Welcome to the new weekly installment of the Once A Metro player ratings. We will be looking at how individual Red Bull players fared over the course of each game by assigning a 1-10 rating for performances. Feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section below.
The Red Bulls finally got back on track following an away win at RFK Stadium- a breakthrough of sorts. After a string of less-than-impressive performances, highlighted by a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Fire, the Red Bulls got their second win of the season by beating their arch-rivals D.C. United, which only makes the victory sweeter. Mind you, D.C. aren't the most formidable opposition, sitting in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, having only garnered four points from six games. However, a win is a win nontheless, no matter by how many or how few goals. Let's take a look at how the players did.
Luis Robles (7.5)- After a costly blunder against the Chicago Fire, Robles had a solid game in goal for the Red Bulls. Although he remained largely unthreatened during the first half, he commanded the 18-yard box well and produced a fine diving save on De Rosario's free kick towards the end of the second half.
Brandon Barklage (6.5)- Barklage showed some attacking prowess by overlapping on the right side, but also drew a few unnecessary fouls in dangerous places. Altogether, a tidy performance from the right back.
Jamison Olave (9)- A phenomenal evening for the Red Bulls leading goal scorer/defensive stalwart. A goal off a set piece coupled with consistent aerial clearances and good distribution out of the back made for a great performance from the centerback.
Markus Holgersson (8)- The tall, lanky Swede made a few very important tackles and sorted out most of the trouble that came his way. If Holgersson and Olave can consistently produce performances like this, the Red Bulls might have one of the most feared centerback pairings in MLS.
Roy Miller (7)- The much-maligned Costa Rican made a surprise return to the starting lineup, dropping Heath Pearce to the bench. Past performances aside, the Red Bulls fullback did well to silence critics by providing a good option going forward on the left wing and sturdy defensive work. To quote Shep Messing, "Eliminate the backheel from his repertoire, and you've got a good left defender with attacking potential."
Eric Alexander (7.5)- Ah, Alexander. The reason I like this guy so much is because he combines his attacking flair with great defensive performances. Another solid game from the right-midfielder.
Juninho (8)- He's still got some Brazilian magic in those 38 year-old legs of his. From incisive passes to beating a player, the deep-lying playmaker orchestrated the Red Bulls attack fluidly. Many of the Red Bull's more successful attacks ran through him.
Dax McCarty (7.5)- This guy continues to prove to be one of the most underrated defensive-midfielders, let alone players, in MLS. Sterling defensive workrate and great run to set up the first goal.
Johnny Steele (6)- Pretty much invisible throughout the game and needs to work on being more accurate with his passes. Don't know why Petke continues to start him.
Tim Cahill (7.5)- Somebody, please let this guy score. He was denied a point-blank range header by Bill Hamid, but compensated for it with great runs and good positioning. Tim's a great player, and hopefully he'll get his goal.
Thierry Henry (8)- Was a bit lucky in that Hamid didn't get a hand to his shot, but consistently provided the creative spark that ignited the attack. However, he did fade off towards the tail end of the second half.
Mike Petke (8.5)- Up 2-0, Petke never let his team sit all the way back and let D.C. have absolute control of the game. Effectively used offensive substitutions, like Espindola for Steele. Even took off his sweater within the last ten minutes of the game, if that is any indicator of how heated up he was. Also, props to him for having the guts to bench Pearce.