This elite performance from Chris Pontius featured an incredible combination of speed, understanding, and skill. It was like watching a young Jaime Moreno. He put all those things on display in particular for D.C. United’s third goal, as well as the unselfishness to feed the hot foot of Davies rather than taking a stab himself. United has some options for replacing Pontius, which we’ll explore later this week, but none of them will be nearly as good as he was that night.
After the loss to Kansas City, we wondered why Charlie Davies was removed from the lineup, and ultimately came to the assumed conclusion that he was held back mostly as precaution to keep him well-rested, and also partially for motivation. Well, whatever it was, it worked. Davies earned his first MLS hat trick and pulled just a goal behind Thierry Henry for the league lead. And don’t even think about criticizing Davies for missing one or two other close chances. If he gets four good opportunities a game and scores on three of them, we’ll win every game, especially the way our defense is playing right now.
Speaking of that, Brandon McDonald and Ethan White were spectacular at carrying out Ben Olsen’s game plan and ruining Robin Fraser’s. The two center backs kept a high line for most of the game, and snuffed out just about every attack as soon as it hit Chivas USA’s forward line. Justin Braun and Juan Pablo Angel didn’t stand a chance, and each probably left the game with a few bruises for good measure. There was no dropoff from Jakovic to White in this match. Hopefully we’ll be saying the same thing when we meet the Seattle Sounders on Saturday.
Dwayne De Rosario and Andy Najar were each instrumental in setting up the Pontius-Davies combo for at least one goal. They threatened dangerously, and spread out the Chivas defense enough that they lost track of Davies and were always a step behind. Nice job, team.
He didn’t have a whole lot to do for long stretches of the game, but Bill Hamid was fully competent, even when dealing with hamstring issues during the game. Hamid has given up just one goal since July 2nd, and I’ll keep reminding you of that until it isn’t true anymore.