This certainly felt like another one of those games where we outplay our opponent, but settle for a tie, or worse. Yet somehow, for the second week in a row, DC scores in stoppage time to secure the victory. That's four points that we've earned now in the final five minutes.
1. Great to see Santino Quaranta back to form. Each of his two assists in this match were among the best I've seen from a DC player.
2. For the second time this year, Bryan Namoff single-handedly saved a goal by clearing a ball off the line, and was solid throughout the match.
3. Chris Pontius looked good in the central attacking midfield role, but he was most productive when switching over to right midfield after Barklage entered the match. Pontius made up for all his misses the previous few weeks by burying the game winner.
1. Pardon the cliche, but it was a tale of two halves for Marc Burch and Dejan Jakovic. Burch handled Richards and Oduro very well in the first half without giving up any opportunities, but struggled at times against Kandji in the second. Jakovic kept Angel from having any effect on the match in the first half, but was outmuscled by JPA for a goal in the second.
2. I would have started Pontius at forward and Quaranta at CAM, Tom Soehn did the opposite, and it seemed to work out perfectly. Two of his substitutes Barklage and Khumalo made a big impact. But we gave up two goals during the fifteen minutes that Soehn switched the team from a 3-5-2 to a 4-4-2. In that formation, with Burch at LCB and Wallace at LB, and without Olsen on the field anymore, DC was at its weakest.
3. Rodney Wallace scored his first MLS goal, was an Emilio miss away from adding an assist, and was a goal line clearance by his former Terp teammate Jeremy Hall away from a second goal. But Wallace continues to be a bit of a liability on defense.
1. I would have liked to see more out of Fred, who had little impact on this match.
Now for some quick housekeeping from the 2-0 Open Cup win over FC Dallas:
Top Shelf: Barklage, Fred, Kocic, Burch
Call: Quaranta, Janicki
Summing up, a 2-2 tie felt like it would have been the right result. But fortunately, DC grabbed a couple extra points thanks to more oustanding play from their rookies. Between Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace starting every match this season, Brandon Barklage emerging as a fan favorite, and Milos Kocic potentially being the starting keeper in waiting, is it possible that the 2009 draft class is our greatest ever?