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Chicago Fire 2-0 D.C. United - Recap & Highlights: D.C. never look like scoring, lose. Again.

In what amounted to a terrible advertisement for MLS, the Black-and-Red allowed an early own goal and a late breakaway to lose at Chicago 2-0.


You see, I would write a proper match recap, but you've read it already. Several times this year, in fact. D.C. United controlled the match, controlling more than 60% of possession and out-passing their opponents while failing to finish. Meanwhile, the Chicago Fire pounced on a D.C. own goal early and capitalized on lack-luster transition defense late to run out 2-0 winners over the Worst Team in the World.

So, I would write a proper recap, but you don't want to read that. Again. So instead, I'm going to give some first impressions of individual efforts by United players. If you don't read further, I completely understand - after the highs of the U.S. national teams' wins today, I don't particularly want to dwell on the lows that are D.C. United, either. In that spirit, I will post a few videos of happier things before I get on with the soul-destroying business of the rest of this post.

Here's a Hamster dreaming:

And here's some baby sloths getting a bath:

And here's something you may have seen last week: Chelsea reserve 'keeper Ross Turnbull's very young kid scoring while the Shed End supporters cheer him on (and thereby stealing the show during the Stamford Bridge season closing ceremony):

So, to the depressing part - let's go back to front, shall we?

Joe Willis - not really at fault on either goal, but not really tested either. Bill Hamid's job shouldn't be in jeopardy. Aside: even with the USMNT win over Germany, I was a little disappointed that Klinsmann called in Hamid with no intention of using him this weekend.

James Riley - way too slow/late/bad on Magee's goal. Got pulled to the right to protect him from the much faster Patrick Nyarko at halftime. Generally okay in possession, but too deferential to the midfielders around him (mostly because the alternative is costly turnovers that lead to breakaways, so maybe we should take deferential from him?).

Chris Korb - always seems to have the aura of "can't get out of his own way" this year. Has the engine and the speed to get up and down the flank from either fullback spot, but he seems to be thinking too much and holding the ball well past the point where any passes were viable. Like Riley, too deferential, only looking to pass to center backs, defensive midfielders and whatever outside midfielder is on his side.

Daniel Woolard - some good defensive plays, but too reactive, not anticipating enough.

Conor Shanosky - Eager. Got into challenges a bit too eagerly. Stepped into the attacking half to prevent breakaways to mixed results. Leaves me wanting to see more, but only because every other center back's stock has fallen so far.

Perry Kitchen - the occasional bad turnover and misplaced long pass is infinitely more tolerable when you can win balls and change the point of possession like United's only surviving BAMF.

Nick DeLeon - the vision is there. The ambition is there. The touch... well that's not always there. He found Porter a couple of times with very nice balls to get out of tight spaces, but NDL is always going to be somebody who works best in combinations. With the forwards both running away from him, he's being forced to do too much on his own right now, and that's not his game.

Kyle Porter - he's surprisingly good at soccer, until he isn't anymore. The number of times he won possession that he shouldn't have and pulled off a move that shouldn't have worked only to dribble into traffic or to miss a touch was... well, I didn't count, but it's definitely a theme. His set pieces were better tonight, so that's something.


Dwayne De Rosario and Carlos Ruiz - After knocking down Ben Olsen's door and mouthing off to the press, they finally got to play together. And... nothing. Ruiz was invisible for most of the night, and DeRo remains incapable of dealing with any semblance of physical pressure when he's not getting the calls (and quick memo: he's not getting the calls this year).

That's all I've got tonight. Share your thoughts on the team - and whatever distracting videos you feel like passing along - in the comments.