D.C. United faced a New England Revolution side Saturday who was in desperate need of a win as well. D.C. played decently and similar to their win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, they scored an early goal and cinched the game over the Revs late in the second half en route to winning 3-0 over Jay Heaps' side.
So let's put some numbers to names, K?
Travis Worra - 4.5
Three saves and a punch of a late second half corner, but on more than one occasion couldn't corral a shot on the first try, and if a Revs player was around one or two of those, we'd be saying a different story. All that said, his third shutout puts him tied for first in that category alongside names like David Ousted and Clint Irwin, and his goals against is 3rd best in the League. Who had THAT as April ended?
Taylor Kemp - 6
Had a mix of Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe and Teal Bunbury to deal with on his end. Defensively, was second in tackles and interceptions on the night, had a blocked shot and five recoveries. Offensively, had a key pass and successful cross (out of six attempts), and a 65.8% pass success % is in line for him this year. Solid defensively, a dip from prior years offensively, seems to be about the norm for his 2016.
Bobby Boswell - 7
Thirteen(!) clearances, a tackle and a blocked shot, also had a shot of his own, which was on goal. Might have been his best game of the season thus far, and hopefully there are more efforts closer to this.
Steve Birnbaum - 6
A quiet night for Birdbomb generally. Don't get me wrong, he was all over the place in the defending half, two tackles, two interceptions, two blocked shots, eight clearances. But won one aerial on the night (Boswell had 4), had about the same number of passes as his center back mate and completed far fewer passes (68.4% to 50%). Not worried, because quiet meant effective for the most part, just wanted to mention it.
Sean Franklin - 6
Like Kemp, dealt with a variety of attacking Revs players, and had a couple of clearances and a couple of interceptions. Also like Kemp, had a blocked shot, a key pass and a successful cross. Unlike Kemp, connected on more passes (74.3%) on comparable touches, and his motor was still going in extra time, as shown here:
Lamar Neagle - 7
A list of what Lamar Neagle has done so far this year:
- Played forward at the beginning of the year
- Served as set piece taker on corners and free kicks, almost scoring on the latter
- Penalty Kick taker
And as far as Saturday went, led the team in shots (4) and shots on goal (2), had a key pass and was getting hacked a lot after getting the ball away. Gave as good as he got but got caught for it (3 fouls committed), but also contributed 3 tackles, an interception and a clearance. Quietly doing solid work for his new team.
Nick DeLeon - 6.5
This is going to take a second, starting with Pablo's observation:
Olsen has tweaked DeLeon's role in the past few gms. Still roams the center of the park, but lots of runs towards both flanks as well. #DCU— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) April 23, 2016
To wit, his distribution Saturday night, which would hopefully dispel several different things that I'll get to in a sec, but the start of those passes for reference:
Aside from noting how left-sided the actions were:
a) His passes generally moved forward (Espindola received the ball from NDL most in the game)
b) His passes generally involved attacking players (Espindola and Nyarko comprise 13 of NDL's 30 completed passes on the night)
c) His passes remained on Black-and-Red feet. Again (30 of 34 completed, 10 of 11 in the attacking third, a key pass, 5 of 6 long balls connected).
Also, had two tackles and TEN recoveries on both halves of the midfield stripe. He continues to grow into his partnership with Sarvas, to say nothing of his new position.
Marcelo Sarvas - 7
Got a yellow for dissent early on, putting him out of next week's game with the Chicago Fire (what's up, Jared Jeffrey!), but you didn't get the impression he was going to rein it in. Second to NDL on PS% (85.4), had two key passes, connected on both long balls, led in fouls committed (5) and suffered (4) on the night, three tackles, four interceptions, the latter of which also led the team on the night. Chipped in with 15 recoveries also, and drew the penalty call in the first half. Man, oh man-ischewitz.
Patrick Nyarko - 6
Kept Chris Tierney (and later Je-Vaughn Watson) back for most of the game, got a great ball to Rolfe for a chance, led the team in tackles (5). While PS could use some work, you could see on a couple of occasions other than the aforementioned that he's picking up his old shorthand with his fellow teammate and Fire alum.
Fabian Espindola - 3.5
Was doing decently before coming out to a hamstring injury, 80% PS, connected on both long balls, had a key pass.
But this? This needs to stop:
Chris Rolfe - 5.5
Would have been a great goal in the first half when he beat London Woodberry, but oh well. Still had two key passes and two tackles, came out a few minutes after a bad sequence where he turned the ball over a couple of times in quick succession.
Alvaro Saborio (Sub) - 8
Came on for Espindola in the 43rd, assisted on the second goal (that was the key pass for his 12 of 20 passing day), scored the third. Even had some defensive work with a tackle and three recoveries. Tied for the team lead in goals (3) also. Um, this is going to be an interesting week.
Luciano Acosta (Sub) - 7.5
Came on for Rolfe in the 70th. So, was a little more comfortable, the dispossession and turnover being a mild concern. Almost completed a back heel late that made me have an accident.
OK, let's all see the goal:
So two weeks ago, I wasn't sure how much stock to put into his work against a Whitecaps team chasing a goal that they needed to get to get back into the game. This week, against a Revs team that yeah, needed a goal so you could make the case they would get stretched, it was, however, a much more first choice team than the Vancouver squad Acosta and Sabo torched for two separate goals. With their Designated Player coming up hurt and a presumably weak Fire team on two weeks rest, there's some options here.
Rob Vincent (Sub) - 5.5
Came on for Nyarko in the 81st, 5 of 7 passing, a key pass, 1 of 2 long balls connected and a tackle. Better than last time
Man of the Match
I'll vote Sabo so narratives can keep rolling onwards.