Following a 3 game in 8 day stretch that covered 7,000 miles (take THAT, traveling European club soccer fans!), D.C. United returned home in need of points and more specifically positive results, and perhaps go into their mini break with a little bit of encouragement. On the surface, a scoreless draw with their longtime foe the LA Galaxy may not be good, their performance was...encouraging?
But hey, bring on the votes!
Bill Hamid (Captain): 7 | Community: 8 (MOTM)
Shots he got to weren’t entirely dangerous, held his own in the box and helped Opare and Robinson stay connected in dealing with their dangerous marks in his first (I think?) appearance with the armband. Rounded the weekend off by making the preliminary roster for the United States for the Gold Cup, and performances like the last 4 help that case.
Chris Korb: 6 | Community: 6.4
At 85% passing accuracy overall (including 18 of 20 in the attacking half) was the 4th most accurate passer on the day, and the backline comprised spots 2-5 of the starters. Complemented it with 4 clearances, 2 recoveries and a tackle in his half of the field. If he starts showing up with assists, though with 10 in 109 career games it’s unlikely, but this is a good baseline and with Chris Odoi-Atsem and the eventual return of Nick DeLeon, might give Ben Olsen a pleasant problem.
Jalen Robinson: 6.5 | Community: 6.56
With Steve Birnbaum out to a knee injury, Robinson got the nod, perhaps to maybe spell Bobby Boswell’s tight groin, perhaps not. The result? 28 of 32 passing and just missed out on most accurate passer. Won an aerial, had 4 recoveries, 3 clearances and a very nice first half block. There was a sequence I enjoyed where he was dealing with a ball with Gyasi Zardes bearing down on him deep in his end, and he headed it away and got the second touch clearance as a result. Ballsy move from a kid who’s yet to give up a goal in RFK when he starts in the league, and why he doesn’t get more time continues to mystify us.
Kofi Opare: 7 (MOTM) | Community: 6.9
Chipped in an 86% accuracy number and a shot to go with 7 won aerials. The defensive end is where he stepped up, with 10(!) clearances, 2 recoveries, 2 interceptions and 2 blocked shots. Quietly returning to his normal form of timely tackles, doesn’t foul as much, and gets in front of the ball to block a shot. He and Robinson got the ball out to the wings and forward fairly effectively on the day and it would seem (heavy emphasis) that Boswell can rest his groin a little longer.
Taylor Kemp: 6 | Community: 6.4
36 of 41 with a key pass and his only shot was on target. Had 5 clearances, 5 recoveries, 2 interceptions and a tackle defensively. So here was his distribution Saturday:
Now here’s Kemp a month ago vs. the Montreal Impact:
Granted, he had to support the center backs a little more this time vs. last, but it looks like there’s a few more passes directed, and completed, deep along the left side of the field, perhaps the Nyarko effect.
Jared Jeffrey: 5.5 | Community: 5.6
Had 75.5% passing accuracy and of his two shots, had 1 on target. Pitched in 4 tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 clearances and 6 recoveries. Discouraged by his passing a little, but still doing fine considering expectations.
Ian Harkes: 6.5 | Community: 6.3
Had the most passes of any field player (58), was edged out by Gio Dos Santos for most accurate passer of any field player (88.6% to 87.9%), including a sort of insane 12 of 15 long balls completed, second most key passes (3) of any field player, and whatever body part Ashley Cole has saved what would have been the game-winner. For as goofy as this year is, as Rick alluded to, nobody’s played more minutes and is more accurate a passer than Ian, and he’s had 5 of his 12 total chance creating passes of 2017 in his last 4 starts. Starting to click well with Lucho, which is nothing but good news.
Patrick Nyarko: (off 67’) 5.5 | Community: 6.2
First start in almost 2 months, had 13 of 18 passing (with a chance creator), a shot and a won aerial. Had 4 tackles and 3 recoveries, and served as a slightly more dangerous threat than Lamar Neagle and thus, had a little more coverage taken away from Lucho, which is a quietly good thing.
Luciano Acosta (off 82’): 6 | Community: 5.56
26 of 39 with a key pass, and of his team-leading 5 shots, 2 were on target, where he tended to switch to both sides of the field, though leaned to the left. Had 9 recoveries (8 from the midfield stripe to LA’s net), 2 tackles, 2 interceptions and a clearance. Man, I wish he had someone of quality that could finish these chances, because I’m not completely in love with this version of Lucho.
Lloyd Sam: 5.5 | Community: 5.7
76% passing, 2 shots, 2 key passes and a won aerial to go with 5 recoveries, a tackle, interception and clearance. We talk about lack of scoring and chances every so often, and I’m starting to think Sam, with an assist and 5 shots in 8 games since scoring a goal on April 8, should be among the reasons why.
Jose Ortiz (off 82’): 5.5 | Community: 4.7
3 shots, 2 on target, 2 key passes(?) and a won aerial, though 8 of 17 passes did him little justice, and his decision making is getting increasingly concerning. On a second half counter with Lucho and Nyarko involved, Ortiz...holds up at the center then switches play that results in a dispossess two touches later? That in and of itself summarizes his first 3 months in MLS.
Lamar Neagle (on 67’): 5.5 | Community: 5.4
6 of 15 passing, 2 shots and 2 recoveries. A whole lot of red on that action map.
Sebastien Le Toux: (on 82’) 6 | Community: 5.4
7 of 7 passing, a won aerial and a chance creator. Did what was expected I guess.
Julian Buescher (on 82’): 6 | Community: 5
4 of 6 passing, 2 key passes in close, all in all good work and hopefully he’s back healthy and part of the rotation going forward.
Jelle Van Damme edged out Ashley Cole in voting:
Drew Fischer - Referee:
Fischer was given an average of 6 based on your votes.
So in terms of the play last week, having 19 shots is OK, and 6 on goal is....pretty much as expected I guess? Though you’ve got to shoot to eventually get shots on goal, and getting 13 of those 19 off within the box is encouraging, even if the accuracy was a little less so, in between Jon Kempin’s performance and a couple of timely blocks.
And while the overarching problems still exist, the small nuanced cracks in between are nice to see deliver. Ben Olsen can’t just sit by and tread water and wait for Patrick Mullins to come back, though he does tie the goalscoring rug together to a certain degree. With a hopefully healthy or at the least functioning Nyarko, combined with Acosta and Harkes whose rookie wall has hopefully occurred already, the team can look towards their daunting road schedule of the near-future and gut some things out.
If not? Well, get used to the name Tomas Hilliard-Arce, a center back and more glaringly, a likely top 3-5 pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.