September 18, 2014

D.C. United Game 28 Recap: Angry United left seeing red after loss at New York

ESPINDOLA SENT OFF; SAM SCORES LATE AS RED BULLS NIP UNITED

Already without the injured Chris Rolfe and the concussed Eddie Johnson, D.C. United’s mission to earn a positive result at New York Wednesday night got even more difficult when leading scorer Fabian Espindola was sent off by referee Mark Geiger for a high kick. United held on in a scoreless match until the 90th minute, when Lloyd Sam scored to give New York a 1-0 win. United fell to 14-9-5 (47 points), but remain five points up on Sporting Kansas City for first place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. New York improved to 9-8-10 (37 points).

A match which the Red Bulls were edging for possession and some chances swung in their favor significantly in the 32nd minute when Espindola went to a play a bouncing ball near midfield, as New York midfielder Dax McCarty rushed in. Espindola’s boot, McCarty’s midsection, and the ball all met and McCarty went down holding his stomach. Geiger sent off Espindola immediately for what he deemed a “serious foul.” It did not appear as if Espindola’s studs caught McCarty, who stayed in the match and was not seen being treated for a cut. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 27 Recap: United build Eastern lead with point at Vancouver

HAMID SAVES THREE AS UNITED BATTLES TO DEADLOCK AT WHITECAPS

With midfielder Chris Rolfe lost to an arm injury and forward Eddie Johnson out due to concussion symptoms, it was fair to have somewhat lower expectations as D.C. United visited the Vancouver Whitecaps Saturday night. But United held firm, kept a clean sheet, and got out of western Canada with a scoreless tie before 18,116 at BC Place. The result sets United’s record at 14-8-5 (47 points), good enough for a five-point lead at the top of the Eastern Conference over Sporting Kansas City, which lost to New York Saturday, 2-1. Vancouver is 7-6-13 (34 points).

The revamped attack featured Luis Silva and Fabian Espindola leading the offense, with David Estrada slipping into the open midfield spot. United didn’t create many chances, though Espindola gave the Vancouver defense plenty of problems and sent one close chance over the bar. Vancouver had a great chance on Kendall Waston’s header on 30 minutes, but he narrowly missed just wide to United goalkeeper Bill Hamid’s left post. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 26 Analysis: Olsen unlocks key to perfect lineup in Sunday win

In Sunday’s 2-0 win over the arch-rival New York Red Bulls, D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen answered one of the major questions facing his club, and in doing so, may have also cemented the club’s status as a championship contender in Major League Soccer for the 2014 season.

The question, of course, was how to use forward and designated player Eddie Johnson, while not messing with a combination that has been lethal of late. That combo, featuring Luis Silva, Chris Rolfe, and Fabian Espindola, helped lead United to seven goals in two wins when Johnson was serving a suspension for matches against Colorado (4-2) and Sporting Kansas City (3-0). [Read more...]

District Sports Page introduces new Twitter and Facebook icons

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District Sports Page is proud to announce our new Twitter and Facebook icons. These babies were professionally produced by Brendan Sheridan of Capitals Hill and purveyor of fine photoshops, gifs and memes all over the Internets.

All of the new logos are based on the same theme and replace our random collection of semi-ironic, attempt at humor or just plain ripping-off-the-teams-we-cover logos and pictures that have accompanied our individual team Twitter feeds since the start of time.

The logos are seven-sided, which represents the seven disciplines we cover at District Sports Page: The six pro teams (Nats, Caps, Skins, Wiz, DCU and Mystics) plus our Beyond the Games column.

But the seven sides logo is also representative of one of the most iconic images of Washington, DC — the Pentagon. While seven sides technically is more than five and therefore a polygon, I think you get the idea.

Also, incorporated in the logos, in the individual team colors, is the flag of the District of Columbia. The three stars and two stripes are prominently and proudly displayed on our new Twitter and Facebook logos.

The new logos also incorporate the excellent-but-little- used interlocking DSP logo that Pam Storen designed for us a couple of years ago and we’re happy the DSP will take on a much more prominent role in our branding.

Below, please take a gander at the new logos and let us know what you think. I’m sure everyone will miss Bryce Harper running into the wall at Dodger Stadium, or the Caps Southeastern Division Champion banner from ’11-’12, but we think the new logos are groovy, and much thanks goes to Brendan for the feverish two hours of work he put in on these.

Nats

Nats

Redskins

Redskins

Caps

Caps

Wiz

Wiz

Mystics

Mystics

United

United

 

 

D.C. United Game 25 Recap: United suffer a night to forget at L.A. Galaxy

GALAXY STEAMROLL UNITED EARLY IN 4-1 ROUT

Thankfully for D.C. United fans, the club’s 2014 Major League Soccer season hasn’t seen many games like this. A depleted midfield, slow start, and a phantom penalty all were enough to allow the L.A. Galaxy to drub United, 4-1, Wednesday night at StubHub Center before an announced crowd of 16,044. Despite slipping to 13-8-4, United remains atop the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of Sporting Kansas City. The win improved the Galaxy to 12-5-7 (43 points), good for second place in the West, just two points behind the leading Seattle Sounders.

