After a 1-1 draw with the defending champs, DC United had a mixed bag of player performances.
*Andy Najar – It was apparently whack-an-andy night at RFK today, as Najar was hacked down multiple times without any fouls being called. But Najar, in the second half, was his normal dangerous self, sending in nasty crosses and running right at defenders.
*Chris Pontius – In the first half he was anonymous, and was watching the offsides flag instead of playing to the whistle on an admittedly blown call. However, he made up for it in the second half, playing much better and creating multiple goal scoring opportunities. The penalty he drew was soft, as it looked like he lowered his shoulder into the defender, but he stepped up and knocked the ball into the back of the net.
* Second half play – It took a blown red card and a missed penalty to light a fire under United, but when it turned on, they played like United at their best. Let’s see that in both halves in two weeks time against the Portland Timbers.
*Dejan Jakovic – Jakovic continues to scare the crap out of me; he had one pass that was intercepted in the box, for example. But when he is not making Jakovic-esque plays, he is a very solid central defender. Just cut down on the boneheadedness, Dejan.
*First half play – United did not give up a goal in the first 15 minutes this game, but their first half play still leaves something to be desired. They looked flat and uninspired, and injuries to both starting strikers did not help.
*Dax McCarty – Dax has been playing decently, and if it said “Kurt Morsink” on his jersey, no one would be complaining. However, he is Dax McCarty, and he is not playing like a national team caliber player right now. Also, his crosses have been and remain terrible; too bad United can’t run in Quaranta any time Dax steps up for a free kick.
*Joseph Ngwenya – I think that every pass he made went backwards. There is something to be said to trying to keep possession, but sometimes you have to run at goal and just see what happens. I would rather see Santino Quaranta or Blake Brettschneider come in instead of Ngwenya.
*Charlie Davies – Davies did not do himself any favors under the watchful eyes of Bob Bradley. He had a heavy first touch that blew a goal scoring opportunity, and was otherwise absent until he got injured. However, as a DC United fan, I wouldn’t mind if Davies missed the Gold Cup.
*Terry Vaughan – Missed a red card, missed the real penalty, gave a very soft makeup penalty.
A point is about what DC United deserved; if they had played like the did in the second half in the first, they might have pulled out three. United is still growing as a team, with a super young back line and the forward 6 still learning to work together. 5 points out of 9 at home isn’t great, but it is decent. Progress is being made, but it needs to continue. After the friendly with Ajax, United needs to come out and try and take the game to the Portland Timbers. This second third of the season will really determine the fate of this year’s team.