When the Impact scored to take the lead 2-1, I was pretty worried. United's offense had shown to be pretty incapable of participating in high scoring shootouts this season. Olsen's boys like to keep it tight at the back, and if that can't happen a win is usually out of the question. Then came Nick DeLeon, and Luis Silva, and Luis Silva again! The Impact are a horrid side this year, but it's relieving to see United actually manhandle an opponent they were meant to manhandle. D.C United is at the top of the Eastern Conference and it couldn't feel better, now the real test is whether they can stay there. The Sounders loom on the horizon. Here are your player ratings.
Andrew Dykstra: 5.5
There was nothing horrible in Dykstra's performance Wednesday night, but it does force you to notice what the team misses when Hamid is out. Both Impact goals were tremendous shots, but both were also prime examples of goals that Hamid might be able to stop with his supreme athleticism. Dykstra is a capable back up, but he lackes the ability to make those truly game-changing saves that Hamid can. Rest that leg up Bill!
Sean Franklin: 4.5
The miscues on Romero's early goal we're painful to watch, and a healthy reminder of the player Franklin is. I'm still very comfortable with Franklin on the right, but he's not the type of player that can be left isolated against an attacker. His attacking can be superb, however that means that he needs support defensively from both DeLeon and Boswell.
Part of Steve Birnbaum's early success in this league can be attributed to Boswell. The captain's veteran play and leadership is undoubtedly helping the rookie beside him, and everyone else on the back line for that matter. That being said, Boswell's continued inability to possess the ball out the back is driving me up a wall. Passing from the center backs is an aspect of the game that be easily overlooked, yet essential to a team. Having center backs that can play into the midfielders or up to the attackers is a weapon. If Boswell can tighten up his passing to at least give the strikers a chance to contest the ball the rewards would be plentiful.
I'm considering the possibility that Christian's destiny is to never be removed from the starting line up.
Sensational, this is the kind of performance I've been waiting for from Kitchen. Physical, intelligent, and most importantly incisive with his passing. It's awesome to see Kitchen become increasingly confident on the ball as he progresses into his career.
Davy Arnaud: 7
Who knew that a yellow card suspension for Davy Arnaud would suck so much? He's become incredibly integral to what these team tries to do on the field. It's gotten to the point where he isn't really replaceable in the team. My vote is for Jared Jeffrey to partner Kitchen in the midfield.
Chris Rolfe: 7.5
There are so many moments of stunning quality from Rolfe that fly under the radar. Some of his touches to keep possession are so vital, even if it just involves passing back to the left back. I've written about how Rolfe can be marginalized on the wing, but this match showed how he's still the best option at that spot, at least until Chris Pontius returns.
Nick DeLeon: 8
Words can't describe how refreshing it is to finally put down a quality rating for DeLeon. His goal to tie things up in the 1st half is what I've been screaming at him to do for the entire season. A quick decisive run with an instinctive finish. Brilliant. DeLeon has always come across as a player who is dependent on confidence. Hopefully he can use this game to climb out of his slump.
Fabian Espindola: 8.5
Docked .5 for that silly kick out at Felipe. Yes, I know Felipe is a twit, but Espindola is vital to United's offense, and having him suspended could cost points. Three assists against the Impact continues what is shaping up to be a career year for him, so having a suspension halt the momentum is a real disappointment.
Luis Silva: 9
Has Ben Olsen finally cracked the code?! Time will tell of course but Silva at striker was a revelation. All that creative skill that has been frustratingly bottled up was released, and it was beautiful. The performance also showed how having two fluid strikers helps United's attack tremendously, so I hope at least retains his place against Rochester in the midweek.
Conor Doyle: 5.5
What do you make of a player like Doyle? Looks lively enough but also never seems likely to score. Again, I'm fine with him as a sub but with Silva's performance he's moving even further down the depth chart.
Lewis Neal: 5.5
This was a Lewis Neal performance.
Alex Caskey: 5
I'm still slightly bitter about that red card.