D.C. United was hoping to get some sort of result in a place (Yankee Stadium) they hadn’t against a team (New York City FC) opening up a stadium for another team the previous week. But the 4-0 loss showed several different things of concern for fans, perhaps things beyond what could be dismissed as a one-off rout. And that is why we have the ratings game, so let’s take a look at your votes.
Bill Hamid: 5 | Community: 5.09
5 shots on target by the pigeons, Bill saved 1. You could make the case he was at fault on both David Villa goals at a minimum, and possibly the Maxi Moralez goal as well. He didn’t have a lot of help in front of him, but the snood, really?
Nick DeLeon: 5 | Community: 4.8
Completed 28 of 32 passes (most accurate of the starters), including 3 key passes playing a little further up field. That was good. Had 6 recoveries, 1 successful tackle (of 4 attempted), stopped playing a little bit on goal one. That was bad. He’s going to need to be better in his half of the field for this to work a little.
Sean Franklin: 4.5 | Community: 4.3
Despite some grief he got about an errant pass this week, his 80.4% accuracy number wasn’t bad, though does share some blame with Birdbomb on goal two. Had 11 recoveries, 3 clearances and an unsuccessful tackle attempt. Rough on the job training.
Steve Birnbaum: 5.5 | Community: 4.95
Speaking of goal two, that brings us to Steve. Possibly hun his defender out to dry in Villa’s first goal, and seems to be getting a disproportionate amount of grief in the second. It’s not that he’s without fault, but if you can push the current MVP to the goal line and a chip with his weaker foot, and it goes in, it’s not completely your fault. Passing was a shade down from Franklin’s but had a shot, albeit off target to go with 2 interceptions and 3 clearances. Furt.
Taylor Kemp: 5 | Community: 4.53
65% pass accuracy, better for him but the worst of the defenders on the day and generally impotent. Had 3 clearances and 2 interceptions and an otherwise forgetful day for Shooter.
Marcelo Sarvas: 4 | Community: 3.4
Offensively not bad (81% and a key pass), but his dispossession and control have a lot to be desired. 15 recoveries (within a 20 yard range in midfield, 3 interceptions and a tackle were nice but hollow. I wrapped up last week for Sarvas by saying if he’s lost a step, the team’s going to have a problem. Well, he has, and they do.
Lloyd Sam (off ‘65): 4.5 | Community: 4.7
Worked a little better with DeLeon this time, had a shot on target and more involvement on the ball thanks to Harkes, but on a 52% accuracy number, an unsuccessful tackle and two clearnances. Going to hope there isn’t ink drying on that extension right now.
Jared Jeffrey (off ‘53): 4.5 | Community: 3.8
55% accuracy was the second worst amongst field players next to Sam, and did little else offensively. 6 recoveries and 2 tackles (of 3 attempts) defensively, and hasn’t backed up the decision to break camp with him in the lineup apparently.
Ian Harkes: 5 | Community: 4.7
30 of 36 passing, 3 key passes on a not bad distribution day. Even had 2 shots and almost got a 3rd in the second half. Defensively, had 2 tackles and 8 recoveries. Considering his actions on the day, may have been a better 8 than Jeffrey:
Patrick Nyarko: 6 (MOTM) | Community: 5.97 (MOTM)
Had 6 of the team’s 13 shots and 3 of the 4 on target ones. 64% passing but a key pass, had a tackle and 11 recoveries, 8 of which in the attacking half. Quietly and easily the best performance of the night.
Patrick Mullins (off 72’): 5 | Community: 4.6
21 touches on the day. That’s fewer than Hamid, 3rd fewest on the team on the day. Connected on 8 of 14 passes and had a shot. I thought we got rid of Alvaro Saborio! I kid, but when he doesn’t get any service, games like this are going to happen.
Rob Vincent (on 53’): 5 | Community: 4.8
Missed 2 passes (of 23), had a shot, also got a yellow card. Had 3 recoveries, a clearance, a interception and a tackle. Is starting defensive midfielder Rob Vincent in the future?
Lamar Neagle (on 65’): 4.5 | Community: 4.45
Got a yellow after Harkes’ unsuccessful shot, but more importantly turned the ball over that led to the last goal. Connected on 4 of 7 passes in a very un-Neagle like night for him.
Jose Ortiz (on 72’): 5 | Community: 4.7
7 of 8 passing, and little else. Done well comparitively speaking in his two appearances.
New York City FC MOTM:
Villa ran away with it on 40 (and change) votes.
Alan Kelly - Referee:
Kelly, who officiated in the Champions League, got a 4.3 on voting.
I’m going to mildly puff my chest out and say I was one of the few folks to call the loss, but not in that manner. That said, the performances in a couple of vital positions are troubling and need to be remedied in short order. The problem that you can have when it comes to playing older players in demanding positions, such as Sarvas or Sam, is that when facilities disappear, they disappear quickly, and don’t return. This was something we saw in 2009 with a 35-year old Jaime Moreno, and again in 2013 with a 35-year old Dwayne De Rosario. Both players had been playing in such impactful positions for so long, once the skills went the team was left in a bind. Such is the case now with a 35-year old Marcelo Sarvas.
The tricky part is timing, like everything else. If a player did come into the position, they would be doing it on a shorter schedule (thanks underachieving winter storm!) and against Columbus Crew SC and Federico Higuain, before resting a week and hosting two Eastern Conference rivals. The choice Ben Olsen makes is either in the intermediate term, plugging in Vincent or Jeffrey into that position, while Luciano Acosta (we hope, please god) returns and plays, possibly next to Harkes. Or, if we’re going to do this, do this all the way, play Chris Durkin in Sarvas’ position, with Harkes and Acosta centrally. This is something that we’ll presumably see in the future and for a foreseeable period of time. Do you take the lumps now and enjoy the fruits of it later, or do you try to give Durkin as soft a landing as possible and kick that can down the road?
The Crew comes into the position of needing a result as well, and also was thrashed on the road, 3-0 at the Houston Dynamo, in a game that could have gone worse, and a game where they will be missing one of their starting center backs. If Olsen fixes this, he should do so not only with the eye on the now, but also in the soon to be.