Stop me if you've heard this before: D.C. United gives up a goal in the first half, maybe one in the second, rallies to try and come back, and may or may not do so successfully. Sounds impressive, no? Well, when you lose 2-1 to an impressive Columbus Crew SC squad, the result can be damaging, and this one, dropping D.C. to fourth in the East, did just that.
So let's rate some things, shall we?
Bill Hamid - 6.5
The two goals he had to deal with were when his fullbacks were playing center back, and the other was when the current Golden Boot leader beat him on the short side after he came out to narrow the angle. Still had six saves (was tested early by Tony Tchani) and made some great looking stops.
Taylor Kemp - 4.5
Ethan Finlay posted up on him for the first goal like Shaquille O'Neal on the NBA for a decade on that first goal. Once you get past that, led the team in interceptions defensively. Offensively, had a key pass, but his crossing was barren and his accuracy on the whole could have been better than it was.
Steve Birnbaum - 4.5
Eight clearances, which led the team, decent passing accuracy, but for the second time in less than a week (the first one happening against Arabe Unido in CCL play) found himself flat footed and burned, and Saturday, Kei Kamara made him pay for it. Decided to pick up a yellow minutes later which was almost a tantrum foul more than anything else. Will presumably start in MoBay, but Saturday against the Montreal Impact, we've got to wonder about some things.
Bobby Boswell - 4.5
His step up on the cross into the box that eventually became the first goal was a curious play, all the more so because it took out any big defender to try and defend (Halsti was late to it, Boswell was long out of position). Completed 30 of 32 passes in the second half, tied for second with Kemp in clearances, even got a shot on, but it's easy to see he knows he's in a funk.
Sean Franklin - 6.5
Solid passing accuracy, including crosses and long balls, led the team in tackles which, wow. I can't give him too much grief on his defense on the first goal because he did have a man, but he was just four inches smaller and 20 pounds lighter to Tyson Wahl, telling him to grow up can't be his fault, right?
Nick DeLeon - 5.5
Second most-accurate passer on the night, even had a key pass to show for it. Sequence where he got a cross from Espindola in the first half kind of sums up DeLeon in general, which is to say taking too many touches and a chance that doesn't occur or isn't as could as it could have been if he just ripped it sooner. Oh yeah, and what was all that time spent in central midfield?
Perry Kitchen - 5
Played a little higher up this week compared to last, most accurate passer on the night (had a couple of nice long balls), but also was a foul machine, and picked up a persistent infringement yellow for his troubles, so he'll get to miss trying to defend Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba Saturday. So there's that.
Markus Halsti - 5.5
So where he and Kitchen played a little deeper and watched the flanks last week against the Colorado Rapids, this time was a little more of a pulley system a la Kitchen and Davy Arnaud. Passing was good (6 of 7 long balls made, was the most accurate passer going into halftime), but got pressured into a turnover or two early on, perhaps not used to getting that kind of pressure in awhile.
Chris Rolfe - 5.5
Scored the goal, had another shot, tied for Espindola on key passes on the night and generally had some decent distribution, and got a career high for goals in a season to boot. An understated good night for Rolfe.
Fabian Espindola - 5
Had a shot on goal, his passing was pretty good (for him at least), though his crosses kinda stunk. Channeled 2009 for a second when he and Sabo combined on a scoring chance last in the game, but he's capable of better.
Alvaro Saborio - 5
I was annoyed when watching this game because there were some chances that Sabo should have buried. Depending on your preference, was or was not offside on the second disallowed goal, but could have had at least one more. Still led the team in shots on target and shots on goal. You know someone that equates Sabo to Leonard Pajoy, right? Disassociate from them, because they are not serious people who can be trusted with anything.
Chris Pontius - 5
Came on for Halsti in the 75th and enjoyed chesting that ball from Rolfe, even though it put Espindola offside. Connected on both long ball opportunities and had a shot, but at least he should light it up in MoBay this week.
Jairo Arrieta - 4
Came on for Rolfe in the 86th for the second (and whatever reason, last) sub of the night for Ben Olsen. 1 of 3 passing, had a sequence where he tried to dribble through 4 Crew defenders, failed, then fouled one minutes later. Arrieta!
Man of the Match: