You know what I really liked?
I liked seeing D.C. United play keepaway. In the NFL, that's called the victory formation. We were displaying the possession-oriented passing that helped us win 12 trophies. And to see us doing it against a team in the better half of the league felt extra good.
Hey, its cool and all that we were able to beat the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC . A playoff team is supposed to do that. A playoff team is also supposed to beat other playoff teams at home. Well thats what we did tonight.
And this one felt damn good.
Here's the thing though. I actually think the better team might have won tonight. And they won without even playing their best soccer. United missed lots of passes in the attacking third. But they finished their chances. And they had a goalkeeper in net who prevented the Seattle Sounders from finishing theirs.
Full recap here . Player ratings below.
When D.C. first announced the signing of Charlie Davies , there was one partnership we immediately started salivating over. This was the first night it was on display. Andy Najar combined well with Davies, as the 2010 Rookie of the Year set up both goals, and made us all question where he's been the rest of this season. Josh Wolff also got in on the action as the same three players contributed for both goals. (Why can't MLS award secondary assists by the way?) The crosses from Davies and Wolff were each precise, yet some will tell you that the finishes were easy. Nope. The act of kicking the ball into a mostly open net might be simple. But rewind back a couple frames and look at the runs they made to get in that scoring position. Perfect stuff.
Let's get down to it though. Bill Hamid was awesome tonight. He made the kind of game-saving saves we've been looking for. Aside from that shot-stopping ability, Hamid was vocal, and he made good decisions. That was the best performance I've seen out of a United goalkeeper in quite a while.
The back-line held its own, but the most impressive player to me was Perry Kitchen . It seemed like the rookie was marking the target on just about every Sounders cross, and every time he did well to either cut out the chance, or make it too difficult to be much of a chance. And he did all that while playing on the right, out of his natural position. This was a definite improvement for Kitchen.
I also saw an improvement from Dax McCarty and Clyde Simms . McCarty seems to be at his best when playing with a lead. He's smart, and cool under pressure. His distribution was high-quality tonight. His partner Simms also turned in a good performance, and was the best central defensive midfielder in the game. The United veteran had more impact on the match than the more talented Osvaldo Alonso .
There were some mistakes from the central defensive pairing of Dejan Jakovic and Ethan White that might keep us from fully endorsing them as our starters for the duration. Jakovic's penalty takedown on Brad Evans gave the Sounders new life late in the match that they shouldn't have had. And White looked shaky early before recovering. Both defenders looked competent going forward though, and held the Sounders without a goal from the run of play.
That was three hard-earned points. But guess what. The week's not over. I set the target for this week at four points. Now I'm thinking six though. No pressure.
And hey Caps fans. I really thought we were going to see something special happening at Verizon Center this year. Go ahead and turn your eyes a couple miles to the east now though. Because this United team is kind of special too.