WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: Head coach Ben Olsen of D.C. United talks to his players during a soccer game against the San Jose Earthquakes at RFK Stadium on June 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Samuel Chamberlain hands out the marks for each D.C. United player after Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Houston.
Over at Black And Red United, Martin Shatzer's given his thoughts on Saturday night's 2-2 draw for D.C. United against the Houston Dynamo, and they more or less reflect my own. D.C. United have played eight matches at RFK Stadium so far this season, and they've drawn four of them. That's eight points dropped by United at home. If they had even managed to win two more of those home games, United would be in third place in the Eastern Conference, good enough for the last automatic spot in the new MLS playoff format. As it is, they're in fifth place in the East, and on the outside looking in. It's too early in the season to say that time is running out, but you don't need to be a mathematician to realize that if United doesn't find a way to hold on for wins in games like these instead of giving up draws, they'll look back on these early-season disappointments with great regret.
On to the ratings.
D.C. United Starters
Bill Hamid--2/5: Gave away the first-half penalty by recklessly coming off his line to meet Brian Ching, who was at a near-impossible angle to the net. Might have saved the second goal, but that was by far the lesser of his sins.
Ethan White--3/5: Didn't do much wrong at the back.
Perry Kitchen--4/5: My man of the match. Might have deflected the second goal past Hamid, but it doesn't change the fact that he played one of his better games for D.C. United before the injury.
Daniel Woolard--3/5: Ok, not great.
Andy Najar--3/5: Faded in and out of this one, but looked lively down the right-hand side to start, and put on a dribbling exhibition to set up Davies' goal. Should probably take all corners for United until further notice.
Clyde Simms--2/5: Anonymous.
Dax McCarty--2/5: Was more active than Simms, though that's not saying much. Acknowledged his need to get better after the match, so at least he's realistic about his performances.
Chris Pontius--3/5: Scored a great goal to put D.C. United ahead the first time. Became less of a factor as the game went on. Should probably take all free kicks for United until further notice.
Josh Wolff--3/5: Played one good ball to set up a Davies chance, but wasn't nearly as active as he'd been the last few weeks.
Charlie Davies--4/5: Scored one, could have had two or three more. Did very well to get himself into position to receive passes and get opportunities. Much better as a starter than as a substitute.
Fred (on for McCarty, 59th minute)--3/5: Was his usual hard-working self in midfield and sent a great diagonal ball to Najar that led to Davies' goal.
Blake Brettschneider (on for Wolff, 69th minute)--2/5: Struggled to get into the flow of the game after coming on and committed a couple of silly fouls.
Stephen King (on for Davies, 85th minute)--Incomplete: Came on too late to receive a grade.