D.C. United needed something, ANYTHING in their game with the Philadelphia Union. Goals, a win, a dancing monkey, something. But hey, they got a 2-1 win, put the Union in the basement, and things aren’t so dire, or are they? (dun dun dun)
That’s where your votes come in!
Bill Hamid: 7.5 (MOTM) | Community: 8.4 (MOTM)
7 saves made, though perhaps should have smothered that one that became a goal? A couple of minor miscommunications with his center backs that were noticeable but not damaging either. Probably more of a mean to the position, but since the beginning of 2014, Bill’s made 7 or more saves in 7 games, and D.C.’s won 5, with the only loss being a 1-0 road loss in Portland.
Nick DeLeon: 6 | Community: 6.6
Had a shot and an 81% pass accuracy night, 3rd amongst starters (two other backliners have the Top 2 spots). Accompanied it with 2 clearances and 7 recoveries, and just quietly is building confidence, we hope. Watch him play defensive mid Saturday to continue being Odysseus.
Bobby Boswell: 6.5 | Community: 6.62
Had a blocked shot and a clearance to go with 4 clearances and 4 recoveries, connected on 26 of 31 passes (84% was tops among starters), even won a couple of aerials too. It’s nice he came in and did this, but this can’t be sustainable long-term.
Steve Birnbaum (Captain): 6.5 | Community: 6.67
83% accuracy passing (4 of 7 longballs), but both his tackles defensively were successful, to go with 2 interceptions, 3 recoveries, and 8 clearances. It’s nice he had his woobie back onfield and all, but only goes to show a younger guy to pair up with the organizer Birdbomb would be nice.
Taylor Kemp: 5.5 | Community: 6.2
Someone quietly had 8 clearances deep in his end and side of the field to go with 3 recoveries, an interception and 2 tackles? TK2. Who also connected on only 65% of his passes with a key pass? TK2. A better day for him, but nothing like last year.
Marcelo Sarvas: 5 | Community: 5.14
79% passing on the day including 4 of 8 long balls, but quiet offensively. Defensively was successful on 3 of 5 tackle attempts, had 5 interceptions, 2 clearances, a blocked shot and 15 recoveries, 12 in his half. For better or worse, might have been his purest game as a 6 based on actions alone:
Nevertheless, he gets to sit this week because of that...foul.
Lloyd Sam (off 80’): 5.5 | Community: 6.2
Had a shot and key pass to got with a 73% accuracy number, but also helped out with 3 tackles and 4 recoveries, most in his half of the field. Perhaps he’s pacing himself for the long year?
Ian Harkes: 5.5 | Community: 6.3
79% passing and another key pass, though had a scoring chance he passed on. Checked in with 4 recoveries and an interception also. Slowly growing into it, but could use some swagger.
Luciano Acosta (off 89’): 7 | Community: 7.4
Both shots were on target (Ortiz had the only other on target for the team), and had 74% passing on a team high 53. Had 3 tackles, an interception, clearance and 7 recoveries, though I’m curious to see what he does with Ortiz in the coming days and weeks.
Patrick Nyarko: 5.5 | Community: 6.6
Was the only DC player with more thn 1 key pass (2), but was the most inaccurate starter on the night. Completed all 4 tackles, had 2 interceptions, a clearance and 6 recoveries. The team’s shot and shots on goal leader did neither of both Saturday.
Jose Ortiz (off 70’): 7 | Community: 7.2
So let’s look at his actions on the day:
So, 3 shots, only on target was the goal, and getting the ball outside to the flanks to get numbers up, and found the open man more often than not. An encouraging starting debut, but you know what they say about sequels.
Lamar Neagle (on 70’): 5.5 | Community: 5.8
Connected on 4 of 5 passes (hey, like last game!) and a take-on, but also dispossessed and quiet defensively. Again, par for the course.
Sean Franklin (on 80’): Inc | Community: 5.7
4 touches including a clearance, a tackle and connecting on his only pass of the night.
Jared Jeffrey (on 89’): Inc | Community: 5.5
3 touches, 2 were passes (1 succesful) and a clearance, for this week’s presumptive CDM.
C.J. Sapong was the runaway winner on 63 votes:
Ricardo Salazar - Referee:
Salazar got a 6.29 based on 62 votes.
Sure, wins are fun and great and all, but take a look at some things for a second. Like the hour of gameplay between shots for the Black-and-Red. And to mildly echo something Jason said and mix it with something Matt Doyle mentioned a couple weeks back, seeing D.C. act like the D.C. of the first half of the century was in a sense, a way to eschew the process for the sake of a result. Doing what they did Saturday won’t get them positive results against one New York team and one New Jersey team, but it does help folks in that room regain a bit of confidence which could have been lost if they did last week.
And we are getting to the point where most of those folks need to realize that these things need to be rectified quickly. Guys like Cubo Torres, Diego Valeri and Josef Martinez have as many goals as most Black-and-Red players have shots, and the outside midfielders of 2017 need to start playing like they did in the fall of 2016. Problems still exist with this group of starters, in that two players in the spine of the field have a combined age that would make for a good bowling score.
If there were a good place to continue turning things around, it would be against the team that embarrassed them last month.