Lionard Pajoy and Taylor Kemp both scored a pair of goals in D.C. United’s 4-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies tonight in the first game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic for both squads.
Both teams came out slowly but it was United who ended up carrying most of the play in a scoreless first half. Trialist Kyle Porter, inserted into left midfield, should have given United an early lead but his header in front of goal was way off target. Pajoy and Dwayne De Rosario both had good looks on goal as well but they were well saved by the Tampa goalkeeper.
The second half saw United’s domination continue over the second-division side and the Black-and-Red deservedly took the lead in the 55th minute. Chris Korb sent in a picture perfect cross that met the head of Pajoy who easily guided it to the back post for the 1-0 lead. Just two minutes later Pajoy doubled the advantage after being sent in by a lovely chip from Porter. Pajoy’s cutback between two Rowdie defenders got him the open space needed to execute a textbook chip over the goalkeeper and give United a 2-0 lead.
After the goal, head coach Ben Olsen subbed out all eleven field players but even that didn’t slow down United. Another trialist Ryan Richter, the last player cut from United last preseason, was instrumental in setting up the third goal. His one-two down the right wing with Lewis Neal carved out enough space for him to center a pass towards the goal. Sixteen year-old Academy signing Michael Seaton was charging the goal and the resulted collision with the Tampa Bay goalkeeper left a juicy rebound for United 1st-Round draft pick Taylor Kemp to easily sweep into the empty goal.
Both Richter and Kemp were not finished however and they combined for the last goal in fine counterattacking fashion. Once again Lewis Neal and Richter played a one-two triangle around the Tampa Bay defense and Richter was off down the right sideline. His cross into the penalty area fell perfectly behind Seaton and into the path of Kemp who slammed his second goal into the net.
United saw out the remainder of the match with no trouble at all and will now face a much more stern test on Wednesday afternoon when they take on Easter Conference rivals Sporting Kansas City at 6pm EST.