Time for some clean up. Here's our player ratings and corresponding quotes from D.C. United's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at RFK Stadium on Wednesday - the exciting match that ended the team's season.
From essentially the opening whistle, Dwayne De Rosario looked hurt. He was limping all over the field. But on this night, I feel like DeRo could have had both his legs removed before the match and still would have scored. We spoke to him after the match (while he stood in a bath tub) and he certainly wasn't making any excuses. "At halftime I didn't think I was gonna be able to make it. But sometimes you gotta step it up for your team. And that's what I tried to do, and help my team get in a good position to hopefully win the game ... Even when you're tired, you gotta still dig down deep and figure out a way to get that out of you. To get behind the ball and make that final pass or finish your chance." De Rosario showed displayed the leadership qualities that this team desperately needs.
When addressing the media in the post-game press conference, Ben Olsen raved about Perry Kitchen, saying "It's exciting to have him in this organization. He's a big-time player and he's got a huge heart." Kitchen described his role as being "put in there to try to keep the game connected ... and communicate to the guys to make sure our shape was good." Kitchen's talking points were the same as they've been in previous matches, but when asked if he felt comfortable in D-Mid role, Kitchen smirked. "Uh, yeah its definitely a good fit for me I think. But just like I've said all year, wherever they need me is where I'm gonna play. I've played in a bunch of different spots so I'm always gonna go out there and try my best." But his body language was different this time. It was different from when he was asked the same question about playing right back. The change in Kitchen's demeanor was noticeable enough to conclude that defensive midfielder is his preferred position, and it's probably where he'll spend plenty of his time for this club in the future.
Blake Brettschneider thought momentarily that he would be the hero of United's season, heading in a De Rosario cross that would have given United a lead in the final minutes of the match. He was offside and the goal wouldn't stand, but the young forward provided the work rate necessary to earn an invitation back to this club for 2012.
This match was a typical performance from United's center backs. If I said it was a performance that defined the season, I'd be selling it short. It was a performance that defined the last half decade. Brandon McDonald and Ethan White were steady and sound, winning every ball that was forced into the area, and limiting their opponents to only low-percentage shots. Except for one mental mistake that is. Its just so typical.
We've already covered Joseph Ngwenya in depth. So long Joe. We hardly knew you.