Player ratings are really hard to do in games like this. D.C. United dominated the stat sheet in chances, shots on target, possession, passing. Everywhere except where it counts. The score. There was none.
They say ties are like kissing your sister. So what then is a scoreless tie at home?
Given four days to consider what exactly this game meant, I feel no different about it. I thought we played great. I thought we deserved to win, and played well enough to win, but came up just short. We were better everywhere except for FC Dallas' goalline. Everywhere except for the place that Kevin Hartman resides.
Player ratings are hard to do in games like this. So I hope you'll forgive me my optimism.
As promised, and as deserved, the entire back line gets top honors, along with goalkeeper Bill Hamid. And after giving up no goals from the run of play in two straight matches against Western Conference playoff teams, this group of five should be expected to stay together for the near future.
We were surprised by how well they played, but they sure weren't. As Ethan White told me, Perry Kitchen wasn't out of the position on the right because that's where he played, next to White, when the two first at age 16 with the National Team. White also told me that Daniel Woolard has been doing well since preseason. Meanwhile, King had nothing but nice things to say about the fellow former Terp saying that White has "matured and getting a lot more confident." Dejan Jakovic was the veteran of the group, but make no doubt about it, Kitchen is still the leader.
We've already discussed in detail the central midfield partnership of Dax McCarty and Stephen King. McCarty talked after the game about how it was "definitely bittersweet" playing against his former team, but he said that "after the first five minutes, it was just like any other game." Somehow I don't believe that entirely. Dude played his butt off, and he combined well with King as the two played off each other.
I'll let Ben Olsen tell you about the performance of Andy Najar: "He was special tonight. He looked like the best player on the field in my mind." Best attacking player wearing black? Yes. Best player? No. See above.
And now I'll let Charlie Davies tell you himself why he doesn't deserve higher: The forward described for us the play in which he was through on goal but couldn't get the ball around Hartman: "I was like 'whoa' then I was like 'go go go.' I was thinking about the ball in the back of the net and that's what caused me to miss the first touch."