Allsopp brace leads United to first win of the season; 2-1 over Kansas City

Danny Allsopp

DC United's Danny Allsopp scored in the 12th and 34th minute to give DC United their first win of the season. Photo Chris Bannon.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. D.C. United head coach Curt Onalfo made two major first team moves when he sat goalkeeper Troy Perkins and midfielder Santino Quaranta to start tonight’s 2-1 win over the Kansas City Wizards. Saddled with five straight losses to open the season, Onalfo turned to a 19 year old rookie goalkeeper and a 31 year old Australian striker to help jump start a moribund United team. Well, it worked as forward Danny Allsopp scored two first half goals and Bill Hamid was one minute from a shutout in his MLS debut in United’s first win of the season.

Allsopp scored in the 12th and 34th minutes to give the Black and Red their first lead of the season at any point through six MLS matches. United hung on until a Kei Kamara goal in stoppage time halved the deficit and made the 10,038 fans in attendance at RFK Stadium a bit nervous until the final whistle just a minute later from referee Alex Prus.

United started the scoring in the 12th minute on a relatively harmless clearance by Rodney Wallace out of United’s defensive zone. The ball bounded up field and Allsopp muscled Wizards defender Pablo Escobar off the ball and regained possession 30 yards from goal. The Australian then put a deft touch past the other Wizards central defender Jimmy Conrad and was heading towards goal. Allsopp unleashed a left-footed blast that took a slight deflection off the leg of Conrad past helpless Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

United doubled their advantage in the 34th minute off a dreadful mistake from Escobar. The Colombian defender’s pass intended for left back Roger Espinosa was under weighted and easily picked off by the hustling Adam Cristman. Cristman easily dispatched Espinosa’s attempt of a tackle and fed Allsopp all alone in front of goal and the big striker took only one touch before sending a laser precise right-footed shot past Nielsen and into the side netting for a 2-0 lead.

United rookie goalkeeper Bill Hamid was then called on for a reflex save in stoppage time to deny Wizards midfielder Jack Jewsbury and keep the score at 2-0. Hamid looked nervous early on in the game but came through unscathed at the half.

After the half the visitors began to really pour on the pressure. Halftime substitute Kamara, who was stunningly left out of the starting lineup in spite of his personal success against United, was a match up nightmare for United. The 6 foot 4 inch striker was elusive and bothersome to the United defense but after about 20 minutes of sustained pressure, United began to turn the tide. Allsopp nearly had a hat trick when his left-footed effort was palmed away by Nielsen to keep the score at 2-0.  In the 68th minute Clyde Simms had a similar shot but from about 25 yards away that narrowly missed the outside post. In the 77th minute United’s last chance at goal was denied by the woodwork. Christian Castillo’s pile driver of a free kick from 40 yards stung the right post and the rebound was then sent into orbit by Boyzzz Khumalo.

United defended gamely but did concede late in stoppage time when Josh Wolff’s excellent whipped in cross found the outstretched boot of Kamara to beat Hamid and spoil the rookie’s shutout bid in his first game.

United will now go on to face FC Dallas this weekend at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday evening at 8:30 pm EST.

United Notes

  • Luciano Emilio and Andy Najar were both unused subs tonight for United
  • Devon McTavish made a late appearance subbing in for a very tired Juan Manuel Peña
4 replies
  1. Chris_B
    Chris_B says:

    The standouts for me were the pairing of Allsopp and Cristman. Their size and hustle will make the opposing defenders really have to work if we can get them some decent service. I think that we still need to do better in the middle and hopefully Andy Najar will step into that role. The two big strikers and a crafty Andy could make United dangerous again. We need more than just free kicks from Castilo. Enough with the sloppy give aways. Also, props to the back line but I see Pena’s health being an issue as the season progresses. He was dog tired after the 70th minute. Graye had some decent moments, Talley was solid and Roodney, besides being beeten to the corner on a regular basis, did what he needed to do. Big Bill was impressive. I say start him on Saturday and let him and Troy trade off games during the season.

    The team still looked weaker in the second half. I don’t know if it is all a fitness issue or if the coaching isn’t adjusting like they need to but we need better performance by all involved in the second 45. Also, our super subs in the form of Jamie and Tino were less than “game changing”. We need these two and Luci to come in and force the other team to make adjustments. Jamie had a flash or two tonight but the team needs more out of our super subs.

    Let us hope that tonight’s chemistry can continue and improve.

  2. jwgreen40
    jwgreen40 says:

    We’re going to the MLS Cup!!!!! Hmmm, maybe that is a bit premature but that is just about how it feels today. Kudos to the team for a nice victory. So the question is ‘who is the starting keeper in Dallas?’

  3. rke
    rke says:

    Felt VERY good to get a win, even if I managed to miss both goals (7:00? I thought games started at 7:30!). Still it was nice to hear the roar of the crowd after a goal at RFK, even from outside.

    Overall, I liked the changes, though I fear this may add even more baggage on Perkins shoulders. His performance depends on his emotional state, so it’s going to be rough getting him back to form. Kudos to Hamid though — great game!

    I like that we benched Quaranta because I think he’ll respond. But Khumalo looked terrible out there. Tino didn’t do much when he came on, but he was solid, and a big relief to get Boyzzz off the field.

    Was Pena hurt when he went off? I was sure we had another hammy on our hands.

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