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Episode 114 – Coming Back from Sucking

Join the guys as they look back at United’s play off series with the Red Bulls. The boys talk about each match, address Andy’s suspension and look ahead to the series against the Dynamo. The guys also make their conference final predictions and name their MLS best 11.

United vs. Red Bull: Missed opportunities, immaturity hamper United’s effort in 1-1 draw with Red Bull

D.C. United’s return to the MLS playoffs was an uneven and often frantic affair marred by two own-goals, a missed penalty kick by the home side and a bit of petulance from one of United’s more reliable and even-keeled players.

At the end of a much anticipated evening, United was left with a 1-1 draw against Red Bull heading into the return leg on Wednesday night in Harrison, New Jersey. After Chris Pontius missed a first half penalty kick, United went ahead on an own goal from Roy Miller in the 61st minute. Red Bull responded just four minutes later but in controversial fashion as United returned the own-goal favor when Bill Hamid pulled a save into his own goal, albeit with a helpful bump from Red Bull defender Markus Holgersson.

United then had to hold on for the final twenty minutes when the normally stoic Andy Najar got himself sent off with a double-yellow card infraction. Najar had just received an admittedly soft yellow card from referee Jair Marrufo and showed his displeasure of the call by throwing the ball back at the ref. Marrufo had no choice but to produce a second yellow and now one of United’s biggest assets will miss the second leg on Wednesday night.

The setting for United’s first playoff appearance since 2007 brought back memories of old for the Black-and-Red. The “Blackout” was in full effect as 17,556 fans poured into RFK Stadium and the atmosphere was electric as United came flying out from the first whistle. Red Bull goalkeeper and former United draft pick Luis Robles was called into action immediately somehow managing to save a goal-bound shot from Chris Korb through a thicket of players just seconds into the match.

United continued to pour forward and were putting the Red Bull defense under tremendous pressure and seemed poised to take a well deserved lead in the 32nd minute. Branko Boskovic found himself one-v-one against Red Bull defender Conor Lade and when the midfielder cut to his right, Lade stuck his hand out and batted down the ball and Marrufo eventually pointed to the spot. Captain Chris Pontius stepped up and sent his low line drive to Robles’ right only to see the Red Bull keeper parry it away to safety.

United continued to push forward and almost took the lead late in the first half when a good combination play through the midfield left Boskovic with a header that went fractionally wide of the post and both teams headed to the locker room deadlocked at 0-0.

After the break Red Bull started to work itself into the match and nearly took the lead in the 60th minute but Bill Hamid came out to smother Joel Lindpere’s shot to keep the match at 0-0. Just one minute later United took the lead when Chris Korb’s cross got deep into the box heading for team mate Nick DeLeon. Defender Roy Miller, a halftime substitute for the ineffective Rafa Marquez, badly misplayed his clearance and roofed the ball into his own goal.

The lead lasted just four minutes however when a bit of controversy got Red Bull level at 1-1. A Thierry Henry corner kick was floated to the back post where Heath Pearce headed back into the goal box. Hamid had a bead on the ball and took a bump from Holgersson just as he was jumping to control the ball. Hamid lost his balance and inadvertently carried the ball backwards over the goal line. United players pursued Marrufo in protest but to no avail.

Najar’s immaturity in the 71st minute essentially killed any hope of United attacking to take the first leg advantage into Harrison but United did manage to carve out a few opportunities and also had another claim for a penalty when Lionard Pajoy was seemingly bundled to the ground by Pearce only to see Marrufo wave play on. Chris Pontius followed the play all the way into the goal box and had his rebound effort smothered by Robles to end United’s last effort to take a slim lead up north.

