Everything Concerned Me! But more specifically…
What exactly is D.C. United doing?
After staying away from the team since loaning down Gaoussou Samake and Jeremy Garay, D.C. recalled Samake from his loan a week ago, sent Hayden Sargis down (who had a not very good first 45 minutes in Loudoun’s loss to New Mexico), and then loaned down Jackson Hopkins Friday? Now, Hopkins probably found out about the move Thursday night/Friday morning and had to scramble to meet up with the team in Hartford, had 3 shots, 2 of them blocked, blocked 2 of his own, and won six of his nine duels while alternating between the wings and a deep-lying playmaker.
Now I think you can hold two different things in your mind here; the first being Hopkins will do well with more minutes, and in his presence, Loudoun will benefit with another attacker on hand to do some things with. But this is a guy that Wayne Rooney apparently rated enough, to the point where the League’s best rwb (Julian Gressel) was traded for cash to pay down other D.C. United player contracts. And ten months later, D.C. United finds themselves without arguably their most attractive player, a subsequent signing (Ravel Morrison) collecting paychecks to not go play with D.C. United, and Hopkins is in Loudoun, same as it ever was.
My complaint here as you can see is less about Loudoun and more about D.C. and their talent evaluation, such as it is.
And with it, Loudoun has to adjust also.
Since Samake has left, Loudoun’s used more of a 3421 or even 343 at times, with one of the central midfielders (Aidan Rocha Saturday night) dropping back deeper to push Bryce Washington and Daniel Chica outside. It works at times, and Hopkins or Panos Armenakas get to do a little more centrally to work with Zach Ryan, Tommy Williamson or Wesley Leggett to get some chances on net. The problem with a formation change and fixture compression is a lot of this is being done on the fly with little time to do work on it in practice. With a full week again they’ll have some chances to incorporate Hopkins and the formation into things some more.
You mean, it got WORSE?
Well, Zach Ryan being helped off the field with help in the 59th minute is not encouraging (and as of Sunday night not public). The man who’s scored more goals than any three Loudoun players goes out and again, Loudoun has to find someone to step up to contribute to offense. The problem after the last three weeks and six games is nobody had the legs left to do anything, and Kalil ElMedkhar was playing wingback.
Check This Stat
1 – The number of non-penalty kick goals a Loudoun player has scored during their six game losing streak (Kalil ElMedkhar vs. Indy Eleven)
Hartford Athletic 2 – Loudoun United 0
LDN – Juan Pablo Torres (Kyle Edwards) 23’
HFD – Elvis Amoh (Penalty) 67’
LDN – Houssou Landry (caution) 10’
HFD – Matt Sheldon (caution) 36’
LDN – Jackson Hopkins (caution) 81’
HFD – Luke Merrill (caution) 84’
HFD – Kaveh Rad (caution) 88’
Hartford Athletic line-up (4-3-3): Richard Sánchez; Niall Logue, Robin Lapert (Kaveh Rad, 45′); Conor McGlynn, Matt Sheldon (Luke Merrill, 58′); Triston Hodge, Juan Pablo Torres, Danny Barrera (Jeciel Cedeño, 82′); Antoine Hoppenot, Prince Saydee (Elvis Amoh, 58′); Kyle Edwards (Andre Lewis, 82′)
Loudoun United line-up (3-4-2-1): Hugo Fauroux; Kalil ElMedkhar, Bryce Washington, Daniel Chica (Abdoul Koanda, 59′); Koa Santos, Houssou Landry (Abdoul Zanne, 59′); Aidan Rocha, Jeremy Garay, Jackson Hopkins, Wesley Leggett (Panos Armenakas, 59′); Zach Ryan (Tommy Williamson, 59′)