September 16, 2019

D.C. United Game 2 Recap: United still scoreless, winless after Toronto loss

D.C. United fell to 0-2 on the 2014 Major League Soccer season Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 loss to Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto. Jermain Defoe scored the only goal of the match, converting on a rebound shot in the 60th minute to give TFC its second consecutive win to start the season. United managed just two shots on goal for the entire match (Defoe had three by himself) and United were quite fortunate not to have taken a heavier loss.

Defoe, a veteran of the English Premier League who once scored five goals in a game for Tottenham in a 9-1 win over Wigan on November 22, 2009, could well have scored more than one Saturday had it not been for D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, the goalpost, and a little bit of luck. Hamid saved two of Defoe’s shots early in the game to keep the contest scoreless, and Defoe later missed a chance just wide while trying to avoid Hamid, who had the post well covered.

But Defoe, who scored twice in Toronto’s season-opening victory at Seattle, eventually broke through on the hour. Gilberto got free in the middle of the defense and fired a shot after being on the receiving end of a long ball from midfield by Michael Bradley. Hamid made that save, but United defender Bobby Boswell’s weak clearance attempt fell right to Defoe in the box, and he made no mistake by sharply slotting home the only goal of the match.

United were credited with nearly 63 percent of possession, but managed just six total shot attempts and none of them were particularly dangerous. United has now been shutout in both of its matches this season and has conceded four goals. This despite a significant roster turnover from last year’s 3-24-7 season that saw D.C. finish last of 19 teams in MLS, scoring just 22 goals and allowing 59. United hasn’t won a road match in the league since 2012.

While Defoe did the business for Toronto, United were mostly unable to find their new top forward, Eddie Johnson, in any kind of dangerous positions in the match. Many of Johnson’s touches on the ball came from him backtracking to meet it, and he was rarely provided any service that led him to any kind of real offensive opportunities. While some of that falls to Johnson to get more involved, United has to have some plan to actually get him the ball and through two matches, such a plan doesn’t seem to exist.

Through two games, very little looks different about this club than last year’s. But there are 32 more matches to work on it. United is home next Saturday at RFK Stadium to take on the Chicago Fire at 4 p.m.

NOTES: Former United midfielder Dwayne DeRosario came on as a substitute for Toronto. … A fan waving a TFC scarf invaded the field in the second half while Defoe was on a break. He didn’t interfere in the play, and was offside anyway. … At 3-24-7, it’s hard to imagine United being worse than last year, but at 0-2, D.C. is actually on a worse pace. One of United’s wins last season came in its second game, a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake that lifted D.C.’s mark to 1-1. … The announced attendance was 22,591, but far fewer than that number were actually there. … Defoe’s goal was the 156th of his pro career with five different clubs. … Toronto midfielder Jackson’s caution was for an off-the-ball elbow to United midfielder Davy Arnaud’s chest that could earn supplementary discipline from the league.

TORONTO 1-0 UNITED

Goals:
TOR – Defoe 3, 60th min.

Discipline:
TOR – Jackson, yellow, 50th.
DCU – Arnaud, yellow, 55th.

Statistics:
Shots: TOR 14-6 DCU
Shots on Goal: TOR 6-2 DCU
Corners: TOR 2-4 DCU
Fouls: TOR 13-20 DCU
Offside: TOR 3-2 DCU
Possession: TOR 37.2%-62.8% DCU

UNITED (0-2-0, 0 points): Hamid; Franklin, Parke, Boswell, Christian (Doyle 83′); DeLeon, Kitchen. Arnaud (Porter 67;), Silva; Espindola, Johnson.

TORONTO (2-0-0, 6 points): Cesar; Caldwell, Bloom, Morrow, Henry; Jackson, Bradley, Osorio, Rey (Orr 84′); Gilberto (DeRosario 64′), Defoe.

Ed Morgans is the D.C. United Page Editor at District Sports Page. For in-game analysis and story notifications, follow him on Twitter @writered21.

About Ed Morgans

Ed Morgans is DC United Page Editor for District Sports Page. Ed worked for The Journal Newspapers (now The Examiner) and covered DC United from 1997-2002. He spent the 2003 season writing for the club’s website. Ed has covered All-Star Games, MLS Cups, CONCACAF Champions Cup, World Cup qualifiers, and international friendlies. He also worked as a blogger at www.bigsoccer.com, the country’s leading soccer message board website. You can follow Ed on Twitter @writerEd21.

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