July 23, 2014

D.C. United Game 19 Recap: United within a point of first place

JOHNSON CONVERTS ANOTHER PK IN 3-1 D.C. VICTORY OVER CHIVAS USA

D.C. United won its third straight match and moved within one point of Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City with a 3-1 win Sunday night over Chivas USA before 13,732 at RFK Stadium. United improved to 10-5-4 on the season (34 points), while Chivas USA failed to help its playoff chances and sit 6-8-5 (23 points), four points out of a playoff spot in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference.

United were both boosted and burned by the penalty spot, as Eddie Johnson scored from 12 yards in the 25th minute for the opening goal of the match, and the lone Chivas USA strike also came from the spot, converted by Erick Torres in the 84th minute, but by that time the match was well in hand. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 18 Recap: Hamid saves, saves, and saves again in win at San Jose

Ideally, D.C. United shouldn’t need goalkeeper Bill Hamid to stand on his head or make 10-bell saves, or play as if he is a super goalkeeping being from another planet. There should be enough done defensively and with possession in the attack such that Hamid isn’t a team-saving behemoth with all the work to himself to do.

However, on nights such as Friday and in times such as the second half of United’s 2-1 win at San Jose, it’s nice to know that if Hamid indeed has to be all those things, he can. Hamid made seven saves (according to MLS, he was credited with nine during the NBCSN broadcast), many of the spectacular variety, as D.C. built a 2-0 first-half lead, saw it sliced to one before halftime, then hung on for dear life for most of the final 45 minutes. The away win was United’s third straight, and leaves the club 9-5-4 (31 points) in the standings and still alone in first place atop Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 17 Recap: United hit halfway point in first place after win at Toronto

Road wins are rarely pretty, but they are so very important. D.C. United got three vital away points Saturday night, winning at Eastern Conference rival Toronto FC, 2-1, before 22,591 at BMO Field. Nick DeLeon and Perry Kitchen scored the goals for United, while Luke Moore got on the scoresheet for Toronto. With the win, United improved to 8-5-4 (28 points), leaving D.C. alone in first place in the East halfway through its season (pending Sporting Kansas City’s result Sunday vs. Chicago).

Road wins were non-existent in the league for United last season, one when winning anywhere was a true rarity. There was a school of thought that such troubled times would befall the black-and-red again now, with leading scorer (and assist man) Fabian Espindola out with a knee injury for several weeks. Where would the offense come from? [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 16 Recap: Team sputters in 1-0 loss to Seattle

On Saturday night at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. United showed an attack replete with excellent ideas but confounded with how to execute them. Excellent runs were unrewarded, crosses were wayward, shots either hit the frame or sailed high or wide into warm Washington night. It all added up to a 1-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders before 16,922. The defeat drops United to 7-5-4 (25 points) on the season and a first-place tie with Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference.

The only goal of the game came in the 39th minute, via Seattle forward Chad Barrett. After United cleared a Sounders corner kick, the attack restarted and midfielder Gonzalo Pineda found himself with space on the right flank. He whipped in a left-footed cross that United seemed to be prepared for, in terms of the number of defenders there to deal with it. [Read more...]

Espindola injury a major setback for D.C. United

D.C. United announced on its website Tuesday morning that forward Fabian Espindola, the offensive revelation that has allowed the club to go from worst to first early this Major League Soccer season, will miss approximately six weeks with a knee injury suffered against Montreal on June 11.

The club stated that Espindola suffered a strained MCL from a tackle. Espindola, who had three assists in the 4-2 win at Montreal, led the club with seven goals and eight assists. The eight assists were already a career high, and Espindola was on pace to smash his career high in goals (10), as well.

[Read more...]

