WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 14: Chris Pontius #13 of D.C. United converts a penalty kick against the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium on May 14, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)
Chris Pontius and Joseph Ngwenya get singled out for praise on an otherwise average night for D.C. United.
There's no doubt that the comforts of home have helped improved D.C. United's play since their 4-1 shellacking at the hands of Houston on April 29, as the club managed to pick up points from three very tough teams on this three-game home stretch. However, as Martin Shatzer points out over at Black And Red United, each of United's three opponents were missing highly influential players, and Ben Olsen made very clear in his post-match press conference that he considered Saturday's 1-1 draw against Colorado to be two points dropped rather than a point gained.
Olsen's attitude carries over into the player ratings for this week. With a couple of honorable exceptions, just about every D.C. United player gets a three from me. There's nothing wrong with three, mind you. It's a perfectly good score to receive. But it's not the score that Olsen would have wanted for the vast majority of his team.
Bill Hamid--3/5: Gave up one goal, which was not his fault, but otherwise turned in a typically solid performance. Looked very good coming out to cut off crosses.
Perry Kitchen--3/5: Got screened off the ball in the scramble that led to Colorado's goal. Still needs to improve his judgement on when to go forward. Early on in the match, he was caught too far upfield and left Amarikwa acres of space down the left.
Dejan Jakovic--3/5: Like his defensive mates, had a very good game with the exception of one moment of slackness at the back, which unfortunately led to a goal. The initial free kick from Smith was his to clear and he couldn't do it.
Ethan White--3/5: Beaten to the ball by Drew Moor on Colorado's goal, but was otherwise solid. Gamely played the full 90 after picking up an injury.
Daniel Woolard--3/5: Wasn't overly threatened down United's left side, but played very competently when called upon.
Andy Najar--2/5: A real disappointment on the night, not necessarily because of anything he did, but because Jamie Smith was so good at containing him down United's right.
Clyde Simms--3/5: Another solid, professional display by Simms, who worked very well with the next man on our list in facilitating the midfield play.
Dax McCarty--3/5: I have a longer piece on McCarty coming soon, but he seems to be settling into a holding midfielder's role alongside Clyde Simms (or, as was the case last week, Stephen King). That doesn't mean he's altogether satisfied with his play, though.
Chris Pontius--4/5: Man of the match. Held the attack together after Davies and Wolff went off injured. As farcical as his penalty award was, he still had to pick himself up and score it after not taking a penalty in a league match all season, which he did with aplomb.
Charlie Davies--3/5: Looked lively in the early going, with a goal barely, but correctly waved off for offside and had another opportunity spoiled by a dreadful first touch. What might have been.
Josh Wolff--3/5: Also looked promising in attack and had D.C. United's best opportunity of the first half, heading wide of Pickens' goal. Became increasingly anonymous before being subbed off.
Santino Quaranta (on for Davies, 34th minute)--3/5: Was much more effective playing in a more central role than he has been out wide. Led the attack as United pressed for an equalizer.
Joseph Ngwenya (on for Wolff, 44th minute)--4/5: For the second week in a row, a solid performance by the Zimbabwean, who should have won a penalty and generally made life miserable for Colorado's defense.
Fred (on for Simms, 80th minute)--3/5: Provided a good closing kick to D.C. United's efforts. The paradox that Olsen faces is: How effective would Fred be with increased minutes?