The odds of D.C. United defeating the New York Red Bulls were long as it was, and they held their own and fended off the Red Bulls for as long as they could. The problem with that is that they forgot the second part of that equation, which was to score a goal and level things on aggregate. But when Bradley Wright-Phillips scored at the end of the game to cinch a 1-0 win and eliminate the Black and Red, things were fairly certain at that point.
So let's look at who did what one more time!
Bill Hamid - 8
Four saves, and was on his own on the last one, capping off a week where he was named finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year, and was called up for World Cup Qualifiers this week for the United States team. At least he'll be used to a sketchy defense in front of him if he gets the call?
Taylor Kemp - 6
Tied for the team lead in clearances (Opare) and tackles (DeLeon), generally did what he could to keep Lloyd Sam in check, though could have done better on the BWP goal. Passing and long balls were decent, and hope he keeps the trajectory on his play upward.
Kofi Opare - 6
Tied for the team lead in clearances, tied for second (Birnbaum) in interceptions, passing was decent for the seven(!) times he attempted them. Quiet on the ball for the night but did the work he could.
Bobby Boswell - 4.5
A bunch of interceptions, but gave BWP the room to start his run on the goal, and wasn't the first time it happened, but it was the time when the team got burned from it, and was horrid on the ball in terms of passing. He's signed for a little while longer, but the youth in back needs to press him out of a job in 2016, which leads me to...
Steve Birnbaum - 5.5
Playing at right back because of the injured Sean Franklin, did decent, even got forward and delivered a cross or two, which looked...about as well as you'd expect. Was a dumpster fire on the whole in terms of passing in that position, but defensively tied with Opare in clearances and interceptions. If Opare is one starting center back in 2016, as far as the other goes, let's Feel the Birn.
Nick DeLeon - 6
Tied on the night with tackles and offensively, a couple of shots (though that one in the end needed to be far better), and a key pass, and a fair-ish night passing.
Perry Kitchen - 5
Stayed mainly in the same area as Halsti and had a good night passing (was 2nd on the team in accuracy for starters) and average defensively. Considering his playoff games against the Metros this was maybe his best, which isn't saying much, but if he's going to Italy or elsewhere, he's going to need to be better if he has National team aspirations.
Markus Halsti - 4.5
Had a shot, but nobody had more touches in the field who was worse on the night passing wise, and this is a guy who seems to have pride in that, and got walked around in the first half that didn't encourage either. With an offseason under his belt and possibly the CDM spot all his own, he's going to have to get better.
Chris Rolfe - 6.5
Played in the midfield, perhaps to have some veteran guile to combat the Metros on the flanks, and switched with DeLeon on a couple of occasions. Passing wise was good, had aspirations on a first half volley from a pass from Espindola, had three key passes of his own. Not bad.
Alvaro Saborio - 5.5
Was kind of surprised that he checked bad as often as he did, but his work on aerials was sketchy and passing was a disappointment. I like Sabo, I'll like him more as a sub going forward.
Fabian Espindola - 6.5
Had the first shot for D.C. in the playoffs, also had four key passes and ran his brains out. We'll chat a little more about him in a bit, but did what he could, if nobody else did.
Jairo Arrieta - 6.5
Came on for Sabo in the 68th, had a key pass, completed 8 of 9 on the limited day. Nice work.
Miguel Aguilar - 5
Came on for Opare in the 81st, passing was decent, albeit unremarkable.
Man of the Match:
Bill, yet again.