September 21, 2019

D.C. United Game 2 Analysis: United in win column thanks to Pajoy goal

All things considered, D.C. United is probably right where most people would have realistically expected it to be after two games of the 2013 Major League Soccer (MLS) season. Having never won at Houston, and never lost at RFK Stadium to Real Salt Lake, both patterns held in the first two weeks to leave United 1-1 with three points. Of the 10 teams in the Eastern Conference, seven currently sit on three points. Only the Montreal Impact have played two and won two (six points) so far in the East.

To accomplish that with former league Most Valuable Player Dwayne De Rosario unavailable for the first two games of the regular season due to a suspension reflects well on the efforts of the rest of the roster. It hasn’t been pretty most of the time, and it was disheartening to go a whole game without a shot on goal in the 2-0 loss at Houston, but Saturday night’s 1-0 win over RSL was a good indication of United’s competitiveness without their leader.

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D.C. United GAME RECAP: All joy for Pajoy, United in 1-0 win vs. RSL

Lionard Pajoy’s diving header past Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando gave D.C. United a 1-0 win over RSL at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Saturday night. The win levels United’s Major League Soccer season record at 1-1, 3 points. RSL, winners last week at San Jose, slipped to 1-1, 3 points.

Pajoy, who had struggled prior to the goal and didn’t do much after it, made the most of his one shining moment. On a United corner kick in the 60th minute, the ball left the penalty area and was met by United midfielder J0hn Thorrington. Thorrington patiently waited a second before chipping the ball over the onrushing Real Salt Lake defenders. Thorrington’s touch forced Rimando to dive all out to his right, and he saved the shot with his hand. But that left the rebound available in the penalty area with only Pajoy to play it. He dove forward and headed the ball home for United’s first goal of the season.

Rimando and some RSL teammates looked for an offside call on Pajoy, but it rightly wasn’t given. Pajoy was clearly onside when Thorrington shot the ball, thus it was perfectly legal for him, unmarked, to follow up and score.

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