United will now most likely draft Robbie Russell into the lineup in place of the suspended Najar for the return leg on Wednesday. The move will undoubtedly have an impact on bets at sports betting sites like SportsBettingWorld.com. While a win would have been huge for United heading into the second leg, they are far from out of it as they have played some of their most determined defense on the road in the last eight weeks of the season. No doubt the task is made larger by the move of venues this week and United losing whatever slim home field advantage they may have had, but United has been playing these types of games for the last two months and don’t be surprised if United manage to make it through to the Eastern Conference finals and receive at least one more opportunity to play at RFK this season.

Match Gallery: United extends TFC’s misery with 3-1 win

Dwayne De Rosario continued his torrid scoring pace against his former teams by bagging a brace to help lead D.C. United (7-4-3 24pts) to a 3-1 win tonight over still win less Toronto FC (0-9-0 0pts). De Rosario has scored five goals in TFC’s past two visits to RFK Stadium. The win for United extends their winning streak to two games in a row and four games in a row at RFK (seven games unbeaten at RFK since dropping the season opener in stoppage time to Sporting Kansas City). Entering the 2012 season United had gone 80 league matches without winning back-to-back games but now the Black-and-Red have done it twice within the past seven games. The win also helped United jump over Sporting Kansas City and into second place in the Eastern Conference.

United vs Toronto FC: United extends TFC’s misery with 3-1 win

Dwayne De Rosario continued his torrid scoring pace against his former teams by bagging a brace to help lead D.C. United (7-4-3  24pts) to a 3-1 win tonight over still win less Toronto FC (0-9-0  0pts). De Rosario has scored five goals in TFC’s past two visits to RFK Stadium. The win for United extends their winning streak to two games in a row and four games in a row at RFK (seven games unbeaten at RFK since dropping the season opener in stoppage time to Sporting Kansas City). Entering the 2012 season United had gone 80 league matches without winning back-to-back games but now the Black-and-Red have done it twice within the past seven games. The win also helped United jump over Sporting Kansas City and into second place in the Eastern Conference.

United wasted no time in jumping on the visitors inside the first minute. Branko Boskovic, who had served up numerous dangerous corner kicks during Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Colorado, whipped in a free kick that De Rosario headed past former United goalkeeper Milos Kocic for the shock 1-0 lead. The assist is the first point for Boskovic in his MLS career that has spanned just over three seasons.

Just as TFC was starting to gain traction in the match, United struck again in the 43rd minute. Boskovic once again was the catalyst as he played a long ball straight through to Josh Wolff. Wolff then hit the overlapping run of Chris Korb along the right side of the box and his one-time pass through the penalty area hit De Rosario in stride as he forced it past Kocic for the 2-0 lead. De Rosario now has five goals on the season and three in two matches after a slow start to the season for MLS’ reigning MVP.

After the break TFC started to apply heavy pressure and made things nervy for United in the 71st minute when Danny Koevermans was left unmarked on the back post and volleyed into the goal under little pressure. It seemed both Brandon McDonald and Perry Kitchen lost sight of the huge Dutch forward and it threw Hamid off as it seemed to be a rather simple walk out and catch for United’s net minder.

In a season that is quickly building into something special, United responded almost immediately thanks to some individual brilliance from Andy Najar. In the 73rd minute Boskovic hit Najar with a touch pass right at the corner of the penalty area. Two quick juke moves later, Najar was centering a pass into the heart of the area where poacher supreme Hamdi Salihi forced the ball over Kocic and into the net for his fourth goal in five matches for United. Salihi nearly hit for his own double a few minutes later but couldn’t beat Kocic all alone after a great feed from De Rosario and United would run out the match 3-1 winners.

United will now wait a week for a visit from the New England Revolution next Saturday night at RFK Stadium. United defeated the Revolution in Foxborough earlier this season by a 2-1 score.

