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.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.
- 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