September 21, 2019

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 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 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.C. United Game 9 Recap: Early goal and Hamid’s saves lift United to rare road win

Yes, D.C. United fans, it is still legal and in fact encouraged for your local 11 to go on the road and win a match in Major League Soccer play. You could understand if some folks forgot what that felt like before Saturday’s 1-0 victory by United at the Philadelphia Union in front of 18,522 (including a healthy number of United supporters) at PPL Park. Chris Rolfe scored the only goal in the 6th minute. United hadn’t won a league away match since the 2012 season. With the win, D.C. improved to 4-3-2 (14 points), good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference pending other results Saturday.

It wasn’t exactly the most convincing of wins, but given the long barren stretch away from the rickety confines of RFK Stadium, no one should really be picky. Rolfe’s goal came from the center of the penalty area, past not only Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, but also United players Eddie Johnson and Lewis Neal, who both had made smart runs toward the goal as Rolfe took his chance. Both were in offside position, but neither deflected the ball, and while they were between MacMath and where the ball entered the goal, MacMath never made a move to try and save the shot, so he wasn’t impeded and the goal stood despite Philadelphia’s protests.

Johnson, who has been notable for his lack of goals since coming to United from the Seattle Sounders in the offseason, may have had his first later in the half, but he was ruled to be offside upon receiving a nice lead pass from midfielder Davy Arnaud. If Johnson was offside, it was his right arm, which he wouldn’t have been able to use to score a goal. Johnson continued with the play and beat a charging MacMath, but the goal – which would have been Johnson’s much anticipated first for the club – was waived off. [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 Game 4 Recap: Rolfe quickly turns tide for United

Chris Rolfe needed just 27 minutes to do for United what so many others had failed to do so often. Rolfe’s goal deep into stoppage time put the finishing touches on a 2-0 D.C. win over the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium Saturday night, snapping a 15-game Major League Soccer winless streak for United. D.C. improved to 1-2-1 (4 points) and moved the club into sixth place in MLS’ Eastern Conference. New England fell to 1-3-1 (4 points) and has scored just two goals and five games.

United could understand the Revs’ meager offensive plight. Entering Saturday’s win, D.C. had only scored two goals, as well. And it was the Revs who put United into the lead Saturday, when José Gonçalves neatly tucked a left-footed volley into his own net in the 43rd minute – because if you are going to score an own goal, make it a tidy one. To be fair, however, United earned the goal, as well, as Cristian made a nice run to take a feed from Fabian Espindola near the end line to New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth’s right. His cross was then turned in nicely by Gonçalves. [Read more…]

D.C. United Game 22 Recap: Youthful United overpowers Montreal, 3-1

Three players all under the age of 25, none of whom were with D.C. United when the 2013 Major League Season started, scored goals tonight as United upset the Montreal Impact, 3-1. The win improved United’s record to 3-15-4 (13 points) on the season, while the Impact dropped to 10-6-5 (35 points).

Luis Silva, Conor Doyle, and Jared Jeffrey all scored for D.C., as United won a league match for the first since a 1-0 triumph over the San Jose Earthquakes on June 22. United had gone 0-4-1 in its prior five MLS matches. [Read more…]

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