United Notes

  • For the third consecutive match, Ben Olsen was forced to burn a substitute due to another injury. Danny Cruz pulled his hamstring on a long sprint in the 21st minute and was replaced by Dejan Jakovic
  • Maicon Santos and Chris Pontius both were listed on the 18-man roster but did not play. Emiliano Dudar, Nick DeLeon and Robbie Russell were all held out with injuries. DeLeon and Dudar could make it back next weekend but with a two-week break coming up after the Revolution match, there will be no urgency to rush them back into the team
  • Lewis Neal was listed on the roster but was held out by Olsen due to a very slight hamstring twinge, thus Boskovic starting on the left flank tonight

United Cruise to 2-0 Win Over Rapids

Dwayne De Rosario and Hamdi Salihi scored on either side of halftime to help D.C. United to a comfortable 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at RFK Stadium in Washngton D.C. With the win United jumped into a tie for second place with Sporting Kansas City.

United vs Toronto FC: United bounce back with 2-0 win in Toronto

Chris Pontius and Hamdi Salihi scored second-half goals twenty minutes apart to push D.C. United to a much needed 2-0 win this afternoon in Toronto. United (5-3-3) was coming off a terrible defensive performance just three days earlier in a 5-3 loss in San Jose and posted the shutout with yet another retooled defensive backline.  Toronto (0-8-0) set a new league record for starting the season with eight consecutive losses and only a handful of times threatened United’s weakened lineup. In addition to missing central defenders Dejan Jakovic and Emiliano Dudar, right back Robbie Russell and midfielder Nick DeLeon both missed the match as well, forcing head coach Ben Olsen to alter the lineup.

Bill Hamid, making his return to the lineup for the first since the season opener against Sporting Kansas City, made a number of key saves and was buoyed by an unexpected gritty performance from a back four of Andy Najar, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard and Chris Korb from right to left respectively.

The changes to the lineup, 3 matches in 8 days and the continued terrible play of TFC made for a first forty-five minutes of very few chances for either side. After halftime Branko Boskovic came on for the ineffective Lewis Neal (making his first career MLS start) and Pontius dropped into midfield and the game finally started to open up. After an initial 10-minute period in which TFC was mildly threatening, United should have gone in the lead in the 54th minute.

A clear handball on the line by TFC defender Ashtone Morgan was somehow missed by the entire officiating crew but United kept the pressure on and took the lead in the 55th minute. Brandon McDonald threaded a perfect pass to the foot of Pontius who dribbled to his left and unleashed a 22-yard rocket from the top of the penalty area and into the far side upper 90 giving former United goalkeeper Milos Kocic no chance. The goal, Pontius’ fifth of the season, lifted United and conversely sunk the downtrodden Toronto side even further. Their misery would be complete in the 75th minute when substitute Hamdi Salihi pulled out a moment of individual skill and brilliance.

Toronto initially cleared a United corner but Daniel Woolard headed the ball back towards the penalty area. McDonald deftly flicked the ball towards goal and Salihi pivoted and unfurled a bicycle sidewinder volley that flashed past Kocic to give United the 2-0 lead. Salihi has now scored in back-t0-back games and gives Ben Olsen a very nice problem to have with all three forwards now contributing on a regular basis.

More importantly however was the defensive effort in light of their shockingly poor performance in San Jose on Wednesday night. Granted, TFC isn’t in the best place right now mentally but you take shutouts when you can and Hamid and his patchwork defense did the job. United will now turn their attention towards their next match a week from today in Houston. The Dynamo will be opening their brand new stadium (BBVA Compass Stadium) and will be looking for revenge from last week’s 3-2 win for the Black-and-Red at RFK over the Dynamo.

DC United repartió puntos frente a Seattle en partido SIN MÚSICA (Goles)

Washington DC .- Un partido con sabor a nada, y sin música (goles) –si de alguna manera tendríamos que calificarlo–, entre el DC United capitalino y el visitante Seattle Sounders en un magro empate a cero goles. En noche templada, un tanto fria, y ante algo más de 15,000 espectadores en el coloso de Anacostia, el RFK, ambas escuadras brindaron un espectáculo realmente soso.

La razón, la ausencia de goles. La pobre capacidad para pulverizar la carpa contraria, amén –para coincidir con las celebraciones de Semana Santa–, de una total falta de precisión para el manejo del balón tanto en la salida como para el puntillazo final, además de un excesivo e improductivo juego aéreo.

Un partido donde no solo la aunsencia del gol dejó el mal sabor, sino las contadas ocasiones de peligro que generaron las ofensivas de ambas escuadras.

Un detalle, conversando con colegas fotógrafos en la sala de redacción donde trataban de enviar sus imágenes, por cierto, con malestar porque el servicio de internet estaba lentísimo y que entre bromas le echaban la culpa al partido– lo cierto es que el consenso de los colegas fueron los pocos momentos que tuvieron de lograr fotos en acción.

Ambas escuadras generaron muy poca oportunidad en sus botines. DC United, por ejemplo, desperdició un golazo a los 23′ con un disparo fortísimo de Hamdi Salihi que por fortuna pegó en travesaño.

Fue un partido enredado, sin precisión en la entrega y abuso en el juego aéreo que cayó en el aburrimiento, salvo uno que otro chispazo. Si queremos rescatar lo positivo es que por lo menos se quedó un punto en casa, consuelo de tontos.

Los ‘verdolagas‘ de Seattle se fueron a casa mal parados, mostraron un equipo temeroso muy diferente al goleador el año pasado. Seattle, a cuatro fechas de iniciado el torneo, sus atacantes han bajado las revoluciones, ganaron sus dos primeros encuentros en el inicio de la temporada.

Al colombiano Fredy Montero lo vimos poco, incluso desperdició un golazo de cabeza cuando recibió un pase impecable pase, como con la mano, desde fuera del área del cubano de San Cristobal, Osvaldo Alonso, que creemos fue el jugador del encuentro por su esfuerzo y la cantidad de pelotas encendidas que puso.

Notable fue el batallar del mediocampista uruguayo del Seattle Alvaro ‘el flaco’ Fernández -del departamento de Soriano en el litoral uruguayo-, que sigue en su mismo ritmo desde que lo vimos con la casaquilla celeste uruguaya en el Mundial del 2010 en Sudáfrica. Lastimosamente su accionar no pudo ser capitalizado por sus hombres en la ofensiva verdolaga.

En el DC United lo rescatable es que la linea de cuatro defensiva capitalina mostró solidez en el rechazo y malicia para la marca anticipada. El guardapiolas, Joe Willis entregó su valla invicta por segunda vez, bien en el corte y la espera segura.

Hubo ganas pero no calma en la ofensiva capitalina. El brasileño Santos Maicon le costó una severa llamada de atención, por su actitud temperamental con la pelota frente al árbitro ante una dura marca que le hizo al artillero colombiano Montero. Destiemples que le cuestan al equipo por tratarse de un delantero que da la cuota de gol y que tanta falta le hace al equipo.

Al que no lo vimos aparecer fue a Dwayne DeRosario,DeRo, cayó en el desgano ante la marca zonal de Seattle, aunque se hizo sentir con fogonazo a los 88′ que pasó desviado por encima del ‘bendito‘ travezaño.

Al rookie, Nick DeLeon, si bien es cierto, lo vimos con muchas ganas y buen manejo de la pelota pero la falta de compañía en sus arremetidas lo dejaban sin espacio para el remate o el pase, aunque en el minuto 68 puso un disparo desde 22 yardas obligando al portero de Seattle a esforzarse para evitar un gol cantado.

Lo que pudo ser mortal par el DC United fue a los 3′ del tiempo extra cuando Alonso recibe una pelota a metros fuera de las 18, amaga al defensor del DC United, disparó certero, a media altura, pero que el portero rojinegro, Joe Willis, muy atento logra desviar, con esfuerzo, hacia Marc Burch que llegaba a velocidad y, que para buena o mala suerte, cabecea chocando el balón en el poste saliendo fuera de la cancha.

