D.C. United went to Illinois to play a Chicago Fire side who had two weeks since their last match with the Chicago Fire and will have 10 more days before their next game, a midweek clash at the Vancouver Whitecaps. They were missing a couple of key offensive pieces to boot. But the Black-and-Red were missing players of their own and you have to play with (and against) those on the field. Combined with a bogged down affair in wind and rain, the
How about we rate?
Travis Worra - 5.5
Didn't save the only shot on goal that was Jonathan Campbell's goal, though I'd be hard pressed to wonder if Bill Hamid could have done better. Had a key late charge to stop a potential Fire chance which is essentially the reason for the bump up. Three goals conceded in his last five games and now second in GAA in the Lig which, to repeat, who had THAT at the end of April?
Taylor Kemp - 5
Up against Arturo Alvarez, with a dusting of Nick LaBrocca, for most of the contest. Generally quiet defensively, but then again the Fire were going down the left (Kemp's right) side of the field a lot for the duration. Three key passes led the team on the night (was the man who found Lucho the most on the night), but his crosses and long balls were getting kilt in the weather, which wasn't surprising.
Bobby Boswell - 6.5
Second on the night for clearances (8), tied with Birdbomb for interceptions (3). Won 4 aerials, had a dribble and a key pass (Pale Pirlo returns?). Seems (emphasis) to have turned a corner following the 3-0 loss to FC Dallas where he got shredded.
Steve Birnbaum - 6
We learned during the game that Birdbomb has some European suitors, which is no surprise considering his night. Led field players in aerials won (5), tied for first on the team in interceptions (3) with his center back buddy, second in tackles (3) on the night. Even had a shot on goal. Earned a cheap yellow for pulling a 'Rick James on Charlie Murphy' on Gilberto but he keeps on keeping on.
Sean Franklin - 7
Saw the brunt of the attack, only responded with team-leading 9 clearances and an interception, and was the second best starter from a PS number at 79%, including 5 of 6 in the attacking third. Quietly solid, and had a good effort again.
Lamar Neagle - 6.5
Both of his shots found the target Saturday, and got a NHL-like secondary assist on the goal because of the short corner. Four aerials won on the night, had a couple of tackles on the back end, but tended to fizzle out on chances in the attacking end when the ball was at his feet, which is a bit of the book on Neagle, so just something to note going forward.
Chris Rolfe - 6
Almost had an early first-half assist on a super pass (was 71.4% for PS, BTW), had a couple of shots, a couple of tackles and an interception. Considering he got put into this role Friday morning presumably because of a late illness to Nick DeLeon, handled himself well.
Jared Jeffrey - 6
Filled in for Sarvas again and tied for the team lead in tackles (4), had 10 recoveries in a 20 yard span from the ends of the midfield circle, and at 82.4%, was the most accurate passer on the team, including 13 of 17 in the attacking third. Solid again in spot duty.
Patrick Nyarko - 6.5
Haunted his former club (and didn't celebrate!) with the goal, and his next one will equal his 2015 total with the Fire. Also kinda haunted his current club with pulling up on the marking on Campbell's goal, but had another shot, a key pass and won a couple of aerials. Had a tackle and a clearance defensively.
Luciano Acosta - 6.5
His assist Saturday gave him the team lead in the category (and ahem, 4th in MLS as of this writing). Had a second key pass a few moments after the goal too. Accuracy wise was 4th on the night for PS (70.4%), 13 of 20 (65%) in the attacking third, and his most frequent passing target was Kemp, in case we're still doing passing to Taylor Kemp as a liability. Defensively his 4 tackles tied with Jeffrey for most on the team, and he had 9 recoveries, mostly deep in his own end. With a New York City FC team on the horizon who looks bereft defensively, Acosta should absolutely be in the discussion to stay in the starting XI.
Alvaro Saborio - 4.5
A problem in Acosta being on is the desire to link him to Saborio, or more specifically the belief that Saborio is a viable full-time starter at 34. And I'm willing to stipulate weather like anyone else, but still, if Sabo is going to be in the lineup, he's going to have to do better than the one shot he had Saturday from 25 yards out. Had a key pass on 67.7 PS%, won 2 aerials, but is going to have to improve this performance.
Julian Buescher (Sub) - 6
Came on for Rolfe in the 71st for his first minutes in six weeks following a calf injury, his 13 of 16 (2 of 3 long balls connected) and 81.3 PS% was second amongst D.C. field players on the night, even had a key pass and a shot in 20 minutes work. Now, stay healthy, please and thank you.
Rob Vincent (Sub) - Inc.
Came on for Acosta in the 87th, 2 of 4 passing. Next.
Man of the Match
Moving on from #FreeLucho to #SiempreLucho, in better weather and a potentially inferior opponent.