The Black-and-Red will start there long stretch of road games on the wings of a win. They took care of the visiting New England Revolution Saturday night at RFK, putting together one of their best performances of the season in a 2-0 victory. Jalen Robinson was solid in his first professional start, taking the place of suspended Bobby Boswell. All of which resulted in a win in Ben Olsen’s 100th match as a coach.
Ben Olsen started the game with a tactical change, forgoing the standard 4-4-2 used during his tenure for a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-3-3 depending on how you look at it. There was a change from a personnel standpoint as well, for the first time this season Fabian Espindola, Alvaro Saborio, and Luciano Acosta started together. Saborio was placed up top, with Espindola out wide, Acosta sat underneath Saborio and Lamar Neagle was on the opposite flank.
The home side controlled the possession for most of the match, they maintained their high pressure for the entire 90 minutes for the first time all year. Having the dangerous Acosta in the middle of the field only opened things up for his teammates. As always there were a couple of moments of Lucho-magic, especially on the first goal of the night when he partnered with Neagle for a spectacular goal in the 20th minute. The home side would score again just seven minutes later as Neagle found a streaking Sean Franklin in the mouth of the goal for Sean’s first tally of the season. Both Saborio and Espindola played very well in their roles, it led to a big night for the Black-and-Red.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) June 25, 2016
In Boswell’s absence, Sean Franklin stepped into the Captain’s role and his line was outstanding on the evening. Robinson and Kofi Opare did a masterful job on Kei Kamara. Making him work for position and routinely keeping a hand on him at all times, them along with Franklin and Kemp kept the night pretty easy for Hamid. Although, there was a sequence in which Bill had to make a spectacular save, as usual he answered the bell.
Jalen Robinson. Very comfortable in first start, very physical at the point of attack. So many blocked shots for the hyoungster, closing down on shooters aggressively and under control. Drawing prase from the crowd sveral times.
Lucho. Like him in midfielder or just in a position to make plays period. Gorgeous touch pass to Neagle who was left umarked in the box. Lamar finsihes it for a 1-0 lead 20 min in. Acosta is doing a great job of tracking back, allowing the midfield to keep their shape. He did an outstanding job on both ends, making plays for teammates via precise distribution and using his technical skill on the ball to buy time for their runs. That pass to NEagle was a beaut, but most impressive was his willingness to stick his nose in it on the defensive end.
Fabi out wide. Suits his style of play, he attacks better off of the flanks and his wanting to drift wide fits. He aso showed commitmente to his position, routinely getting back to defend.
Bill Hamid. Incredible save in the 50th minute on Lee Nguyen. Unlucky bounce placed Nguyen right in front of Hamid on the near post and the keeper stoned the nutmeg attempt, great reflex save. It’s the third shutout in the last four games.
Full 90. For maybe the first time all season, the Black-and-Red put together a complete effort. Their high pressure was maintained for the entire match, never letting up on the Revolution. The new formation may have had New England off balance, but ti still comes down to playing the game. The home side was impressive all night, from the way they moved the ball (rarely taking too many touches) to the way they defended as a unit.