If you were among the brave few involved in #DCUafterDark, I salute you. A group of probably 40 DCU fans banded together, using Twitter as a means to keep us awake during the dire stretches of United’s 2-1 win late Friday night. That’s not to say there weren’t standout moments in the match.
The first 25 minutes of the game were undoubtedly the best spell of play United has enjoyed in the past season and a half. The movement off the ball, passing, and ability to maintain possession were a sight for sore eyes, and a hint of what this team could become. After double-agent Brandon Barklage volleyball spiked a United shot in the box, Eddie Johnson doubled his season goal total by slipping a poorly taken penalty past Jon Busch, to take the early lead.
United kept the pressure on, with Rolfe playing a ball across the six yard box that Luis Silva was able to poke into the net, rewarding United’s attacking display with a 2 goal lead. The lead wouldn’t last long, with Wondolowski being karmically gifted a deflected goals to push his recurring Brazil miss nightmare from his brains for one night.
After that goal, United turned into the less visually appealing version of itself, scrambling to defend and relying on Bill Hamid to make up for bad bounces and defensive lapses. Luckily for United, Hamid was ready to be called upon, stopping 9 shots (a personal record) and preserving all 3 points for the visiting team.
I’m going to avoid doing full player ratings for games I can only see on TV. I tend to judge players more harshly if I can’t see what they do without the ball, so I wouldn’t want to penalize anyone unduly.
BUT, I can say a few things.
- Eddie Johnson’s moping is reaching rage inducing levels. His teammates haven’t come to outright on field mutiny yet, but I have to imagine it gets a little tiresome being yelled at by him, seeing him gesticulating every play, and doing his weird fake run shuffle for 75 minutes. Also, he was lucky that penalty squirted through.
- Bill Hamid is not long for MLS. We should enjoy him while we can, and hope that the academy can unearth another player close to what Hamid has turned into.
- Steven Birnbaum continues to impress in his deputizing for Jeff Parke. Olsen may have some tough choices to make when Parke returns, but on DCU, those things tend to work themselves out with inconvenient injuries.
- Chris Rolfe was the bargain of the century. Trading him for a pile of practice cones was undoubtedly Kasper’s best move of the offseason.
- Sean Franklin played his best game in a United jersey. Apparently, he needs to be in California to play at his best.
What did you think of the game?