Landon Donovan scored from the spot and had two assists to lead the way in the victory, one which saw United head coach Ben Olsen leave Chris Rolfe, Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, and Fabian Espindola on the bench to start. Luis Silva and Eddie Johnson tried to combine in the attack, but had little opportunity given the Galaxy were on the ball throughout much of a first half that ended with L.A. holding a 3-0 lead. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 24 Recap: United emphatically takes first place in the East & MLS

THREE FIRST-HALF GOALS SEND UNITED PAST SPORTING KANSAS CITY

Entering Saturday’s Major League Soccer match at Sporting Kansas City, the hosts held a two-point lead on D.C. United at the top of the Eastern Conference. By the final whistle, however, there was no doubt who was atop the East. First-half goals by Chris Rolfe, Fabian Espindola, and Perry Kitchen did the job in a 3-0 rout. United improved to 13-7-4 (43 points), one point better than SKC (12-7-6, 42) for first in the East.

The onslaught was quick and followed a familiar pattern, as it was Sporting that carried a decent bit of the play early. But whether caused by offside traps gone horribly wrong, a lack of attention by SKC defenders, or both, United were gifted multiple open opportunities to hit on the counter and the black-and-red didn’t make any mistakes. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 23 Recap: Silva double sparks triumph over Colorado

UNITED BREAKS LOSING STREAK WITH FOUR-GOAL OUTBURST AGAINST RAPIDS

D.C. United capped off a Major League Soccer weekend filled with goals by putting on a show of its own Sunday night at RFK Stadium, as United downed the Colorado Rapids, 4-2. Luis Silva scored twice to push his season total to seven, while Chris Rolfe and Fabian Espindola also tallied for United. D.C. improved to 12-7-4 (40 points) with the win, while the Rapids fells to 8-10-6 (30 points) and remain three points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference.

United has no such concerns about climbing the playoff ladder now and now sit just two points behind Sporting Kansas City atop the East. D.C. shrugged off a two-game losing streak and a ridiculous 52nd-minute equalizer from Colorado’s Dillon Serna to score three of the game’s final four goals to right the ship. Espindola started and went the full 90 for the first time since a knee injury caused him to miss several games. Only the crossbar kept Espindola from scoring twice himself last night, though he still leads the team with eight goals and eight assists. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 22 Recap: Real Salt Lake buries listless United right away

The return of Nick DeLeon, Chris Korb, and even Fabian Espindola as a substitute couldn’t save D.C. United from a 3-0 drubbing Saturday night at Real Salt Lake. The listless and stomach-turning performance dropped United to 11-7-4 (37 points) on the season. RSL took over first place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference at 10-4-9, 39 points.

United were neatly and surgically put away within a half-hour, thanks to an 11th-minute goal from Joao Plata and then two goals by defender Chris Schuler, who had a grand total of two career goals prior to Saturday night’s match. He had two in this match by the time 24 minutes were gone. United’s defending was non-existent at times and the attack managed just two shots on goal – eight total – and were flattered by the end to have 45 percent of possession. [Read more...]

D.C. United: Trio shines in peppy MLS All-Star victory over Bayern Munich

In a match that was full of Pep (Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola, that is), the three D.C. United players who were named to the MLS All-Star team played the entire second half. That 45 minutes saw the MLS All-Stars erase a 1-0 deficit to beat the German champions, 2-1, thanks to goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls) and Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy). Defenders Sean Franklin and Bobby Boswell, as well as goalkeeper Bill Hamid (who earned the win), were part of 11 new MLS players who started the second half.

Boswell got the second assist on the All-Stars’ opening goal in the 51st minute. The United defender played a long ball forward up the middle of the field that was flicked on by Erick Torres (Chivas USA). That touch carried it about 25 yards from the Bayern Munich goal, where Wright-Phillips ran on to it, took one touch, then blasted a left-footed shot to the upper far corner past goalkeeper Tom Starke. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 21 Recap: One mistake costs United big in loss at Houston

One split-second of indecision, one small moment where a player didn’t do the right thing, one little bit of miscommunication – that was all it took Sunday night for D.C. United to give away a point in Houston, as the club lost, 1-0, to the Dynamo. Will Bruin scored the winner after a back header by stand-in D.C. defender Taylor Kemp was mishandled by rookie center back Steve Birnbaum, causing goalkeeper Bill Hamid to leave his line. When neither of them collected the ball, Omar Cumming centered to Bruin, he had an open net to drop United to 11-6-4 (37 points) on the season. Houston won for the first time in nine matches and improved to 6-11-4 (22 points).

United, as so often happens in Houston, where the club has never won, didn’t get much of the ball and was chasing the game all evening. Houston put up 20 shot attempts to United’s seven, played 21 crosses to D.C.’s 10, and had eight corners to just two for United. Statistically, the game was a blowout. [Read more...]

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