DC United and Kansas City Tie One All

It was another tale of two halves as DC held the edge for the opening 45 minutes and scored the opening goal for the fourth straight road match and seventh time in eight games overall, but unfortunately also failed to hang onto that lead for the fourth straight time as well.

United struck in the 27th minute as Santino Quaranta held up the ball well and flicked a nice heel pass to Jamie Moreno heading towards the penalty area, where he was crunched unmercifully by Jimmy Conrad. However, the ball squirted into the KC penalty area and caused a second of confusion between defender Lance Watson and keeper Kevin Hartman. That moment was all Wallace needed to reach in and poke the loose ball into the back of the net for his second goal in three games.

With Jaime Moreno getting an assist on the play, he now has 101 for his career tying his legendary compatriot Marco Etcheverry for the most in team history. Steve Ralston has the most in league history at something like 130 and counting. It was Moreno’s record 300th game as well. The next closest player is Olsen with 207. Moreno is the eighth player in league history with 300 games played. Ralston leads with 360, while Kevin Hartman, Chris Klein and Jesse Marsch are the only other active players with more games played than Jaime.

However, that play should have been United’s second goal of the night though, as United’s other first round draft pick pounded the post with a lovely shot five minutes earlier after collecting a slick return pass from Quaranta in behind Conrad down the right hand side of the box.

The tight field and general scrappy play from both sides kept the game close for most of the match, but United clearly had the best of the few opportunities in the first half, only to see that situation totally reversed in the second half as KC came out with a lot more energy and determination playing in front of 9,000 or so at CommunityAmerica BallPark.

Unfortunately, Wallace giveth and he taketh away as the saying goes. Just minutes into the second half, Lance Watson swooped in to cleanly steal the ball away from a hesitant Wallace, and feed Jack Jewsbury down the right hand side behind John who got caught out by the turnover. Jewsbury’s first time cross found Wolff who beat United’s defender Greg Janicki to the near post to slam in the ball to finish up the scoring.

KC was to have two more half chances but United got some more good fortune on the road to preserve the tie. The first was an extremely good (or lucky) non call as Simms tugged a bit on Jewsbury in the box, but his flop was way over the top and the referee refused to buy it. Then in the 62nd minute, Wolff had the game winner on his forehead but banged the ball high and wide after a nice cross by Lopez found him on the back post where he easily out-muscled Simms to get his head on it mere yards from the goal.

Given this as the middle match of three in eight days, coach Tommy Soehn used it to show off some of the depth the team has developed this year. Brandon Barklage and Andrew Jacobson got the start in the center of midfield which meant United had three players from this year’s draft, and one newly returned after being drafted last year in the midfield to start the match.

Also, Avery John got his first start since being signed in April, and Greg Janicki got his first start since his concussion in the opening match of the season. All of which meant United started the match with Christian Gomez, Luciano Emilio, and Dejan Jakovic on the bench, while Olsen, Fred, and Marc Burch didn’t even make the trip. That’s six starters for those of you keeping score at home.

So United retained a valiant point on the road, which considering their abject failures on the road last year is a pretty good sign, especially considering the judicious use of bench players. However, United has now surrendered the lead in five of their eight matches, and has only one clean sheet on the year which has to be a concern, although a minor one considering the team remains on top of the Eastern Conference and still has only one loss.

At eight games into the season, this is the deepest into the season the team has gone with only one loss since 2006, when DC didn’t collect their second loss until July.

Next up for DC is second place Toronto at RFK this Saturday night. A win over the Canadians would put DC a minimum of two points clear of anyone at the top of the table in the East.

Scoring Summary:
DC — Rodney Wallace 2 (Jaime Moreno 2, Santino Quaranta 3) 27
KC — Josh Wolff 3 (Jack Jewsbury 2, Lance Watson 1) 52

D.C. United — Louis Crayton, Bryan Namoff, Greg Janicki, Avery John, Rodney Wallace, Brandon Barklage (Christian Gomez 61), Andrew Jacobson, Clyde Simms, Santino Quaranta, Jaime Moreno (Thabiso Khumalo 87), Chris Pontius (Luciano Emilio 46).
Substitutes Not Used: Dejan Jakovic, Milos Kocic, Devon McTavish, Ange N’Silu

Kansas City Wizards — Kevin Hartman, Lance Watson, Jimmy Conrad, Aaron Hohlbein (Michael Harrington 83), Matt Besler, Josh Wolff, Santiago Hirsig, Jack Jewsbury, Davy Arnaud, Herculez Gomez (Roger Espinoza 60), Claudio Lopez.
Substitutes Not Used: Michael Kraus, Rauwshan McKenzie, Kurt Morsink, Boris Pardo, Abe Thompson

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