D.C. United is a weird team. They have this identity as a gritty, hard-nosed team that may not score a lot, but that will make life difficult for you if you intend to score. Initially, this year was looking like more of the same. However, United’s defense has been bursting at the seams lately. They’ve scored nine goals in their past four games. It’s nothing like what the LA Galaxy have done, but it certainly exceeds what was expected of this DC offense this year.
Some of that credit goes to Fabian Espindola, who has been a savior at the front of the formation. Some of that credit goes to Acosta and Saborio, who have combined as substitutes to add goals to United’s tally.
But through it all, the consistent has been winger Patrick Nyarko. The Ghanaian has been improving game by game. He may only have two goals to show for it, but underneath that is a mass of potential to expand on that number and add even more.
Nyarko has been crucial to United in one of their biggest wins of the year. That match, a 3-0 win over New England. Nyarko didn’t score or assist, he didn’t even take a shot, but he still won man of the match for several reasons.
First of all, the man creates. he is an expert dribbler that knows how to penetrate the defense and cause problems. He may not even end up with the ‘chance created’ stat at the end of the day, but he is always a crucial piece of any given attack.
And any given defense, for that matter. You see, Nyarko is a work horse. He completed six tackles on the day, shutting up shop on the right side of the pitch and making it his own personal backyard.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Nyarko is averaging two tackles and two interceptions per appearance. Meaning that even when he isn’t scoring goals, he is stifling the opposing attack and making making himself a nuisance to the opposing team.
When it comes to his actual goal production, as noted, he has two goals in the last five DC United appearances. It’s a healthy number on what has the makings to be a big season for Nyarko. Someone that works as hard as he does and makes himself as available as he is is bound to have more hard stats to show for it. It’s starting to pan out already.