For most of Wednesday night's game against Colorado, United looked dominant; shutting down the Rapids attacks while countering -- frequently -- with their own. This was a surprising result without their three leading scorers, of whom only Chris Pontius was on the bench. Maicon Santos and Nick DeLeon were given some rest, but the Albanian Bomber poached a goal and DeRo is starting to get hot.
I don't know about you, but I never had a doubt United would win tonight. It was just that type of game.
GK - Bill Hamid - 8
A solid game from Hamid. He made one fantastic save on a Jamie Castrillon volley attempt in a one-on-one situation. He commanded the box well, and broke up a few balls into the box on set pieces and crosses. He did let one savable ball go out for a corner, but otherwise a very good game from the young keeper.
D - Robbie Russell - 7
Russell came out injured in the 57th minute with a hamstring injury, but after the game confirmed that he was okay and should be fine for Saturday. Russell was again steady in the back, and nearly had a goal off a corner, but Matt Pickens made a phenomenal save.
D - Brandon McDonald - 5.5
McDonald had another good game, but he did lose Castrillon on his scoring chance. McDonald also mistimed a header that nearly let Edu in on Hamid, but Edu's first touch was too strong, and Hamid cleaned it up.
D - Daniel Woolard - 7.5
Woolard, again in the center, played a solid game. He had some miscommunications with Korb early, but they got that figured out quickly. He was good in the air, and did a good job disrupting the Rapids attack. A solid night for him. After the game, Robbie Russell said "I am so pumped right now. He is unbelievable back there. I hope he likes it because he’s been phenomenal."
D - Chris Korb - 6
Korb wasn't plagued by the mishaps of McDonald, but also didn't stand out like Russell or Woolard. Colorado mainly attacked his side and was under pressure all night. He did well, but wasn't outstanding.
M - Perry Kitchen - 8.5 (Man of the Match)
Kitchen was all over the field cleaning up messes tonight. His defensive performance tonight was outstanding. Kitchen was everywhere and did a great job linking with the offense. Kitchen cleared the ball from the box after the Castrillon shot. He's not the sexy pick for man of the match, but without him its a much different game.
M - Branko Boskovic - 7
Boskovic didn't quiet all his detractors tonight, but he did a solid job in silencing a lot of them. His service on corners was fantastic and he did seem more interested in the game and more active than he's been all season. Boskovic also put a solid shot on goal where Pickens was forced to make (another) outstanding save.
M - Andy Najar -7
Najar played much better when he was lined up in the midfield than he did when he was in defense. He played about an 8.5 in midfield and a 5.5 in defense, so I'll split the difference. He was attacking all game until he moved back in defense for the injured Russell. However, once in the back, he was timid and didn't do a good job of shutting men down.
M - Lewis Neal - 7.5
Neal will remember this game for a while. After not making much of an impact in his limited time so far this season, Neal set up De Rosario for the game's first goal with a great through ball. Neal made the entire play happen after he intercepted a pass and raced down the field to find DeRo. Did he do things outside of this play? Does it matter?
F - Dwayne De Rosario - 8
DeRo is heating up, and he is definitely looking more for his own shot. Earlier in the season he was more of a distributor, but now he's getting out on the break and looking to attack. His goal tonight was fantastic, he worked wonderfully with Salihi up top all night.
F - Hamdi Salihi - 8
The Albanian Bomber is back. As someone said in the press box: "Rapid Vienna 2, Rapid Colorado 0." Salihi was an integral part of the first goal as he took three defenders with him to allow De Rosario to be left wide open. He was in the perfect spot at the right time to poach his goal as well.
M - Danny Cruz - 6.5
Cruz was solid on both ends tonight, and his non-stop motor added something United may have been lacking in a grind-it-out game.
M - Stephen King - Incomplete
With just 20 minutes of time on the pitch, most of which was spent clock-wasting it's tough to give any sort of grade.
F - Josh Wolff - Incomplete
Same goes for Wolff, but had just four minutes of time.