D.C. United Game 15 Recap: Silva’s trick is United’s treat in 4-2 win at Montreal

In a first half that at times featured all the defensive intensity of an MLS All-Star Media Game, D.C. United got the better of the proceedings thanks to a hat trick from Luis Silva and a goal by Nick DeLeon, beating the Montreal Impact, 4-2, Wednesday night. All six goals were scored in the opening 45 minutes. United moved into sole possession of first place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference with the win, on a 7-4-4 (25 points) record. The team was dead last in MLS last season at 3-24-7 (16 points).

Silva had never had a two-goal game with United, let alone a hat trick. But the midfielder who was acquired from Toronto FC last season started the first half on its crazy path just 6 minutes in. After some nice possession work, Chris Rolfe got on the ball at the edge of the attacking third and found Fabian Espindola ahead to his right, who quickly located Silva cutting between two Montreal defenders. The pass (despite a deflection) was perfect and Silva hit a right-footed shot low and past Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins to make it 1-0. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 13 Recap: One brilliant Espindola goal enough for United victory

Fabian Espindola’s campaign for Major League Soccer MVP benefited from another memorable moment Saturday night, as D.C. United’s leading scorer lofted home a ridiculous goal in the first half that stood up in United’s 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City before 18,522 on a beautiful night at RFK Stadium. The win lifted United into second place in the Eastern Conference (6-4-3, 21 points), just two points out of first thanks to New England’s shocking loss to Montreal.

For all Espindola has done in helping to resurrect United on the field so far this season, his goal Saturday night was the masterpiece of his highlight video. Taking a layoff from right back Chris Korb, Espindola appeared to pose little threat, as SKC defender Seth Sinovic tracked him, but didn’t close him down. This can be forgiven, since Espindola was moving the ball back to his left, away from goal. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 13 Preview: Defending MLS Cup champs visit RFK tonight

D.C. United looks to make up ground in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference tonight when Sporting Kansas City comes to RFK for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The game will be broadcast locally on CSN. Given the combination of United forward Eddie Johnson having his red card from last week rescinded, and the lack of availability for a couple key Sporting Kansas City players, United are presented with a decent chance to get all three points and move to 6-4-3 on the season.

United comes into tonight’s match off a 2-1 loss at Eastern leaders New England last week. D.C. sit five points behind the Revolution in the race for first place, and one point back of SKC for second. United are 4-0-2 in the last six home matches following a season-opening loss to the Columbus Crew. Sporting Kansas City is 2-3 away from home in 2014. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 12 Recap: United loses game, Eddie Johnson at New England

Any worries about how D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen was going to handle playing the trio of Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola, and Chris Rolfe were answered in emphatic and distasteful fashion Saturday night, as United lost at the New England Revolution, 2-1. Johnson started up front, with Espindola on the bench and Rolfe unavailable, but was sent off late in the game after he shoved Kelyn Rowe from behind than perhaps thought about kicking out at the fallen Revs player.

That was enough for head referee Juan Guzman to give Johnson a straight red, even though the United forward appeared to think better of his action before actually making any contact (see the incident here). United had tied the game earlier in the second half, as a nice cross from the left by Cristian Fernandez was met by leading scorer Espindola for his sixth goal of the year. But Diego Fagundez scored 4 minutes later to decide the match. [Read more...]

D.C. United Game 11 Recap: United wins and looks good doing it, 2-0 over Houston

The D.C. United squad on the field at RFK Stadium Wednesday night bore no resemblance to that which struggled through the 2013 season. That was partially due to a much changed roster, but on Wednesday, it was also due to a night of solid play, entertaining attacks, two wonderful goals, and a 2-0 victory for United over the Houston Dynamo before 8,224 in Washington.

Chris Rolfe opened the scoring in the 28th minute, as he and forward partner Fabian Espindola worked a nice 2-on-2 vs. the Houston defense. After a Lewis Neal throw-in, Espindola worked into the Dynamo defensive third, then passed the ball off to his left for Rolfe, who worked man to man against Houston defender David Horst. Rolfe made some space, moved the ball left, at which time Horst lost his balance. Rolfe then fired a low shot to the left of Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall to make it 1-0. [Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: