D.C. United was looking to build on their previous win over the Philadelphia Union by defeating a pretty good New York City FC side that had smoked them at Yankee Stadium a couple of weeks prior. While the 2-1 win wasn’t full retribution for that 4-0 loss, points is points is points.
Let’s see what you thought about the boys in Black (and Red)!
Bill Hamid: 7.5 (MOTM) | Community: 8.1
5 saves made include a couple of beauties, and the goal given up was a wormburner along a patchy RFK field. His distribution, 4 of 21 successful long balls, remains a minor concern. Maybe it was to avoid whatever press the Pigeons employed, but Bilal can throw or roll some out there if he chooses to.
Nick DeLeon: 7 | Community: 6.89
Jason made the case about NDL being MOTM in his piece (which you should really read), and he included a map to help reflect his defensive work. Here’s one, reflecting his own passing on the day, which shows a lot of passes to Sam and Acosta. Nicely done.
Bobby Boswell: 7 | Community: 7.4
6 clearances, 6 recoveries, 2 tackles, 2 interceptions, a blocked shot, a shot on goal. Missing 12 of 26 passes being the only tick mark (though he was back to banging things downfield due to the tactical change), but more importantly who is this guy in the Bobby Boswell jersey?
Steve Birnbaum (Captain): 6.5 | Community: 6.8
Had his own shot, to go with 5 clearances, a blocked shot and 3 recoveries. Made the most of his 16 touches on the day, and hopefully he’s taking notes for when we really do get to the point where Boswell isn’t here anymore.
Taylor Kemp: 5.5 | Community: 6.1
5 recoveries and a clearance defensively, offensively connected on 57.5% of his passes (second worst to Boswell), including 3 of 15 long balls, his key pass aside. Jason’s pretty much echoed my gripe about his passing, but he’s slightly starting to not pick up forwards on a run, and shots are going to start coming from his side of the field sooner or later.
Jared Jeffrey: 6 | Community: 6.05
1 of 2 successful tackles, 8 recoveries, 4 interceptions and a clearance, and at 78% his accuracy was second best amongst starters, and had that nice left-footed shot. Played a little further up the field as a CDM compared to Sarvas the prior week, but did about as well as you’d expect.
Lloyd Sam (off 85’): 7 | Community: 7.3
2 key passes, 3 shots, 2 shots on goal (the last 2 tied with Lucho), 69% pass accuracy on one side, 3 recoveries, 2 tackles and a clearance on the other, and may have been his best game of the year so far (sample size!). Getting the wingers involved can only help the team.
Ian Harkes: 6 | Community: 6.2
64% passing is down compared to past games, but connected on 4 of 8 long balls and had a key pass, and started the sequence where Lucho scored his goal. Had that last minute shot saved by Sean Johnson. 8 recoveries, a clearance and interception defensively. Nice trial by fire to help with Jeffrey, should return to more attacking focus this week.
Luciano Acosta : 7.5 | Community: 8.3 (MOTM)
3 shots, 2 on target, 3 key passes on a 74% clip, scored that pretty goal, and at 5 dribbles had a bunch of space to boot. Had 8 recoveries of his own to go with 3 tackles, and that extra time keep away was kinda porn.
Patrick Nyarko (off 59’): 5.5 | Community: 6
65% passing on a shotless day for the Hokie, and has 1 shot in his last 3 games. Had an interception, 2 clearances and 8 recoveries defensively. In between him and Kemp, the left side is looking at some need of a kickstart.
Jose Ortiz (off 72’): 6 | Community: 6.03
23 touches on the day, including a shot and a won aerial. Had 71% accuracy on his passes, had a recovery, tackle and blocked shot(?) deep in his end. Kid’s got a nice motor to him but Patrick Mullins has nothing to worry about right now.
Sean Franklin (on 59’): 6 | Community: 5.8
5 clearances and 3 recoveries defensively, connected on all 4 passes and had a shot offensively. Nice little work here.
Sebastien Le Toux (on 72’): 5.5 | Community: 5.8
2 clearances and an interception deep in his end, connected on 4 of 9 passes with one key pass. An OK day, but if Nyarko gets replaced any time soon, would probably not be the first choice.
Lamar Neagle (on 85’): 6.5 | Community: 5.2
Nice work in support of Lucho late, connected on both of his passes. Defensively had 2 recoveries, a tackle, a clearance and interception in a full 5 minutes.
Villa, Villa, David Villa.
Drew Fischer - Referee:
Fischer was given a 5.7 based on your votes.
There was this weird connotation associated with this game, that it was a throwback or even return to the amorphous term Bennyball. But what are we talking about? If we’re talking about absorbing an attack (in Birnbaum and Boswell you’ve got a couple of aerial duel winners, the former particularly so), I guess that’s true. I mean:
Are we talking about this?
Against a Pigeons team that completed only 1 more cross than DC (despite attempting almost three times as many)?
Against a Pigeons team that, in tinkering with a new formation of its own, had Patrick Viera admit that Andrea Pirlo could be exposed on a counter attack, which happened on the game-winning goal?
Against a team that they barely won the xG battle against despite appearing to have the better second half by same, maybe this is actually Bennyball:
Got to hand it to Olsen – he did a number on Vieira in this second half. It's not been pretty, but effective. #DCvNYC— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) April 8, 2017
Because contrary to popular belief, making adjustments at the half and winning the game isn’t limited to every other coach in the world save Ben Olsen.