So D.C. United’s week started after Saturday’s win over the Vancouver Whitecaps with a late Saturday night bus ride to Seattle, then to Florida on Monday to face an Orlando City that, while struggling of late, had won 5 of their first 7 games at their new stadium. The Black-and-Red had some looks, but the 2-0 loss felt about right given the way things played out.
But this is why you vote, so you can disagree with this, right?
Bill Hamid: 6.5 | Community: 5.25
Didn’t have to stand on his head as much as he did Saturday, and could do little about goal one. Goal two on the other hand...is what Giles Barnes’ shot bounced off of apparently. He’ll shake it off, of this I feel confident.
Chris Odoi-Atsem: 6 | Community: 6.6 (MOTM)
Holy cow, got his first MLS start, good on the kid, and even ran out onto the field during the anthem (tried shoehorning in a joke and it failed, I admit my mistakes). Had 4 clearances, 2 recoveries, an interception and a tackle and provided decent pace despite connecting on only 54% of his passes. I imagine he’ll get better with more reps, but this was a decent debut.
Steve Birnbaum (Captain): 6 | Community: 6.2
4 recoveries, 4 clearances, 3 interceptions and 2 blocks all within the first third of his end, added 4 won aerials and a key pass to go with 72% accuracy. Listed at 6’2” and 180 pounds on MLS’ official site, looked like George McFly compared to Cyle Larin on that goal, and only gives away 10 pounds. Hrm.
Kofi Opare: 6 (MOTM) | Community: 6.7
Last time I saw him, he had a bag of ice on his left foot in Canada. Came to Florida, had 5 clearances, 3 recoveries, 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and a blocked shot, and edged out Birdbomb in the defensive action battle. Missed 1 pass (of only 12) and had a shot to boot. Game states and the like, but if he and Steve can do something like this with more consistency (and hope the offense can do its job):
Then I’ll be happy. Moreover, is becoming a stronger and stronger part of the center back discussion.
Taylor Kemp: 6 | Community: 5.5
71% accuracy and a key pass on a somewhat quiet night for him up front, though in back had 7 recoveries and an interception. I’d imagine he’ll do a little better once Nyarko is given full run.
Marcelo Sarvas: 5.5 | Community: 5.2
One part of the ‘2’ in a 4-2-3-1. Look at tactically analog Ben Olsen, with his third different formation in as many games! Had 73% passing accuracy on 45 passes, including a chance creator, and defensively had 9 recoveries, a blocked shot, interception and 2 clearances. He’s certainly done better but more importantly, he didn’t do the same or worse on the night.
Jared Jeffrey: 5.5 | Community: 4.8
28 of 31 passing, with 5 recoveries, a clearance and a tackle defensively. Fed the attackers the ball for attack build ups when he could, he and Sarvas kind of are what they are, you know?
Lloyd Sam (off 69’): 5.5 | Community: 4.8
Sam and his tight groin stayed home and met the boys in Florida, and contributed an 80% passing day (with no shots or key passes), and had 2 clearances, a tackle and 7 recoveries to go with that yellow for dissent. Remember when there was talk about him getting an extension and it was a good thing? Feel like we’re going to be regretting that if it’s signed already.
Julian Buescher (off 76’): 5.5 | Community: 4.9
Hey, a Buescher sighting, his first appearance in a game since the season opener! 21 of 29 passes with a key pass and 3 shots, one blocked, one sent to the nearby Publix. 3 recoveries and a tackle defensively, and the wait to see if he makes the leap to what the organization expected of him continues.
Luciano Acosta (off HT’): 5.5 | Community: 5.56
Played outside on the left again which, while he did it with Boca Juniors in Argentina from time to time, he’s done it here, not so adeptly. This time? 74% passing on 19 overall, and a sexy ball in that was a touch heavy for Neagle to get to, and a tackle and recovery defensively. Would have been nice to keep him on, but I get it, rotation.
Lamar Neagle: 5.5 | Community: 4.8
Had a nice time in and around his hometown last week, this week? Well, should have played a ball to Le Toux for a easy goal. Still had 3 shots (one on target), one key pass, 77% pass accuracy to go with a clearance. With Mullins gone for the foreseeable, 2016 Neagle needs to come back for this team to have any semblance of a playoff berth.
Sebastien Le Toux: (on HT) 5 | Community: 4.7
Should have finished off Neagle’s pass if Neagle, you know, passed it to him, but past that was only 7 of 14 passing with 3 recoveries and a tackle. Should probably have stayed out/Lucho stayed on longer to see if another result could be snatched, but such is life.
Patrick Nyarko (on 69’): 5 | Community: 4.9
His first MLS minutes in 2 months, had 5 of 9 passes made, 4 recoveries, a tackle and a won aerial. Stay healthy Patty, this message can be used elsewhere.
Alhaji Kamara (on 76’): 5.5 | Community: 4.9
His first MLS minutes this year, had a shot, a won aerial and 3 of 6 passes made. Like Neagle (and the suspended for this game Jose Ortiz), has a chance to insert themselves into a larger discussion for playing time with Patrick Mullins out.
Barnes beat out Larin and Joe Bendik as your MOTM for Orlando:
Allen Chapman - Referee:
Chappy was given an average score of 4.25.
So here’s the thing, when Ben Olsen characterizes his team as playing well, he DOES have kind of a point. OCSC came into the game winless in their last 6 and scoreless in their last 2, and were desperate to right the ship. And it bears repeating, they were doing this in a place where they were 5-1-1 coming in. So, desperate-ish team, with resources to play to get the result did just that.
And how did they do that exactly? Well, the first goal they used their beast of a striker to get a header on a Will Johnson ball, and the second was a wet-gloved howler from the Designated Player OCSC had come off the bench. Considering D.C. in all likelihood didn’t get to Orlando until Monday afternoon, consider the time crunch, 2 players with limited MLS minutes this year thus far in starting roles, most of the other players dealing with a new look in the formation, I’m not completely sure what the expectations could possibly have been.
I mean, with the problems surrounding the team’s finishing still existing, along with issues at defensive midfield (and now striker), was it the result in general? Because goodness knows there was enough going against this that it was going to be an L no matter what.
And now the LA Galaxy come to town. Loser gets to keep Curt Onalfo!