After Sunday's controversial draw against the Philadelphia Union, D.C. United were looking for a less hectic match -- and a better result -- on Wednesday night against Chicago. United got both in a 4-2 win to break their two-game winless streak.
United took advantage of the slick conditions on the field thanks to some isolated afternoon showers, which saw the team using long balls over the top of the Chicago defense at times. The slick conditions did seem to bother Bill Hamid, but not much could have been done by the young keeper to stop the two goals for the Fire after defensive breakdowns.
GK Bill Hamid - 7.0
It would be really tough to blame Hamid for either of those goals. The defense really let him down on both of them. Not much else to say, though the ball being slick forced him in to an awkward situation or two. That said, he still played well.
DEF Chris Korb - 6.5
I'll just let Brandon McDonald address the, let's call it awkwardness, of Korb getting the assist on McDonald's goal (United's third): "Chris came over after the goal and said 'we should get into after every game.'" Heh. Korb was a little guilty on the first Fire goal, however.
DEF Brandon McDonald - 7.5
McDonald was great, as always, in the postgame, noting that he thought his header was more likely to be in the stands than in the goal. McDonald wasn't in a position to stop either Chicago goal, but could have done better on a tackle or two.
DEF Dejan Jakovic - 5.0
Jakovic looked indecisive on the first Fire goal, and didn't step up soon enough to make a play. He also picked up a reckless yellow in the second half.
DEF Andy Najar - 9.0 (Man of the Match)
Back to Brandon McDonald for the comment of the night: "I was going to tweet this later, but I just wanted to welcome our new Right Back, Cafu, to the team." Obviously, the reference to the legendary Brazilian right back is high praise, but everyone seemed really impressed with Najar in the back. When asked about it, Ben Olsen just smiled, nodded and smiled some more. He looked like a kid who just got the present he really wanted for Christmas.
MID Perry Kitchen - 7.0
Kitchen was his usual sturdy self in the back and seemed to pair well with Marcelo Saragosa despite the possibility of the two getting in each other's way. Kitchen could have been a little guilty on the second goal, but it's hard to tell who was responsible between him and Saragosa.
MID Marcelo Saragosa - 6.0
Here's the thing: after the game, Olsen said this was Saragosa's best game for United and it was, but it was still just a mediocre game by this team's standards. Saragosa did pair well with Kitchen and he did break up a few attacks. However, he was guilty on both goals in some form or another. Saragosa was marking Paladini and Segares before they made their moves towards goal and didn't stay with either. It was a mixed bag, for sure.
MID Chris Pontius - 8.5
Pontius was instrumental in making things happen on Wednesday. He did his best to attack, and attack he did, setting up the first goal after his initial shot eluded Sean Johnson. Pontius also had a few shots go just over the bar. He looks like he is really working his tail off to get noticed for the USMNT.
MID Nick DeLeon - 6.0
DeLeon was quiet in this game, but you have to remember that he was the one tracking back when Najar would go on his long penetrating runs into the Chicago box. DeLeon did well to help put Najar in a position to attack on his overlapping runs.
FWD - Lionard Pajoy - 5.5
If we just did a grade for the first half up until the 44 minute mark, Pajoy would be staring at a 2.5 instead of a 5.5. However, Pajoy got a goal right before the half and it was turned around. Well, not all the way around, as I'm still only giving him a 5.5.
FWD - Dwayne De Rosario - 8.0
De Rosario got his first goal since May and his 99th in his career. It was great to see DeRo maintaining his composure after the unfortunate circumstances surrounding the end of the game against Philly.
FWD Long Tan - 7.0
Tan got his first goal of his short time here with D.C. United and had a hilarious tweet after the game saying "my left foot make goal today!!!" Well then, welcome to D.C., Long.
The pair played five minutes and one minute respectively, and didn't have much of an impact. Chabala had a nice shot on target, but was easily saved (for once) by Johnson.