“Tale of Two Halves” could be the title of the Dickensian tragedy that is the current DC United season. I’m rewatching the Telefutura broadcast right now, and one of the announcers just called United’s play “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
It seems the great debate over the formation United should be playing is over. United doesn’t have the playmakers to play the 4-4-2; they do have two target forwards, in Cristman and Allsopp, and so have (rightfully) started playing a 4-5-1. Cristman did a good job of knocking down long balls and playing them to other members of the team.
Perkins – 4: Had a good first half. However, between the two goals, Perkins started to look tentative. He needs to take control of his box and order his defenders around.
Graye – 6: Didn’t see him do anything poorly, which is more than I can say for any of the other defenders.
Pena- 4: See below, but switch “Talley” and “Pena.” Also, does he have the fitness to be a 90 minute player?
Talley – 4: If Perkins or Pena won’t organize the defense, then Talley needs to. I can’t count how many times the camera flipped back to a Red Bull attack and there were three RBNY players and two or three members of the DCU back line. RBNY was able to get behind half of the DCU back line, and someone needs to take charge and make sure things like that don’t happen.
Wallace – 4: Rodney Wallace just got abused on that first goal, and both Pena and Perkins just missed the ball. His speed allows for him to make up for positioning mistakes (sometimes).
Morsink – 5: Seems to be the only one out there who cares. You see him out there shouting at his teammates, arguing with the ref, and actually being invested in whether this team wins or loses. Right after RBNY’s first goal, he got into with a member of the other team. Its an argument whether or not he should be a starter in this league; but I think he has to stay into someone else on this team shows proof that they actually care during the game.
Simms – 6: MotM. So close on that header. Passed well in the midfield, created some chances.
Castillo – 5: After playing poorly in his first few games, Christian Catillo was actually one of the high points of the game. He whipped some crosses in and was able to get a couple shots off. He played well and should continue to play.
Najar – 5: Obviously not a good as in the Open Cup match, but still played well. Not really sure why he was taken off for Jaime.
Quaranta – 3: Heavy first touches that allowed the RBNY players to steal the ball off his foot. Not very good on crosses. In the second half he tried to walk the ball from the 6 yard box into the goal, instead of just taking a shot.
Cristman – 6: It was nice to see a United forward actually getting shots off, even if none of his went in. With Pontius out, it should be between Cristman and Allsopp to see who is the starting forward.
Moreno – 3: Anonymous.
Emilio – 2: Came on to replace one of the two effective offensive players DCU had in the game. He’s not match fit yet and shouldn’t have been brought one. Also anonymous.
King – NA: Brought on for Clyde Simms; just acquired and hasn’t really had any chance to practice with the team. Could he be the “heir” to Morsink?
I’ll be back either later today or early tomorrow with a preview of tomorrow’s match against Kansas City.