Sometimes, I don't take losing very well. Okay, who does?
Saturday's game was a tough one to take in, especially considering the drastic difference in the two halves. As I was watching the game, no one really stood out to me like in weeks prior, making designating someone as man of the match very difficult.
To find who really stuck out, I had to consult the Chalkboard for Saturday's match. The man who I saw stick out most was defensive mid Hendry Thomas. I know he didn't really have any key plays, but that isn't always what you need.
Thomas completed 82% of his passes, as well as three tackles and four interceptions. I know his performance wasn't by any means high-flying and didn't score either goal, but he also was a huge reason that FCD didn't give up any goals from the run of play for the first 75 minutes.
Clint Dempsey, aside from his wonderful free kick goal, was shut down by Hendry Thomas. He didn't really begin to have the massive offensive effect he had until after Kenny Cooper came off. Like Drew noted in Sunday's "What We Learned," when Cooper left the pitch, Dempsey started to play higher up and became Hedges and Benitez's responsibility.
As far as Thomas' offensive contribution is concerned, only two of his 27 completed passes weren't directed upfield towards the attacking half. It was very good to see Thomas's bite really make a difference once the game was reviewed under a microscope.
I also looked at Castillo, as he did have a few solid shots, but I think Thomas' defensive play and ability to shut Dempsey down in the first three quarters of the game really helped his case.
I give credit to Sigi Schimd for pulling Cooper and allowing the streaking Dempsey to be completely attack-minded, I wonder if he'll take a larger attacking role going forward.
Saturday's game was a tough one to watch because we could see the team being truly outmatched at home for the first time all season. Being the optimist I am, though, I really think this loss can shape the team and allow them to really look into how our defense needs to work.
I hope Hendry Thomas continues to get the full 90, because he might be in charge of shutting down Bradley or Defoe next weeked.
What are your thoughts? Who was your Man of the Match? Vote and comment below. DTID!