HOUSTON - APRIL 29: Will Bruin #12 of the Houston Dynamo connects on a header that eluded goalkeeper Bill Hamid #28 of D.C. United in the second half for his third goal of the evening at Robertson Stadium on April 29, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
We grade each member of D.C. United on their performance Friday night against Houston, and the results are not pretty.
In soccer, the final scoreline isn't everything. United played reasonably well in a 4-0 loss at home to New York last Thursday night, but were incomparably worse on Friday night against (on paper, anyway) a much less imposing team. There was no service to the front pairing of Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff, the midfield enjoyed precious little possession, and as for the back four, well, you need only look at Houston's fourth goal, which would have earned a U-8 squad a tongue-lashing.
I think, at this point, you know how my player ratings are going to turn out, so there's no point in delaying the inevitable.
Bill Hamid--2/5: Did make one great save on a header by Cam Weaver, and didn't get much help from his defense, but loses a point for failing to communicate with his back line on Weaver's second-half goal.
Perry Kitchen--1/5: The back line's group performance was wretched Friday night. Kitchen was outjumped twice by Will Bruin, who scored the 2nd and 3rd goals of his hat trick by beating his fellow rookie to aerial balls. Jakovic was caught playing too square on Geoff Cameron's through ball that set up Houston's opener. Burch gets an extra point for his well-taken free kick, but he was also partially at fault for losing sight of Weaver on the latter's goal, and neither he nor Zayner was able to do much getting forward.
Clyde Simms--1/5: Was responsible for the giveaway that led to Houston's first goal, and was anonymous the rest of the time.
Fred--1/5: Only played 45 minutes for the second straight league game. Didn't have nearly as much of an effect as he did on the first half against New York, when he appeared to be all over the place.
Dax McCarty--1/5: Again, held the ball for far too long in midfield instead of looking to provide service to Wolff and Davies. After the back line's issues, McCarty's struggles in midfield are the biggest issue facing the club.
Chris Pontius--2/5: Was a consistent threat down the left side in the first half, but gradually dropped out of sight as the game went on.
Josh Wolff--2/5: Neither striker did much, but it's hard to fault them altogether given the shambles behind them. If their run of bad form continues against Seattle, then it's time to get really concerned. As they say, once is an accident, two's a coincidence, three's a trend.
Andy Najar (on for Fred at halftime)--2/5: Arguably United's best spell of the second half was the first five minutes or so after Najar came on, so he gets some credit for that. Ultimately, however, Najar didn't see much of the ball after Houston's third goal, and his performance suffered as a result.
Ethan White (on for Zayner, 61st minute)--1/5: White performed so well as a starter earlier this season, but even he was victimized Friday night, as he was last seen futilely chasing down Weaver.
Santino Quaranta (on for Wolff, 84th minute)--No Grade: Came on way too late to make an impact and the game was already lost by that point, anyway.