Well, watching D.C. United keep its 2017 goals account closed for the time being with a 2-0 loss against Columbus Crew SC was hardly fun by any means, but in attempting to look deeper there may be some other causes of concern.
First and foremost is Bill Hamid’s early game save. Um, Justin Meram had 5 goals and 13 assists in 2016, and someone may want to consider marking him. Perhaps Ian Harkes, but also Marcelo Sarvas (who was two full strides behind Federico Higuain moments before on a backtrack after being caught up front) is far out, man.
Second is the first penalty that Ola Kamara drew. I don’t really have a qualm with it, Steve Birnbaum got in behind him, tried to clear him out, and a penalty kick is going to be a thing that happens. I only leave this here for the post-call wink Kamara makes. Like Cristiano Ronaldo on Wayne Rooney. Or something.
Next up is one of the only real chances of the night for United. It started promising and then Jose Ortiz (who made a nice run to get to the ball) crossed the ball in to...Jesus I guess, because Luciano Acosta and Patrick Nyarko were several strides behind a serviceable ball. Ortiz sticks around and works with Nyarko on a nice interchange. Patrick Mullins’ injury may give easy justification to start Ortiz, but sequences like this can only help his case for more playing time down the road.
Last up, the second goal, or in this case penalty kick drawn, by Kamara. Let’s get the call out of the way: Kamara went down easily, based on a foul from Birnbaum. I couldn’t put up much fight from it.
What I do want to illustrate, and what should be concerning (Jason may talk about this in a little more detail this week), was the sequence leading up to it, from back to front. The only thing I’ve removed is Zack Steffen's outlet to his defense that starts it. Watch D.C.’s reactions here: one step behind, lacking confidence and coherence for at least 65 yards:
Anyway enough of my blathering, did anything stand out for you?