I’m still amazed at how terrible the picture is on Fox Soccer for MLS games; its really, really bad. Let’s just move to Versus already.
Anyways, the game. DC United versus the best team in the league. And, except for the final score, it was just like I said: if you look at the general run of play, it seemed like United was in it, but fatal mistakes at the back and an inability to finish brings another loss. They also seemed to quit soon after the Galaxy PK, not getting back into it until the 85th minute or so. If this starts happening more often, it will be the death knell for Onalfo; once the team starts quitting on him, there’s no going back.
Troy Perkins – 4: Didn’t have too much to do, except for the poor job that he did on the goal. Nothing he could do on the PK: he guessed the right way, but just couldn’t extend far enough to get it.
Devon McTavish – 6: Did good work on Donovan one on one. No glaring mistakes, which is more than can be said for other members of the defense.
Julius James – 3: For the most part, he was solid in the back. I don’t think that handball was necessary, though. He should have let it go; it wasn’t a Luis Suarez situation. And actually, looking at the replay just now, Perkins would have had a good chance on it. Dumb dumb dumb. Those are the kind of mistakes that keep DC losing.
Dejan Jakovic – 6: He was playing well before he went out injured, and hopefully he can be back for the next league game. He had a good stop right before the first goal and wasn’t at fault for it going in.
Jordan Graye – 3: On the defensive side, he was fairly terrible. Bad passes and giveaways, which led to the second goal (although James had a lot to do with that one too). He did look good going forward, but thats not enough.
Andy Najar – 8: I love Andy Najar. He had good balls into the box. He showed more hustle than anyone else on the team. He ran down that ball that was going out of bounds, giving Hernandez a great chance near the end of the first half. And he beat two of MLS all stars to head in a goal, even though he’s one of the shortest players on the field. Too bad he’ll be in Europe by age 20.
Clyde Simms – 5: Showed good effort and defense all day, but its too bad he can’t shoot.
Stephen King – 4: He played fairly well all game, but his mistakes were glaring. He and Simms go for the same ball too often, which leads to turnovers and just bad positioning. He was also abused by Buddle on the first goal. I like him, but I could definitely see him getting benched in favor of Boskovic, even though Branko didn’t look that great tonight either.
Chris Pontius – NA: Got hurt right at the beginning of the game and was possibly playing with a broken foot the entire first half. Apparently told Onalfo that he didn’t know if he could continue, but Onalfo didn’t take him out. If you figure out at halftime that he might have had a broken foot, than somebody should have figured it out earlier and pulled him. That’s on Onalfo and the training staff, especially after Pontius already voiced concern.
Pablo Hernandez – 7: In the first half, he was ever so close. Hernandez was putting himself in good positions, coming close to multiple goals in the first half. He put in some great runs that resulted in free kicks, and put in a great cross to the head of Najar. He’s blown Cristman and Allsopp off the depth chart.
Santino Quaranta – 5: Tantalizing ‘Tino. Always looks so close to taking over, but never gets quite there. Great little pass to Moreno that should have resulted in a goal. However, he also looked like he wasn’t giving his all at multiple points in the game. I kept thinking “Najar would have gotten to that ball,” whereas ‘Tino just let it go.
Jaime Moreno – 5: Did decently, but I would have rather had Pontius in there. I think the FSC commentators were giving him a little too much credit, and thinking he should be starting is crazy. Should have put that ball from Quaranta into the net.
Carey Talley – 5: Didn’t do anything particularly great or particularly bad. I thought the yellow card was harsh. Should Talley be starting instead of Jordan Graye? Right now Talley is probably a better player, but giving Graye the experience will make him get better for the rest of this season and in the future. I say stay with Graye.
Branko Boskovic – 5: Doesn’t seem to be quite ready yet. He showed some nice touches, including a nifty little pass to Graye, who shanked the shot. However, Onalfo might as well through him in there and let him build experience that way.