On a wet and chilly evening at Audi Field, MLS Cup champions came to town after the 1st round win in the Champions League. The lineup was as predicted in my match preview with debuts being handed to Jara and Rodriguez. Expecting to be fresher than DC United, it was anything but for the title holders. DCU came out all guns blazing with their new style of play and identity, high pressing, solid defence and a lot of movement up top. Rooney & Arriola showing early doors what this style of play can do by combining well down the right. And then Jara getting involved too by having a chance but Guzan with a well-timed save. 32mins in and Arriola had the best chance of the game so far but ended up putting far wide.
With half-time fast approaching, I tweeted a poll asking if a goal would arrive by half time, 80% said no. Arriola had something to say about that as he tucked in an effort with the last kick of the 45. Well deserved from DCU.
With the 2nd half underway, it was more of the same, whatever Ben Olsen said worked it’s wonders, while you could tell it was the 1st game of the season as tired legs were beginning to show, DC were putting the effort in. Rodriguez with an effort after getting through on goal, but again Guzan with the save. Things turned worse for the former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough keeper as he was what he must feel like, a mile away from saving Acosta’s effort that was straight down the middle of the goal. Yes there was some curl in it, but any keeper would rightly save that one. Things started to ease off, Atlanta were shooting from long range, Hamid making a good couple of saves, but nothing else of note happened. Game finished 2-0 to DCU, and they continue their good record against ATL.
Hamid – 7 Only needed a couple of occasions, but did what was required
Jara – 7 Solid 1st half, didn’t see much of him in the 2nd
Birnbaum – 8 Kept the ATL attack at bay throughout the evening
Brillant – 8 Same as Birnbaum, just solid at the back
Mora – 7 Good going forward, solid at the back
Moreno – 7 Good passing, got himself about
Canouse – 7 Got forward on occasion, needs to improve finishing
Arriola – 9 Constant threat going forward, creating chances and getting on the scoresheet too
Acosta – 8 Movement off the ball was very good, passing spot on and bagged himself a goal too
Rodriguez – 7 Good debut, great movement up top, good tackling and had a couple of opportunities
Rooney – 7 Didn’t stop, ended up dropping back a bit in the 2nd half so had less chances, the one he did have, he put way over the bar.
Segura – 6 Not much chance of making any headway
Durkin – N/A not enough time on the pitch
Score Prediction – 3-1. I got the goal difference right, and I’d take the actual result of 2-0 over the 3-1, it means that we kept a clean sheet and that means more than the 3 goals to me.