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OaM Player Ratings: DC United

Taking the team to task after a gut punch derby result

SOCCER: JUL 25 MLS - New York Red Bulls at DC United
The Red Bulls were mostly passengers on Sunday night as Andy Najar and DC United earned the victory
Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


J.J. Post: I mean, you can only ask so much of him. DC United lit up the Red Bull goal and it’s a partial credit to him that the score line only ended 1-0.


Juan Mesa: Najar and Gressel barely hurt him, but kid also couldn’t produce in attack and repeatedly tried a cross to the second post that didn’t have any element of surprise.


Mike Battista: There’s easy jokes to be made but at the end of the day Amro showed why he isn’t a consistent starter. He got a little better as time went on, he was nearly 80% successful on his passes, but him going the full 90 minutes speaks more to the quality on the bench than trust in him.

Ross Haley: His defensive partner took on the “A” role, with the full-time center back satisfied to let an almost decade-younger fullback drive the back line.


J.J. Post: A lot has been asked of him in his role as a makeshift centerback in recent weeks, and it’s hard to blame him for any mistakes he makes in a position that’s naturally not his, but the teams need for a proper #1 option in the center of the backline is becoming more and more clear by the day.

Ben Cork: Is doing his honest best at every role he’s been put in and has probably raised his stock in the process, but hard to see how this was the plan for the player or the team. With Duncan likely in need of a rest soon, would be nice to see how Edwards looks at his natural position again, even if it means something as scary as...using a taller, more experienced non-natural fullback like Mandela Egbo in the middle.


J.J. Post: This was the worst of both worlds in terms of Duncan’s performances. He didn’t offer a lockdown defensive presence, but he often overcomplicated things on the front foot and couldn’t get anything going down the flanks like in prior matches.


Ross Haley: Another solid performance for him despite spending a portion of the match in a defensive role. His passing was better than normal and his pressing was solid. If the team wasn’t operating in post-Rapture mode, then he might do well as an advanced destroyer behind the strikers.

Alexander Xenopoulos: He once again put in a solid showing putting out fires, but he appeared isolated and was not able to influence the game as he has in the past. I am also worried about his endurance as Struber has leaned on him hard this year. Also nice cameo at CB.


J.J. Post: The flashes of talent have shown for a while now- but there’s yet to be a full game where it all comes together and against DC he seemed to struggle mightily to actively contribute past his usual strong hustle.


Ben Cork: Struber’s decision to rest him entirely in Toronto to save him for this game ended up being a dud. DC did their homework and gave him space to run and over-dribble in transition.

Juan Mesa: Felipe won the battle against his former short-term protege.


Mike Battista: The positive is that he didn’t lead to the opposing goal this week. The negative is that he didn’t get a single shot off and never looked dangerous.


J.J. Post: The worse of the two strikers, though to be fair neither were ever really given much to work with in the first place.

Ben Cork: Seems to be some frustration settling in. Body language was off as game went on and seemed unwilling to insert himself into situations.

FABIO - 5.0

Juan Mesa: Could have been replaced at half time but put a good effort in the second half and almost got the tying goal.

Ross Haley: Zero shots on target is simply not good enough. He and Klimala’s hold-up play, which is the key to the vertical attack, was almost non-existent.



Ben Cork: Mobility and close dribbling helped team link up more in second half but was too little, too late. Seems definitively down on the depth chart these days after a million-dollar, two-month trial.


J.J. Post: Every time the young Venezuelan plays it’s clear he has a certain energy and spark he brings to the squad, but there just wasn’t much he (or anyone) could do to conjure up a goal on a overall poor day.


Ross Haley: The young player was put in a difficult position, but these appear to be the only chances he will receive.


Mike Battista: He changed the formation too late and his team never had a punch to it. The players are at fault but the coach makes the starting lineup. God help me for saying this but Tom Barlow should have come in for Fábio with how he was playing. When the team has this little punch Struber needs to use more than three subs no matter who he has on the sideline.

Juan Mesa: He was concerned about DC and arranged his entire week around it but his boys looked like there was not enough motivation to win the battle. Some people might question that he is not rotating as he should, but he has the right and the responsibility to play his best squad available.

Ross Haley: Yeah, I feel like Pacino should have never done Carlito’s Way. While reuniting with De Palma for another crime film seemed to be a good idea, there was no way audiences would be able to separate the character and plot from Scarface. A more meditative, understated, and self-contained story cannot compete in the hearts and minds of audiences and critics in comparison to the more bombastic predecessor that was a love letter to excess, even if the story is arguably better. The connecting vagaries of colloquial public opinion will always defeat art.

Oh, you were asking how Red Bulls management did last night?

Kevin Thelwell has an impossible job, boxed in by previous years of subpar dealings. He may have inherited these problems, but they are his responsibility to fix.