The month of August was about as uneven and inconsistent as you'll see from D.C. United, as the team finished the month with a record of 2-2-2. One game where United looked like the best team in the league (a 4-2 win over the Chicago Fire), one game where they looked like the worst (a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Impact), and everything in between.
No player truly established himself as a force during that time. If one had, our record may have been better. But still, the show must go on, and we must still decide the best player of the month for United in August. And no, you CAN'T vote for Hamdi Salihi.
I solicited the help of our writing team to rally for your votes. You can do some rallying yourself below in the comments.
AMT: August player of the month is a tough one for me because it wasn't just a month of ups and downs - it was a month of team-wide ups and downs. Four players (DeRo, NDL, Long Tan and CP13) were involved in the goal that secured a win in the opening game of the month (at Columbus), and four different players scored in the game that marked the month's zenith (vs. Chicago). Then there were games like the trip to Montreal, where nobody stepped up. I can't really give my vote to a defensive player this month, since we've given up nearly 1.7 gpg over the six games, and that means not even Andy Najar's revelation at fullback will get the nod.
Ultimately, I don't really want to abstain, so my vote goes to Dwayne De Rosario, who netted MLS regular season goals 99 and 100 on his career (and 101, but for Mark Geiger), and did so while enjoying a welcome return to form for the captain. During the month, no matter where he was deployed, he was active and dangerous, creating chances for himself and his teammates.Chest: While Andy Najar's outstanding performance against the Chicago Fire was clearly the high point for any United player in August, and Dwayne De Rosario deserves recognition for his 100th MLS goal and continued ability to set up others, I'm going to choose Nick DeLeon. The winger has broken through the rookie wall this month, looking as tricky as ever on the dribble while creating chances for himself and others.
DeLeon scored twice, but his best moment - the brilliant run past Columbus Crew left back Josh Williams to set up Chris Pontius for the only goal in a 1-0 victory over the yellow football team people tend to laugh at - may end up being a big moment for United's 2012 season rather than just a highlight for a promising young player.
Martin: It's true that the 1.7 goals allowed per game isn't very attractive. No fan base should be satisfied with that, and the defense must be better for United to compete in the postseason this year. But the goals allowed stat wouldn't look quite as bad without the disastrous Impact game on our record. It would look better still with the Sporting Kansas City game wiped clean as well. There's only one defender on our roster who started four out of the six games this month. Dejan Jakovic was on the bench for the two losses. He was on the field for the two wins and two draws.
Since returning to the starting lineup in the second half of this season, Jakovic is becoming the player that we've always thought he could be. He's strong, he's fast, his awareness and anticipation have improved. Jakovic may not yet be an MLS best 11 player, he may not be the vocal leader that we had in Ryan Nelsen, but he's come a long way. And he had a very good month.
The player of the month for D.C. United in August was...
Andy Najar (34 votes)
Dwayne De Rosario (28 votes)
Nick DeLeon (26 votes)
Dejan Jakovic (17 votes)
105 total votes