D.C. United went up to Yankee Stadium and played well in the first half against New York City FC. But the game has two halves, and the Black and Red looked less than perfect in the other, with involvement in the offense from Andrea Pirlo and David Villa as Citeh Lite won 3-1 over D.C.
And with that, the subjective ratings!
Bill Hamid - 7.5
Four saves, couldn't really do much on the goals from David Villa or Thomas McNamara, still trying to get his sites calibrated on crosses, as he played one a little weird for the second week in a row. Can't do it all by himself.
Taylor Kemp - 4
In between him and his midfield compatriot, was upfield quite a bit in the first half, then faded in the second as Kwadwo Poku started running and making things less than optimal (that side got exposed late in the first half and NYCFC kept at it in the second). Still led the team in tackles, was second in interceptions and clearances, can earn the good behavior incentive by staying off a yellow next week against the San Jose Earthquakes, and that will be needed.
Steve Birnbaum - 4
Nice block in the first half, also led in interceptions and tied for second in clearances with Kemp, passing was OK, but finding himself a bit lost after the midfield battle may be lost. Sophomore slump? Time for Kofi Opare past a presumed midweek start in Panama against Arabe Unido?
Bobby Boswell - 5
Led in clearances, was the second-highest accurate passer on the night, had a sweet goal mouth save in the first half to keep things competitive for a bit, but marking was a bit suspect on the Villa goal, got walked on a chance from him also, and really shouldn't have been as far up as he was in a tie game, he needs to be a bit better while he figures out whatever his new norm is.
Chris Korb - 6
If there was a "Best Defender" for a team that gave up three it would be him. Decent passing, handled what he could. Hopefully the MRI is negative and he can be ready to go if Kemp gets a yellow next week, or it could be the Luke Mishu show against the New York Red Bulls in a potential match for first place.
Conor Doyle - 5
Passing down compared to previous weeks, also spent some time centrally, but that touch in the first half was a killer. A bit softer and it's D.C. scoring the first goal early but, you know, Conor Doyle.
Perry Kitchen - 5.5
Probably best summed the team up: calm and composed the first half, once his security blanket got removed in the second half, strange things, man. Held onto the ball and did a good job of doing so (46 of 48 passes on the night), had a 35 yard backtrack in the first half I loved, but when he got pressure on him, it was problematic. Or to sum up in a tweet/this week's Filibuster:
Markus Halsti - 6
Not a typo. Passing was good, punctuated by 8/11 long balls made on the night. And if you haven't seen it yet, his passes to Kemp and Doyle on the left looked like coffin corner drills on the map, then there was the question of him being gassed:
Decent first half, bad second. Personally left my legs in dressing room at halftime,so there's still a lot to do after the injuries! #sämpa— Markus Halsti (@Halstinho) August 14, 2015
Sean Franklin - 5
Passing was decent, but people want to throw him under the bus for the Villa goal. We're going to do this to a guy who not only put his first 90 in in more than 2 months but did the first hour out of position, going back to defend 10 minutes before that goal? Mk.
Chris Rolfe - 5.5
Nice role on the assist and getting by the defense, also nice interception in the NYCFC end that should have led to a second goal. Past that, stayed generally quiet, in a role some thought he could have excelled with.
Alvaro Saborio - 5.5
Led the team in shots, fouls committed, offside calls and goals. Won an aerial that should have led to another, also had the turnover to Pirlo that led to the game-winner. Getting the feeling like we'll be hunting for a 9 in about 2 months from now, as he seemed to be uncomfortable tonight.
Michael Farfan - 4.5
Came on for Halsti in the 65th and played his first minutes since May(!), looked the part at times, converted 12 of 14 passes. Presumably we'll see him and/or Collin Martin midweek in Panama with Davy Arnaud.
Chris Pontius - 4.5
Come on for Doyle in the 76th, 4 touches, all passes, one successful. Still healthy for now.
Miguel Aguilar - 5
Came on for Korb in the 79th (a quick sub), had more touches than the guy who came on before him, kudos to not being completely awestruck.
Man of the Match:
I'll go Halsti, in a title I'm defaulting to "Who WASN'T on the field for the goals" and did good in the process.