DC United Christian Castillo earned a yellow for this tackle in DC's loss to the Colorado Rapids. United is off tho their worst start ever, 1-7 thus far this season. Photo: Tony QUinn.

Different week, same story; United lose to Colorado 1-0

The numbers don’t lie. Eight matches, seven losses (six by shutout) and one solitary win. D.C. United was shutout for the fourth time at home this season as the visiting Colorado Rapids got their first win at RFK Stadium in over a decade, 1-0 before 13,570 disappointed fans.

DC United Christian Castillo earned a yellow for this tackle in DC's loss to the Colorado Rapids. United is off tho their worst start ever, 1-7 thus far this season. Photo: Tony QUinn.

DC United's Christian Castillo earned a yellow for this tackle in DC's loss to the visiting Colorado Rapids. United is off tho their worst start ever, 1-7 thus far this season. Photo: Tony Quinn.

United’s maddening season long trend continued again tonight as they controlled the action for long stretches of play but nothing came from their few chances at goal. As a matter of fact, the closest United got to scoring was when Rapids forward Omar Cummings nearly gave the Black and Red the lead four minutes into the half when he nearly chipped his own goalkeeper Matt Pickens when he came back to defend a semi-dangerous cross into the penalty area.

Adam Cristman’s roller at Pickens in the 22nd minute was one of the few real threats on goal all night outside of a few long range shots courtesy of Christian Castillo and Rodney Wallace that went high and wide of goal. Danny Allsopp’s 40-yard run and shot was well saved by Pickens in the 30th minute but that was the end of United’s only real threats the rest of the evening.

Colorado didn’t even make United goalkeeper Bill Hamid break a sweat in the first hour of the match with the team barely crossing midfield, much less getting any scoring opportunities. That all changed however in the 67th minute when Mehdi Ballouchy latched onto a loose ball in United’s end of the field and the Morrocan attacker made his way into the box and sent a ball through the legs of United defender Juan Manuel Pena and just inside the near post, freezing Hamid. “I lost sight of the ball for just a second as it went through Pena’s legs”, said Hamid in the locker room after the match. “I couldn’t react in time”.

United head coach Curt Onalfo was once again a man of few words after the match as you could see the strain on his face as his answers were short and obviously full of disappointment. “We just have to find a way”, said the distraught coach. “No one could ever imagine we would get off to this start (to the season)”.

As if things couldn’t get any worse, United now must turn their attention to their next match away to Houston next Saturday evening. For a team that has only managed 4 goals in 8 games, going to Houston is just about the worst possible scenario considering until last season United had never scored in Houston. Houston is on the heels of a two-game losing streak but no doubt are licking their lips in anticipation of seeing United come to town.

United Notes

  • Chris Pontius stated before the match that he might be available next week in Houston
  • Luciano Emilio didn’t make the 18-man roster due to failing a fitness test late this week
  • Santino Quaranta was released from the hospital on Thursday and should be about two weeks away from returning.
  • Juan Manuel Pena returned to a starting role tonight. He was subbed out for Jaime Moreno in the second half with United trailing
7 replies
  1. Paul Conner
    Paul Conner says:

    I definitely think the injuries took a toll last night, but still, the team just played boring soccer. Castillo is a good player, but he’s not really fitting into the team. Both 40-yard free kicks he decides to try to score?! Seriously?! Put the ball in the box where Allsopp and Cristman can get a head on it. I’m sure you guys will have plenty to say in the next podcast.

  2. Paul Conner
    Paul Conner says:

    One more thing: what’s bad about this game is that it could have easily been 3-0 or 4-0 Colorado if Casey doesn’t miss that free header and the two off the post and crossbar bounce differently. Scary!

  3. FROM . . . the University of Virginia
    FROM . . . the University of Virginia says:

    Would everyone stop drinking the Terrapin-flavored cool aid? Just listened to the podcast, read the post, and perused blog comments, and I’m flabbergasted at the lack of attention that Rodney Wallace is getting.

    Castillo and Khumalo may be bad, but Wallace is worse. You know how Roger Federer’s right arm is twice the size of his left? The reverse is true for Rodney’s feet. The guy simply refuses to use his right boot, and it’s painful to watch. How many times this season has he slowed down the attack by foregoing a simple right-footed one or two-time pass in favor of running around the ball to use his preferred left foot? His opponents have picked up on the liability and forced Rodney to pass backwards or turn the ball over every time he gets it.

    You talk about wanting to walk the ball in the net. It’s not because United’s attack lacks creativity or speed. It’s because it can’t ping the couple of one-time passes together necessary to startle defenses and create open shots. Like Burch before him, Wallace’s inept right foot kills the United attack.

    But Wallace is worse than Burch. He has a tendency to run around like a chicken with his head cut off. Mike, you complained that Wallace got fouled before the goal last night. A careful examination of the reply shows that the Rapids player (forget who) got the ball and Rodney sort of tripped over him. No foul. Rather than admit to the loss of possession, regain composure, and defend, Rodney recklessly let his momentum guide him to where the ball used to be, falls over, and suddenly Ballouchy only has two legs to shoot through rather than four.

    Coach Onalfo, you obviously don’t have many options at the moment. But when the team’s out of the hospital, send Gray to the left. Though right-footed, he is slightly more ambidextrous, has great speed and probably better-than-Wallace positioning, and has shown some attacking flair. And come the summer transfer window, please sign a competent left back in addition to a central midfielder and speedy forward.

  4. rke
    rke says:

    Nothing really to say about DCU at the moment, so can I pick on your podcast? 🙂

    It’s great and all – I love the content. But I’m wondering if you can explore some tweaks to volume/compression settings. Whether in-studio or on the phone, it seems like someone’s always on the mic while others are in the next room. It’s difficult to listen to in the car/Metro or other noisy environments. Maybe headset mics for everyone would help?

    I realize podcasts are low (no) budget, and I thank you all for the time and commitment that you put into this. Hopefully though, something simple like a nudge to the compression settings could improve the presentation dramatically.

    Thanks for considering,
    – r

  5. UnitedMania.com
    UnitedMania.com says:

    Thanks for the comments rke – I did notice that as well yesterday – bad on my part. I’ll work on getting things adjusted so we are on the same tone and so that levels are adjusted. Sometimes bozo 1 and 2 refuse to wear the headphones so it’s hard for me to keep them on the same level – maybe this will persuade them…

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