Burch, ex-united, pudo hacer historia en la capital, lastimosamente con la camiseta del rival. Fin de fiesta –que no la hubo–, con un encuentro que desencantó a la siempre fiel hinchada capitalina.

DC United juega de visita este sábado en el Gillette Stadium, la cita es a las 4:00 p.m. (hora del Este) frente al New England Revolution que está herido y con ganas de llevarse los tres puntos. ‘Los Revolucionarios’ no caminan bien en la tabla y vienen cargando en el hombro su derrota este fin de semana, ante el FC Dallas, por la mínima diferencia de 1-0, aunque dieron dura batalla.

Luego el DC United regresará a casa, el miércoles 18 de abril, para enfrentar al Montreal Impact. El partido está programado para las 7:30 p.m., hora del Este, y será transmitido por CSN+.

La capital estadounidense, Washington DC, se quedó con las ganas de ver su estrella del momento, al ‘catrachito’ juvenil hondureño, Andy Nájar. Andy ayudó a sacar los boletos a su escuadra nacional a los juegos olímpicos de Londres. Hizo un pase milimétrico para el victorioso gol después de dibujar a su marcador salvadoreño por la banda derecha. Nájar está con malestar muscular después de jugar cinco partidos en once días con la Sub-23 de Honduras en los preolímpicos. Entendible.

ESTADÍSTICAS DEL PARTIDO

Estadio: RFK Washington DC

Fecha: Sábado 7 de Abril; 7:30 PM

ALINEACIONES:

DC United.– Joe Willis, Dejan Jakovick, Emiliano Dudar, Daniel Woolard. Robiee Russell, Nick DeLeon, Dwayne De Rosario, Perry Kitchen, Danny Cruz, Hamdi Salihi, Maicon Santos.

DT: Ben Olsen.

Seattle Sounders.– Michael Gspurning, Jeff Parke, Leonardo Gaonzalez, Patrick Lanni, Zach Scott, Roger Levesque, Alvaro Fernández, Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Fredy Montero, David Estrada.

DT. Sigi Schmid.

ÁRBITRO:

Edvin Jurisevic

ASISTENCIA

15,651 espectadores; Clima: Despejado, vientos frios, 60º F.

EL RESUMEN DE LA QUINTA JORNADA (Con notas de Prensa de la MLS)

EN CLÁSICO CANADIENSE MONTREAL HIZO RESPETAR SU CASA

MONTREAL IMPACT  2 – TORONTO FC  1

Fecha: Sábado, 7 de abril
Estadio: Olimpico
Goles: MTL – Ubiparipovic (’18), Wenger (’81); TFC – Koevermans (’88)
Asistencia: 23,120

En uno de los nuevos clásicos canadienses del 2012, Montreal Impact hizo respetar su casa al imponerse 2-1 a un malherido Toronto FC que aún no se recupera de la vergonzosa eliminación de la Liga de Campeones de la CONCACAF sufrida a mitad de semana a manos del cuadro mexicano Santos Laguna por goleada de 6-2.

Sinisa Ubiparipovic (’18) y Andrew Wenger (’81) fueron quienes marcaron los goles para un Impact que sobre el final pudo haber dejado escapar la victoria luego de queDanny Koevermans descontara para el cuadro torontiano al minuto 88.

Con el triunfo, Montreal abandona el sótano de la Conferencia del Este para con cuatro unidades ubicarse en la 8va casilla, mientras Toronto sigue de colista y con una mala racha que lo mantiene con cero puntos.

REDBULLS IMPARABLES. GOLEARON DE VISITA A COLUMBUS

COLUMBUS CREW  1 – NEW YORK RED BULLS  4

Fecha: Sábado, 7 de abril
Estadio: Columbus Crew
Goles: CLB – Marshall (’89); NY – Cooper (‘3,’13), Henry (’41, ’90)
Asistencia: 11,516

New York Red Bulls, esta vez de visita, extendió su invicto a tres partidos sin conocer la derrota.  Tras golear 4-1 a Columbus Crew en Ohio, los Red Bulls confirmaron el gran momento que viven en la actualidad dejando de lado el turbulento inicio de temporada.

