March 28, 2017

D.C. United Game 9 Recap: Sporting Kansas City earn draw away to United

D.C. United’s unbeaten run in Major League Soccer is now at seven games thanks to a 1-1 tie against Sporting Kansas City in front of 16,221 at RFK Stadium.

United went ahead late in the first half as Chris Pontius chested down Perry Kitchen’s cross into the path of the onrushing Jairo Arrieta in the penalty area. Arrieta made no mistake from 10 yards out, and put the home side into the lead in the 43rd minute of the game.

However, the hosts could not hold their lead for very long, as Sporting came roaring back to equalize just a minute later. Roger Espinoza showed a burst of pace to take him to the byline and sent in a cross that Dom Dwyer turned and finished brilliantly to bring Kansas City level. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 3 Recap: Late goal seals United victory over Los Angeles Galaxy

In a battle between two teams with players absent for a variety of reasons, D.C. United triumphed 1-0 over the Los Angeles Galaxy at RFK Stadium in their latest MLS fixture thanks to a goal in second-half stoppage time from Chris Pontius.

The Black-and-Red faced an opponent they had not beaten since 2009, but the visitors had some depth issues with Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Jaime Penedo all away on international duty. Meanwhile, the hosts had injury and unavailability problems of their own, although with Miguel Aguilar’s work permit now secured he was eligible for selection again.

The home side’s goal when it came was a product of some good teamwork, with the ball finding the net with just over 30 seconds remaining before the final whistle. Nick DeLeon broke down the right and was fed by a deliciously weighted pass from Davy Arnaud that left the Galaxy defense flat-footed. After some trickery, DeLeon lofted a ball into the six-yard box that Pontius managed to get his head on and steer home to secure a vital victory. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 2 Recap: United 2-0 losers again away to New York Red Bulls

At the same venue where they went down to a 2-0 defeat in the 2014 Eastern Conference semifinal first leg, D.C. United once again slipped to a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, this time in the early stages of their 2015 MLS regular season.

Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam proved to be United’s torturers once again as they scored in each half, with the visitors offering only brief moments in response as Red Bulls head coach Jesse Marsch secured his first victory having taken charge in the offseason.

The home side’s opener was straightforward, as Dax McCarty’s lofted ball forward in the 25th minute took advantage of some poor communication between United defenders Bobby Boswell and Steven Birnbaum to find Wright-Phillips lurking. The Englishman made no mistake with a low finish past Bill Hamid to score his first of the 2015 season. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 1 Recap: Jairo Arrieta scores only goal in win over Montreal Impact

D.C. United’s nightmare run of three straight losses in their opening games of the MLS season came to an end at RFK Stadium in front of 11,549 fans as they overcame the Montreal Impact 1-0 thanks to a goal from Jairo Arrieta midway through the second half.

The start to the 2015 league season came hot on the heels of a new collective bargaining agreement being finalized on Wednesday between MLS and the MLS Players Union, while on the same night both United and the Impact were in the midst of the second legs of their respective CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Both enjoyed wildly different fortunes, as D.C. went out 6-4 on aggregate to L.D. Alajuelense of Costa Rica, while Montreal tied 1-1 with Mexican side Pachuca on a late goal from forward Cameron Porter to go through on away goals after a 3-3 draw on aggregate.

[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…]

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 Analysis: First-quarter evaluation, part 3 – Midfielders

Of all the pieces of this week-long series evaluating D.C. United through about the first quarter of the 2014 Major League Soccer season, considering the value and effectiveness of the midfield might be the most difficult. Unlike defense and forward, the midfield wasn’t completely plowed over in the offseason, as the intention was to have relative veterans Nick DeLeon, Chris Pontius, and Perry Kitchen anchoring the middle of the field, supplemented by new acquisition and MLS veteran Davy Arnaud.

Nine matches into the season, that plan has already undergone a significant adjustment due to Pontius being unavailable due to injury. With the Washington Post reporting in late April that recovery from a hamstring injury will likely keep Pontius out for most of the regular season, midfield is one area where United’s best plan has already been rubbished. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 8 Recap: Goals early and late seal United’s fate at Portland

For about 92 minutes, maybe 92 minutes, 30 seconds, D.C. United didn’t play spectacularly, but the club probably played well enough to win at the Portland Timbers late Saturday night. Surely during that time, United played well enough at least to earn a draw and a valuable road point. Instead, however, United gave up goals in the first minute and the final minute in a 3-2 loss before 20,814 at Providence Park. Gastón Fernández notched the goal about 35 seconds in to give the Timbers the lead and Maximiliano Urruti scored on a rebound in the final minute of stoppage time.

The loss ended United’s five-match unbeaten streak and dropped the Major League Soccer club back to .500 on the season at 3-3-2 (11 points). A win would have lifted United into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference with the New England Revolution, winners at Toronto Saturday. Instead, United sit in a four-team logjam for third place. The win was Portland’s (1-3-5, 8 points) first of the season. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 5 Recap: Sweet victory for United over rival New York

D.C. United earned a valuable three points over its biggest rival Saturday night before 12,364 at RFK Stadium, as United tripped up the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on a 4th-minute goal by Davy Arnaud. The win lifted United to 2-2-1 on the season (seven points), and allowed D.C. to claim seven of a possible nine points from a three-game home-stand against Eastern Conference foes Chicago, New England, and New York.

Arnaud’s goal was a thing of beauty early in the game that looks like it came straight from the training ground. After United won a corner that was taken to the left of New York goalkeeper Luis Robles, Fabian Espindola sent the kick into the center of the penalty area. There, United defender Bobby Boswell flicked a header forward and to his left, where Arnaud ran on to it and headed it to the opposite corner past Robles to give D.C. a lead it would never relinquish. [Read more…]

D.C. United acquires forward Eddie Johnson from Seattle Sounders

A much talked about move over the last 24 hours was made official Tuesday afternoon, as D.C. United completed a deal to acquire U.S. National Team forward Eddie Johnson from the Seattle Sounders, the team announced in a press release. According to the club, United is sending allocation money to Seattle in exchange for Johnson, though an amount wasn’t given.

Johnson, who will turn 30 early next season, spent the last two seasons with the Sounders after returning to MLS from playing overseas. Johnson is a veteran of 140 MLS regular-season matches, scoring 64 goals and adding 18 assists. He had 23 goals in 49 appearances for Seattle in 2012 and 2013. [Read more…]

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