December 10, 2019

D.C. United Game 34 Recap: Rainy draw in Montreal brings regular season to close

ESPINDOLA SCORES LATE TO EARN D.C. A POINT

In this massive turnaround season for D.C. United, a 1-1 draw in Montreal on the final day leaves D.C. with a club-record 59 points for the season and first place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference heading into the MLS Cup playoffs. Fabian Espindola scored his 11th goal of the season in the 86th minute to bring United level. D.C. finished the regular season 17-9-8 and will win the East by at least four points. Montreal finishes where United did a season ago, dead last in the East, with 27 points (6-18-9).

The game meant vastly different things to each team. Thanks to the L.A. Galaxy’s loss at Seattle earlier in the day, a win in Montreal would have given D.C. the second overall seed in the playoffs, allowing D.C. to host the MLS Cup final (should it get that far) against any team other than Seattle. The 1-1 draw, however, leaves United two points behind the Galaxy. For Montreal, it was a showcase for retiring forward Marco Di Vaio, who is calling it a career at age 38. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 31 Recap: United’s epic turnaround continues as D.C. clinches playoff spot

SCORELESS DRAW VS. SPORTING KANSAS CITY SENDS UNITED INTO POSTSEASON

On this night, a draw will feel just fine for D.C. United. A 0-0 tie against visiting Sporting Kansas City before nearly 20,000 in the rain at RFK Stadium lifted United’s record to 15-9-7, and the 52 points are enough for D.C. to grab one of Major League Soccer’s five Eastern Conference playoff berths. Sporting Kansas City now stands 13-11-7 (46 points), remaining six points behind leaders United in the East.

United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made a couple nice saves and three overall in posting his career-high 10th shutout of the season and 30th of his MLS career. D.C. had chances to break the deadlock, but multiple Fabian Espindola shots went wide, and mid-air contact on Chris Pontius in the SKC penalty area did not result in a spot kick in the judgment of referee Hilario Grajeda. Davy Arnaud was cautioned for United, and will be suspended for a game upon his next yellow card. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 29 Recap: Roller-coaster night in Chicago ends with a draw

SILVA SCORES TWICE AS UNITED SHARE POINTS IN SIX-GOAL THRILLER

How you look at D.C. United’s 3-3 draw at the Chicago Fire Saturday night is a matter of perspective. Either you are happy D.C. rallied from 2-0 down to at least get a point, or you are disappointed that United let a 3-2 lead slip away, only earning one point instead of three. The good news is that the tie moved United’s record to 14-9-6, good for 48 points and a three-point lead on Sporting Kansas City at the top of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. A tie was the usual for the Fire, who are 5-7-16 (31 points) this season.

Early on, this looked like the kind of performance United would regret were it to not finish first in the East. Quincy Amarikwa put the Fire ahead in the 16th minute, and Chicago went two clear 16 minutes later when United were whistled for a penalty and Jeff Larentowicz converted. At that point, any resulting blowout would have been believable, given how United was playing. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 10 Recap: United only manage draw vs. struggling Montreal

On the day of the Preakness Stakes, Eddie Johnson found his finishing touch just before the wire, but it was only good enough to allow D.C. United a dead heat with the Montreal Impact as the clubs shared the points in a 1-1 draw before 14,106 at RFK Stadium. United is now 4-3-3 (15 points) on the 2014 Major League Soccer season. Montreal is 1-5-4 (7 points) and in last place in the Eastern Conference.

United drew level in the 84th minute as the season-long scoreless streak for Johnson finally came to an end with a decisive header into the bottom corner of the net from a Fabian Espindola cross. Johnson’s goal was a decent end to what had been a bad week, as Johnson was left off the 30-man preliminary U.S. roster for the upcoming World Cup. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 6 Recap: United throw away two points at Columbus

For the record, D.C. United is unbeaten in its last four games. But in reality, Saturday night’s 1-1 draw at Columbus features all the satisfaction of moving up two spots in a 40-person line at the DMV. Up a goal and up a man, D.C. United had a 3-on-2 break to put the game away, but Fabian Espindola lost the ball to Crew defender Will Trapp, who then played a perfect cross-field ball for Héctor Jiménez, who blasted a shot past United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to level the match.

The draw put United’s record at 2-2-2 (8 points). D.C. is 2-0-2 in its last four matches, and the result, if taken by just the score only, is a nice improvement from United’s 3-1 loss to Columbus at RFK Stadium earlier this season. But the bottom line is there is no joy in this draw before 11,437 at Crew Stadium, within which United gave up the equalizer while playing against just 10 men after Bernardo Anor was sent off in the 81st minute for a two-footed tackle on D.C. midfielder Perry Kitchen. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 19 Recap: United earns point as Rapids can’t beat Willis

D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis made seven saves to keep the Colorado Rapids off the scoreboard and earn United a road point in a 0-0 draw Sunday night before 14,739 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The tie put United’s record for the 2013 Major League Soccer season at 2-13-4 (10 points), which leaves D.C. last in MLS. The Rapids are now 7-7-6 (27 points, 6th West).

As has been the case for much of the season, United provided very little offensive threat, despite head coach Ben Olsen removing Lionard Pajoy from the starting lineup and replacing him with Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz had a couple looks on goal in his 83 minutes – but Rapids goalkeeper Clinton Irwin saved both. The best chance came in the 53rd minute, when Ruiz got the ball on the left with an open look at goal, but his shot was saved by Irwin, who had come about 8 yards off his line to cut off the angle. Ruiz’s two shots on goal were the only ones United registered in the match. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 14 Recap: United grabs away point in scoreless draw

D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid made four saves to blank the New England Revolution tonight, good enough to earn United a 0-0 draw at Foxboro, Mass., before 14,163 at Gillette Stadium. United’s record now stands at 1-10-3, the 6 standings points still worst in Major League Soccer. New England moved to 5-4-5 (20 points) and remain unbeaten in its last five matches (3-0-2).

While United’s winless streak reached 12 matches with tonight’s draw (0-9-3), there were positives for United head coach Ben Olsen and the players to take from the effort. First, holding the Revolution without a goal is quite noteworthy, given United had conceded 24 goals in 13 matches entering tonight, and second, since the Revs had scored 10 goals in their last two matches, including a 5-0 demolition of the Los Angeles Galaxy last week, and a 5-1 win in U.S. Open Cup play. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 11 Analysis: United find starting point to end losing skid

It wasn’t a win, so let’s get that out of the way first. But, D.C. United did manage a 1-1 home draw with Sporting Kansas City at RFK Stadium Sunday evening, ending the club’s losing streak at seven matches. United still hasn’t won since the second game of the season, a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at RFK. However, given the long losing skid, any point is a good one.

United improved to 1-8-2 on the season, good enough for 5 points. But also bad enough to continue the club’s residence in the cellar of Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. United are two points behind Toronto FC and the Chicago Fire, who are tied for 7th in the conference on 7 points. United play both Toronto and Chicago (as well as 6th-place New England) as part of their next four games (the other being the next one at home to the Portland Timbers this Saturday at 7 p.m.). [Read more…]

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