Reserves: Fire Smothered By United

After a scoreless first half, DC United exploded for three goals in ten minutes early in the second half to smother the Chicago Fire in their inaugural reserve match played at the RFK Auxiliary Field.

United got goals from defender Tim Merritt, Nana Kuffour, Clyde Simms, and Eliseo Quintanilla added the final touch in the 90th minute.

The Fire's lone tally was by Nate Jaqua after United was up 3-0.

United's Tommy Soehn, coaching the reserve side, was pleased with United's overall effort, saying "as a team, we knocked the ball around well for stretches of the game, and exposed them for the goals. Now we need to work on expanding on that effort."

In a largely uneventful first half, United managed to put the ball in the Fire net, as Jamil Walker stuffed in a corner kick from United captain Quintanilla, but the play was mysteriously called offside.

However, the second half was a much more lively and effective affair for United. Freddy Adu was inserted into the central midfield and he immediately added a spark to United's attack, assisting on United's first goal in the 54th minute.

Tim Merritt had cleared a loose ball to Adu at midfield, then the rookie from North Carolina and last pick in the draft took off down the open right side to collect the return pass from Adu. With Chicago keeper David Mahoney charging out, Merritt managed to poke the ball under him just before a wicked collision left both players stunned but unhurt.

Three minutes later, Merritt again blasted a clearance over midfield, where Nana Kuffour was able to outduel the Fire's Samuel Caballero to gain control of the bouncing ball and break in on goal. With a nice touch, Kuffour stepped around Mahoney to slot the ball easily into the open net.

Then it was Simms' turn in the 69th minute, as he blasted a long shot into the lower corner after collecting a pass from Kuffour about 25 yards from goal.

However, the Fire were able to pull a goal back five minutes later, as Kenny Arena whiffed on a loose ball in midfield, allowing Jaqua to pounce on it and easily slip it by Andrew Terris for Chicago's only goal of the match.

Quintanilla finished the scoring in the 90th minute as Adu broke free down the right side and squared a perfect pass across the goal mouth, where Quintanilla blasted into the upper corner.

When asked about MLS adding reserve matches this year, Soehn said that he's glad that MLS has added them, as they are "a fantastic tool for evaluating players and giving them experience in game situations. As we learned last year, everybody on the team is important being successful in MLS."

United's next reserve match is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 24 against the New England Revolution reserves at the RFK Auxiliary Field.

DC United Reserves    0–4—-4

Chicago Fire Reserves 0–1—-1

Scoring Summary:
DCU: Tim Merritt 1 (Freddy Adu 1) 54
DCU: Nana Kuffour 1 (Unassisted) 57
DCU: Clyde Simms 1 (Nana Kuffour 1) 69
CHI: Nate Jaqua 1 (Unassisted) 74
DCU: Eliseo Quintanilla 1 (Freddy Adu 2) 90

DC United Reserves (3-5-2) – Troy Perkins (Andrew Terris 46), Shawn Kuykendall, Kenny Arena, Tim Merritt, Nick Van Sicklen, Clyde Simms, Eliseo Quintanilla, Nana Kuffour, Jason Thompson, Santino Quaranta (Freddy Adu 46), Jamil Walker (Brandon Prideaux 80). Head Coach: Tom Soehn


Chicago Fire Reserves (4-4-2) – Matt Pickens (David Mahoney 46), Jared Montz, Samuel Caballero, Jack Stewart, Gonzalo Segares, Leonard Griffin, Scott Buete, Logan Pause, Hollis Donaldson, Chad Barrett (Nate Jaqua 61), Will Johnson


Misconduct Summary:
DCU: Shawn Kuykendall (caution) 47
DCU: Nick Van Sicklen (caution) 81

Attendance: 200

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