With their 1-0 victory over the Kansas City Wizards today, DC United vaulted to the top spot of the Eastern Conference as New England didn’t play on Independence Day and Red Bull doesn’t play until Thursday evening.
Luciano Emilio scored the lone goal against the run of play in the 44th minute after United midfielder Fred controlled a Clyde Simms header and juked a KC defender and fed Emilio who cut back on a KC defender and shot it near post past a helpless Kevin Hartman. United went into the locker room in spite of being outclassed for most of the first half as KC sent shot after shot on Troy Perkins who made a number of one v one saves to keep the game scoreless early on. The woodwork also saved United on numerous occasions as well.
While United played much more cohesively in the second half as opposed to their almost scattered effort in the first half, they were never really able to get a firm hold on the match as the hosts continued to pour forward looking for the equalizer. Perkins and defender Devon McTavish both made scintilating saves to keep United in the lead. Greg Vanney made his debut with United and had a steady game aside from a disastrous giveaway early in the second half that McTavish cleaned up with a finely timed tackle on KC attacker Scott Sealy who had broken in alone on Perkins.
All in all United got the job done and got the three points. It certainly wasn’t pretty and any United coach or player would tell you so as well. Playing day games at noon time is an absolutely assanine decision on the schedule makers in the MLS offices. However, both teams had to deal with the conditions and while KC looked the fresher and more spirited team, at the end of the day they didn’t do what was necessary to win the game. Games like this will continue to be a blight on the MLS season as long as they decide to schedule these games during the day. Summer matches in hotbeds like Dallas, Houston, KC and DC are tough enough in the early evening hours much less high noon.
United is now off to Houston for a matchup against the Dynamo on Sunday evening. Bobby Boswell should be back into the side while Jaime Moreno and Ben Olsen will probably be given a deserved rest after their extended minutes at the Copa America in Venezuela.
– Sunday nights match can be seen on Comcast Sports Net at 8:00 pm EST in the DC area and on the Direct Kick package through your satellite or cable provider.