D.C. United came into Wednesday night's affair with the Montreal Impact looking at their 2nd game in 4 days, and part of an overall stretch where they play 4 in 12, with 3 of those against teams ahead of them in the standings, so they're in the position of attempting to make up ground which trying to manage the roster to avoid injury and general breakdown. So they hunkered down with their starting XI as it was against Montreal's big names and held their own for a bit before sharing the points in a 1-1 affair.
So let's see what your votes had for everyone, shall we?
Bill Hamid: 8 (MOTM) | Community 8.8 (MOTM)
The Hassoun Camara goal was something where, if he saved it, would have been nothing short of sensational. Still had to make three other saves, and a couple were of the otherworldly variety. Bill seemed to hint that he had been off the last couple of games, but certainly looked like himself Wednesday. That type of form, set behind the normal lineup of late, would get positive results I think.
Sean Franklin: 6 (Captain) (off HT') | Community: 6.08
14 of 17 passing, most in his half, though he connected on 4 of 5 in the attacking third. Had a tackle, a blocked shot, 3 interceptions and 4 clearances before coming off, so his battle for the highly coveted minutes played championship remains in a stalemate. Was what he was I think.
Steve Birnbaum: 7 | Community: 6.3
One of only three field players from Sunday to start Wednesday, had a shot and key pass in the weird year of Steve Birnbaum offensive production. Defensively, 9 clearances, won 5 of 8 aerials, passing had a little to be desired and looked like he got a little hindered on the goal(?), but had a good night.
Kofi Opare: 5.5 | Community: 5.1
He and Birdbomb maintained the line pretty well for the most part, and he registered 4 clearances, and 2 pair (interceptions, tackles) to go with a blocked shot. Won 3 of 4 aerials, connected on 11 of 15 passes, but that red card, man, with 2 yellows and 2 reds in 9 games I'm starting to wonder if there is some regression going on.
Luke Mishu: 6.5 | Community 5.8
Let the B team evaluation commence! In his first regular season start of 2016, Mishu was 19 of 23 passing in a 90 minutes spent on both sides of the backline, and did not miss a pass on the right side. Had 5 clearances, 2 tackles, and a blocked shot defensively. Could have done more offensively but probably wasn't told to, and I'm fine with that.
Rob Vincent: 6 | Community: 5.89
2 starts in under 3 weeks for Vincent, doubling his total on the year. Had two shots including a nicely struck one in the second half, had 25 of 36 passing, spent largely feeding the outside mids. Had a pair of tackles and interceptions defensively, and may be finding a slight niche in his role with the club.
Lamar Neagle: 5.5 | Community: 5.8
Converted the PK (adding to the list of things he's done for the team this year, including taking set pieces, corners, etc.), and led the team in shots (3), though that PK was the only one on goal. Won 3 of 6 aerials in the attacking half, was 20 of 34 passing with a key pass, though was 5 of 15 in the attacking third. Had a tackle and a clearance, but also had the turnover that led to the tying goal.
Nick DeLeon: 6 | Community: 5.8
Started in the middle next to his third partner this year, converted on 23 of 28 passes, including 2 chance creators, which was good. Those two key passes comprise 5 successful attacking third passes, out of 10 attempted, which was not so good. Had a tackle (of 3 attempted) and 3 clearances. Capable once more.
Julian Buescher: 6 | Community: 6.2
Had the tackle on Piatti in the area that was so, so good, and 1 of 5 on the night for him, and 4 of the 5 were within D.C.'s 1st third of the field. 18 of 25 passing (including a key pass) and 6 of 11 in the attacking third, with a shot that the Impact blocked. Not bad for someone making his first MLS start.
Patrick Nyarko: 6 (off 62') | Community: 6.8
Drew the PK in the first half, had a nice pass to switch the field in the second, one of only 8 he connected, of 15 total. 3 tackles defensively, and after being possibly the best field player on the first half, sort of cruised in the second.
Kennedy Igboananike: 5.5 (off 79') | Community: 5.9
His first start with his new club and...had a shot and connected 6 of 7 passes. Didn't win any of the 5 aerials he was involved in, and failed on 4 take-ons of his defender. I'm going to presume that hold-up work isn't his forte, but it's not unreasonable to expect better, no?
Taylor Kemp: 5.5 (on HT') | Community: 5.4
8 of 16 passing with an interception, clearance and failed tackle. Pretty nondescript night for him.
Marcelo Sarvas: 5.5 (on 62') | Community: 6.1
Came on in the 62nd, took a yellow in the 63rd, attaboy! 6 of 12 passing and I'll take a half point off for the position he put Neagle in because Steven Streff would want me to.
Patrick Mullins: 6 (on 79') | Community: 5.8
3 of 6 passing (1 key pass), a won aerial, 3 unsuccessful tackles. OK, all things considered.
Based on the 48 votes: you said Ignacio Piatti was the best impact player:
Robert Sibiga - Referee:
Your votes rated Sibiga a 5.75 on 44 votes.
Here's the thing about matches like Wednesday in the midst of stretches like this: they stink. They stink for the players, they stink for the fans, they stink for the people who write or talk about them. Partly because of how quick they come, but mainly because there is not a lot you can take away from them. At this stage in the season, short of unforeseen circumstance, do guys like Mishu and Vincent starting tell us anything, other than they can do it? It's not a besmirching of them, it's observational. There's not a lot to learn from this game.
There is one important thing though: when personnel rotation this widespread occurs, then you better damn well sure have the second half of the rotation know that they need to do. The Chicago Fire come to RFK finally breaking their road winless streak last week, and running the LA Galaxy for a tougher than anticipated contest, with both games featuring starters. Whether they remain buoyed or not remains to be seen, but I think this game could be tougher than what appears optically. And D.C. is coming closer and closer against a point of no return: at 43% coming into today's game via Inonit, a win puts them at 56%, and a loss at 27%, with a draw dropping them to 36%. After today, they would be going against a New York City FC team next Thursday who will be playing on the road against Orlando City SC Sunday night, traveling back, and then will be without Ronald Mattarita to World Cup qualifying duty. Not impossible, but for a team with a continued problem of winning on the road, even when they play their subs, difficult to say the least.
D.C., at home, with players like Luciano Acosta, Patrick Mullins and Lloyd Sam having (most of) the week off, against a Fire team tied for worst in the league on points, and has lost 9 of 12 on the road, need to do their business today.