It was not pretty early on for D.C. United, as their first match in almost two weeks found them flat, and giving up another first half goal could not have done wonders for their mindset. But they persevered and a late goal found them sharing the points with the Colorado Rapids, a draw in a road venue that has not been particularly good for them.
And with that, let's get a-ratin'!
Bill Hamid - 9.5
The Bobby Burling goal went through a bunch of legs and really left Bilal with not much of a chance, and he still managed to almost get to it. In the second half, singlehandedly saved the team from a Vincente Sanchez game winning goal on a couple of occasions. Is now tied on saves with his Rapids counterpart Saturday night, Clint Irwin. Irwin's played eight more games, so yeah.
Taylor Kemp - 4.5
Speaking of Sanchez, he picked on Kemp early and often, and at times the latter was willing to give the former space, a scary proposition. Had a bizarro cross he was nice enough to give Dillon Serna in the box before a teammate bailed him out. Picked up Espindola on the free kick that led to the goal, even had a shot on goal with his right(!) foot, but offensively lacked some control of the ball and defensively put his team in dangerous positions on occasion.
Steve Birnbaum - 6.5
His head found Espindola's cross for the goal, led the team in tackles and interceptions, second on the team in clearances, completed 11 of 14 passes in the second half. One of his better performances recently, which considering the backline lately, oh boy.
Bobby Boswell - 5
First in clearances, passing accuracy was flipped with Birnbaum (good in the first half, woebegone the second), and generally seemed a step off (or generally less active) most of the night. Boswell talked about age on a recent episode of Pitch Pass, and it miiight start to sound prophetic.
Sean Franklin - 6
Second in tackles and interceptions, warmed to the task in the second half as he moved forward more and was delivering some pretty decent crosses into the area. Here's hoping he's regained his form.
Nick DeLeon - 5.5
Legit thought he was coming off at the half because of some sort of tweak (though there's still time to see if this actually happened), nevertheless decent night passing, created the most chances on the team which granted, isn't saying a lot, but two key passes indicates some degree of effort.
Perry Kitchen - 5
Along with Halsti, was content to share the midfield without much of a pulley. Here are Kitchen's distribution actions, which you'll see have him playing a little more on the right than he normally does:
While he has managed to find some chemistry with Halsti in a variety of areas, there's some sort of stall in Kitchen's next step that is mildly concerning.
Markus Halsti - 6
Third in clearances, bailed out Kemp's botched clearance, was comfortable playing further back and to the left a little to help deal with Sanchez while Kitchen spent more time on the right. And not for nothing, here's his distribution actions Saturday:
It basically looks like Halsti is going to get balls downfield in the hopes Rolfe, DeLeon, Espindola and Pontius (or the fullbacks) can run onto them. A little bolder than Davy Arnaud's default setting of helping to build up play when he shows off his offensive skills. With Arnaud still out to concussion problems, Halsti may be here for a bit. And after a two week period where he went from D.C. to Athens to Helsinki to D.C. to Denver and back, you've earned a nap Halstinho.
Chris Rolfe - 4.5
Started clicking offensively once Dillon Powers and Dillon Serna vacated the field (thanks Pablo!), but relatively quiet on the night, and seems to be in a rut, could use a shot in the arm of some sort.
Fabian Espindola - 5
Had nice moments of interplay with Saborio, Arrieta and Rolfe, had the presence of mind to come up to the free kick and get the ball, resulting in the goal. First action in a month and in altitude at that?
Alvaro Saborio - 4
Remember when Sabo came to D.C. and the book was that he hates coming back to the play? Witness some sloppy attempts at clearances in the first half that wound up being turnovers, and one aerial won against Bobby Burling and Sean St. Ledger? Not good enough, regardless of what you could say about the offense that came to him sparingly.
Jairo Arrieta - 5
Came on for Saborio in the 70th and produced a mildly threatening moment with Espindola but otherwise, no offense to speak of, and helped out in the back with a clearance of his own. Pretty much what you expect from him at this point.
Michael Farfan - 6
Came on for Halsti in the 74th and had a completed key pass and a separate long ball in his short amount of time, in which he moved in centrally late in the game (which worked nicely). A tactical, smart play from Benny, and hopefully Farfan can parlay this into decent League outings.
Chris Pontius - 5.5
Came on for Rolfe in the 80th, drew the foul which led to the free kick which led to the well you know. Otherwise, generally quiet for the night.
Man of the Match:
Hamid, with a minor to Birdbomb.