Con dos dobletes de Kenny Cooper y el francés Thierry Henry, que viene haciendo de las suyas con goles a granel, el cuadro neoyorquino se impuso a un errático Columbus Crew que apenas si tuvo capacidad de reacción cuando Chad Marshall marcó el tanto del descuento al minuto 89.

NY se mantuvo arriba en el marcador desde el minuto 3, cuando Cooper solo en el área recibió el balón de parte de Henry y con un derechazo venció al portero Andy Gruenebaum.  Diez minutos después, el mismo Cooper  aprovechó un servicio de Dane Richards y de cabeza marcar el segundo para NY ante la mala salida del portero del Crew.

Columbus intentaba digerir la desventaja, cuando al minut0 41 Henry ingresó al área por izquierda a pase de Miller y con un toque suave marcaba el tercer tanto para NY, y su sexto en la temporada.

Marshall salvaría el honor del Crew al minuto 89 con el único tanto amarillo de la tarde, pero Henry selló la goleada taurina al minuto 90.

El triunfo deja a los Red Bulls en la segunda casilla de la Conferencia del Este con 9 puntos, mientras Columbus queda en la tercera ubicación con 6 unidades.

SAN JOSÉ NO PERDONÓ  NOVATOS CANADIENSES CON TOQUE MEXICANO-COLOMBIANO

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES  3 – VANCOUVER WHITECAPS  1

Fecha: Sábado, 7 de abril
Estadio: Buck Shaw
Goles: SJ – Wondolowski (68′, 78′), Gordon (72′); VAN – Le Toux (49′)
Asistencia: 10.525

San José Earthquakes supo remontar un marcador adverso en casa par propinarle a los Vancouver Whitecaps su primera derrota de la temporada por un marcador de 3-1 para los Terremotos.

Chris Wondolowski volvió a vestirse de héroe al anotar un doblete en la segunda mitad. Su compañero de equipo Alan Gordon fue el otro anotador azul.

Los Whitecaps sorprendieron temprano en la segunda mitad con un gol del francés Sebastien Le Toux, quien después de una gran combinación con Eric Hassli dentro del área, pondría a ganar a su equipo. Sin embargo, el show de ‘Wondo’ empezaría al minuto 68, cuando aprovechó un error defensivo de Jay DeMerit para empatar el juego. Cuatro minutos más tarde, Gordon anotaría con un cabezazo luego de un gran centro del mexicoamericano Ramiro Corrales.

Al 78, otro gran centro, esta vez del colombiano Tressor Moreno, encontraría a un desmarcado Wondolowski para que este sellara su doblete.

ESCARLATAS DEL REAL SALT LAKE, CON PINCELADA LATINA, IMPECABLES ANTE COLORADO 

REAL SALT LAKE  2 – COLORADO RAPIDS  0

Fecha: Sábado, 7 de abril
Estadio: Rio Tinto
Goles: RSL – Saborio (20′), Espindola (57′)
Asistencia: 16.870

Real Salt Lake se quedó con el Clásico de las Montañas Rocosas tras derrotar por 2-0 a su rival regional, Colorado Rapids en el Estadio Rio Tinto. El triunfo monarca se materializó gracias a los goles de Álvaro Saborío en la primera mitad y Fabián Espíndola en la etapa complementaria.

El club de casa fue muy superior a lo largo del certamen, dominando posesión y frustrando cualquier ataque de Colorado, quienes esperaban que Martín Rivero y Jaime Castrillón pudieran descifrar la defensa liderada por Jamison Olave, lo cual no pudieron hacer.

En el otro arco, Espíndola fue un peligro constante y fue recompensado con un controversial tanto al minuto 57, cuando le ganó una carrera a la defensa de los Rapids y puso el balón entre las piernas del portero Matt Pickens. Repeticiones muestran que el argentino llegó a tocar el balón con la mano antes de anotar su tanto.

