D.C. United went into a road game that few thought they would win against an opponent (Atlanta United) that would presumably run them into the ground, and it sure looked the part for the first few minutes of the game. But the ship was remarkably righted and the 3-1 win was a pleasant surprise for a team that needed to continue momentum.
So how’d you guys vote?
Bill Hamid: 8.5 | Community: 9.1 (MOTM)
6 saves, and one that got away at point blank range he could do little about, while keeping the team in the game early on, while dealing with a groin he had to eventually get a scan for this week. The scan was negative (which is positive), as in he continues to have the biggest pair any of us realize.
Sean Franklin: 5.5 | Community: 5.97
A bit out of sorts in the run up leading to the first goal, and took a fair share of Atlanta’s attack for the balance for some time afterwards. 6 recoveries, 4 clearances, an interception and tackle on a 48% (ugh) accuracy day, but did get an assist for the throw in to Lucho for the goal. Get the feeling if he was getting dangled (as Matt Doyle suggests he should be) the return would be small?
Bobby Boswell (Captain): 5.5 | Community: 5.85
2 recoveries, 8 clearances and an interception defensively. 5 of 16 (yeesh) connected passes and a couple won aerials. Let’s see, what else...
Kofi Opare: 7.5 | Community: 7.3
3 of 9 passes, won an aerial duel and had a shot. He and Boswell (mostly the latter) switched off on the ATL goal, but made a great tackle on Kenwyne Jones after that, and had a couple of great blocks on odd man rushes that could have also changed the game state. Nice performance to build off of and if the consistency is there (back?) it helps the team tremendously short- and long-term.
Taylor Kemp: 6 | Community: 6.5
43.5% accuracy on the night for that matter, D.C. defenders took up the 3 least accurate passing spots on the night (maybe because of taking Bill’s goal kicks?), and took one shot. Also had 4 recoveries, 3 clearances, 2 interceptions and a blocked shot. Quietly did a bunch of work in back and was arguably the best defender for much of this one.
Jared Jeffrey: 6.5 | Community: 6.53
5 of 6 successful tackles, 6 interceptions (game highs for anyone on the day) 8 recoveries, a clearance and a blocked shot. At 16 of 24 passing was the 3rd most accurate passer and even had a shot to go with it. Is a partner needed for him to succeed or do we limp along until Chris Durkin joins the first team again?
Lloyd Sam (off 90’): 6 | Community: 6.3
8 recoveries (7 in his own end), 3 clearances and 2 interceptions, but also while only connecting on 11 of 24 passes, 3 were key passes, and dealt with Yamil Asad’s cheap shot like a pro.
Ian Harkes: 6.5 | Community: 7.1
His only shot was on target, he was the most accurate passer (76.7%) on the most number of passes (30), chipped in 7 recoveries, 3 interceptions a clearance and a block in a role that changed in game. Went with the flow nicely.
Luciano Acosta (off 65’): 8.5 (MOTM) | Community: 8.8
Scored the game-winning goal (both were on target BTW), and assisted on another. Had 4 key passes, which led the team, and averages 2 a game on the season. That also leads the team and is also in the Top 20 in the league despite giving a 1-2 game head start to guys like Nicolas Lodeiro, Clint Dempsey and Lee Nguyen (among others). 7 take on dribbles against Atlanta, and 3.5 per game leads the League. Second? Ignacio Piatti (3), so bring on the one on ones!
Seriously though, can we get him some toys to play with?
Lamar Neagle: 6.5 | Community: 6.64
2 shot (both on target), forced the turnover and had the cross that led to the own goal, won 4 aerials and had a 63% PassAcc. Added 7 recoveries, 3 interceptions and 2 clearances to boot in a decent outing for him, scuffed chance late aside.
Sebastien Le Toux (on 74’): 7 | Community: 7.22
2 shots, both on goal both on a counter, both from Lucho. One went in for his second goal in as many games (and 2 more in 2017 than the guy the Philadelphia Union got that made Seba redundant). Took an elbow from Leandro Gonzalez Pirez at one point but stayed in the game and for his minimal work, made the most of it.
Marcelo Sarvas (on 65’): 6 | Community: 5.95
6 of 11 connected passes, which is good, along with a recovery and interception. Didn’t misstep, may be his role for awhile.
Patrick Mullins (on 74’): 6 | Community: 5.5
Had a recovery, but also connected on 3 o 5 passes, including a key pass. Going to take a lot to knock Le Toux out of the lineup. Kidding, I think.
Chris Odoi-Atsem (on 90’): Inc | Community: 5.4
His only touch was a clearance. Did his job!
Jones gets the honor by more than double that of Greg Garza:
Jair Marrufo - Referee:
You gave Marrufo a ...6.07(?) based on average.
When you see games like Sunday they may for wacky decisions, but a couple of thoughts to add onto Jason’s :
- Ben Olsen didn’t just make the switch at halftime based on his comments (as some seem to think), it had been ongoing in the first half. Minutes before Lucho’s goal, Acosta found Le Toux on an open chance that forced Kann to make a save. Harkes had dropped back to play next to Jeffrey more as well.
- I made a comment to the other folks in our chat room that this was for all intents and purposes a copy of D.C.’s last match with New York City FC, in that both had a team with a European manager bringing numbers forward in attack, and Olsen was able to draw them in and absorb the attack. They adjusted to the target forward ATL has (which NYC doesn’t), as Jones had 1 shot in the last 74 minutes of play, and countered quickly and effectively, particularly on the last goal.
- A quick thing regarding offense. D.C. took on average 13.9 shots per game last year, and in 2017 has 10.8 shots per game at the moment. Only the Chicago Fire (10.1) and Colorado Rapids (7.3) have fewer, and Chicago is working in Bastian Schweinsteiger. However when it comes to whether those shots are getting through, things luminate a little more. Chicago has 1.8 shots blocked a game, Colorado 1.4. D.C. has more than those two combined (3.3). So in summation, D.C. isn’t shooting as much as they did last year, and when they do, a ton of shots are getting blocked, thus they’re left to get fat on table scraps.
Hopefully while they’ve adjusted accordingly for the time being, they know it’s only half the battle.