For the record, here are my player ratings from the two matches I missed while on vacation, based only on descriptions of the games given by Fullback, BDR, and Goff.
8/10/08: 4-1 loss at NYRB
Top shelf: Jaime Moreno
Rail: Zach Wells, Pat Carroll, Marc Burch, Devon McTavish
8/12/08: 3-1 win in USOC Semi-finals vs NE:
Top shelf: Jaime Moreno, Luciano Emilio, Santino Quaranta
Call: Brian Namoff, Zach Wells, Ivan Guerrero
The other big thing that I missed while I was out was the formal acquisition of new starting goalkeeper Louis Crayton, and the other transactions surrounding that move. As we've all seen so far, if nothing else, Crayton is certainly more confident and more decisive than Wells has ever been. From what I can gather, he also seems to be quicker, and with better hands.
Part of the fall out from the acquisition of Crayton though was the departure of our friend Dan Stratford, and the demotion of Joe Vide. Goff speculated, and I tend to agree, that cutting Strats probably had more to do with his foreign player status than his actual ability, which is unfortunate, but a necessary evil due to the discriminatory roster requirements of MLS. I liked Stratford, and although he didn't show much in his one league start, I saw more from him on the Reserve pitch. Unlike some other players (*cough Kirk cough*), Dan was involved in every play when on the field. I think he even wore the Captain's armband for the Reserves in one match I saw early in the year against Chicago. Strats being injured for the past two months also may have had something to do with his dismissal.
The popular sentiment following Stratford's departure was "Why not Dyachenko?" Now I don't think the club has any plans on cutting Dyachenko, but I do think sending him down to developmental status instead of Joe Vide would have sent a better message to the team. I really just don't understand why Vide would be signed to a senior contract to begin with, only to be knocked down three weeks later. So much for rewarding hard work.