/hate over the years. He turned in a very very solid defensive performance, save for one play. How very Jakovic of him. Jakovic made possibly the second worst mistake of the game by failing to mark Will Bruin on the second goal for Houston. Brandon McDonald could have done more to stop the preceding pass from Luiz Camargo on the same play, but he also played a fairly decent game otherwise.

I already dedicated almost the entire match review story to Bill Hamid, so I'm not sure much more needs to be added. He made a mistake. He knows it. And it can't happen again.

Its rare that a player's most productive moment in a match is when he goes down injured, but I think that may have been the case with Robbie Russell. His 40 minutes of action saw United give up two goals, both of which could have been prevented. Should have been prevented. The Dynamo generated far too many chances. Our defense must do better, and Russell was the weakest link on the night.

Do you remember when Maicon Santos became Maicon Fuckin Santos? It was against the New York Red Bulls when he threw their defenders aside like he was the Green Ranger, and they puddies - powerless, nameless, arms flailing, speaking in tongues. What happened to that Santos? We've seen several United players already this year emerge from the bench to earn back their starting jobs. Its Santos' turn to try.

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