On a day where D.C. United braved the elements and a sudden and unexpected change in plans, it took the heroics of a guy coming back into his form for the Black and Red to come away with the full three points in a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy. So let's rate 'em!
Bill Hamid - 7
About as good as can be expected. Commanded his area well, positioned his guys right on close free kicks, was effective but didn't have to stand on his head completely (or didn't give that impression at least).
Taylor Kemp - 6.5
In his first start of the season, you could sense the difference between him and Chris Korb. Got forward a lot more, was willing to put passes in earlier and force clearances, sometimes going for corner kicks (though he wasn't responsible for them all, the team's 7 corner kicks were more than they earned in the previous two games). Stay healthy Taylor.
Bobby Boswell - 7
Seems like we're dealing with good Bobby and bad Bobby on alternating weeks, and this week was good Bobby. Sure, he didn't have to deal with L.A.'s big guns, but cleaned up the box nicely, better than previous games, and with his teammates, felt a comfort of crosses and wide shots for the most part. Stay good Bobby, you're going home this week.
Steve Birnbaum - (Inc.)
Would have liked to seen him walk off that injury, alas it wasn't to be. Hopefully it is as best case as can be expected.
Sean Franklin - 6
We saw a lot more of him on both sides of the field than before and availed himself well, with Stefan Ishizaki not having a lot of eyes on him this week. Kudos.
Chris Rolfe - 6
It seems like while Espindola and Silva are out, Rolfe's the quiet brains of the offense, switching with Pontius and playing off Arrieta a bit more, more smart passes than dumb ones, serving as the second or third pass before a scoring chance. Quiet consistency.
Davy Arnaud - 6.5
Considering the work he had with in Juninho and Baggio Husidic, helped stop them in his tracks well, and his passes to the flanks (usually to DeLeon) were integral in the last half hour of the game. Like Boswell, good Davy showed up.
Perry Kitchen - 6.5
Ditto the first sentence of Arnaud, and spent more time in back, closer to Boswell, and giving Kofi Opare a hand when need be. I'm not sure where the complaints about Kitchen's performance arose, but I didn't see them.
Nick DeLeon - 7
Assisted on the goal, had some nice passes on possible scoring chances, and helped make Robbie Rogers' night less than pleasant throughout. Like the guy who I'll be talking about next, if they continue form while the more attacking guys get back, this could be a nice group.
Chris Pontius - 7
Scored the goal, but in a span of fifteen minutes in the second half, had his head on another chance, a slight miscommunication on a through ball to Arrieta and moments later, a pass to him had a freak bounce and caused him to come back to it and look a little out of sorts. It seemed like he's getting closer which if so, only proves to be good news.
Jairo Arrieta - 4.5
Lying eyes, but seemed a bit disappointing. Granted, this may be in part because he didn't have a heckuva lot to do in the first half, but aside from a shot on goal, dude was getting called for offside at Pajoy-ian levels. Has he plateaued?
Kofi Opare (Sub) - 6.5
Came on for Birnbaum to injury and handled himself well. There were a couple of small mental errors where he lost the ball during play (a late effort that he headed almost stayed in while he jogged back to defend in a unintentional nod to Javale McGee), but he should improve as he sees the tape and works with Boswell.
Michael Farfan (Sub) - 5
Came on for Rolfe, his corners were decent and what little distribution he had was okay. Obviously we'll never know if Ben Olsen had his subs in mind, so the question of whether Farfan was the first non-injury sub was due to merit or due to necessity (as Miguel Aguilar was cleared to train with the team late last week after his immigration problems were cleared) remains to be seen.
Conor Doyle (Sub) - 5.5
I'm tempted to give Doyle a million zillion points because his late game collision with Bryan Rowe was a contentious point for Galaxy coach Bruce Arena. His ideas on distribution were decent albeit unsuccessful and again, anything that makes Bruce pissed is A-OK by me.
Man of the Match
Pontius gets the nod, though DeLeon makes a real strong case for it. I can see some narrative vote going to Opare as well.