Saborío, por su parte, fue inteligente a la hora de anotar, burlando la trampa del fuera de juego tras un gran centro de Tony Beltrán al minuto 20. El costarricense definió de excelente manera al quedar solo ante Pickens.

CHIVAS USA REMONTÓ CON SUSTO A DEBUTANTE

PORTLAND TIMBERS  1 – CHIVAS USA  2

Fecha: Sábado, 7 de abril
Estadio: Jeld-Wen Field
Goles: POR – Boyd (16′); CHV – Moreno (48′), LaBrocca (82′)
Asistencia: 20,438

Chivas USA remontó un 1-0 en su contra para llevarse un importante triunfo como visitante por 2-1 ante los Portland Timbers.

Kris Boyd abrió el marcador tras un imperdonable error defensivo del portero Dan Kennedy y su defensa James Riley, quienes después de estrellarse, dejaron a Boyd libre para definir con el arco abierto. Sin embargo, dos cabezazos le cambiaron el destino al partido. Alejandro Moreno abriría la cuenta para los Rojiblancos poco después del inicio del segundo tiempo, mientras que Nick LaBrocca le daría el triunfo a los visitantes al minuto 82, dejando a los Timbers con su segunda derrota consecutiva en casa.

Por su parte, Chivas llegó a seis puntos y ahora ocupa el séptimo lugar de la Conferencia del Oeste.

PARTIDOS DE LA QUINTA JORNADA JUGADOS A MITAD DE SEMANA

ESCARLATAS DE LAGO SALADO VICTORIOSOS CON LA MINIMA

REAL SALT LAKE  1 – MONTREAL IMPACT  0

Fecha: Miércoles, 4 de abril
Estadio: Rio Tinto
Goles: RSL – Paulo Jr. (’13)
Asistencia: 20191

Real Salt Lake continúa en la senda victoriosa  tras cosechar otro triunfo en casa ante Montreal Impact por la mínima diferencia, acumulando así cuatro encuentros ganados de cinco disputados en lo que va de la temporada 2012.

El solitario gol lo marcó el joven atacante brasileño Paulo Jr. al minuto 13 de tiro penal, después de que el árbitro central Ricardo Salazar una clara mano en el área del delantero del Impact Justin Braun y decretara el penalti.

RSL tuvo varias chances para aumentar la ventaja en el marcador tras el primer tanto, con varias llegadas del argentino Fabián Espíndola y otros intentos del volante estadounidense Kyle Beckerman, pero estuvieron fallidos en la definición.

De esta manera, Salt Lake se mantiene en el liderato de la Conferencia del Oeste con 12 puntos mientras Montreal continúa en el noveno lugar de la Conferencia del Este con apenas un punto.

DALLAS SUFRE CON NEW ENGLAND 

FC DALLAS  1 – NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION  0

Fecha: Jueves, 5 de abril
Estadio: FC Dallas
Goles: FCD: Ihemelu (95′)
Asistencia: 11043

Un gol en tiempo de descuento le dio a FC Dallas tres puntos a expensas de un aplicado New England Revolution. El defensa Ugo Ihemelu fue el héroe de los texanos al marcar con golpe de cabeza después de un cobro de falta de Zach Loyd.

Fue un partido que se abrió solo en los últimos minutos. El resto del encuentro fue una lucha en el mediocampo, que terminó destacando a los defensas de cada escuadra. Los veteranos arqueros Kevin Hartman y Matt Reis respondieron cuando fueron exigidos con remates de larga distancia.

Por FC Dallas reapareció Fabián Castillo mientras que en los Revs debutó el delantero José “Pepe” Moreno. El colombiano entró de cambio en el segundo tiempo y tuvo un remate que obligó la estirada de Hartman. El técnico de los Revs, Jay Heaps, se quejó por el tiempo que repuso el árbitro al final del partido, cuando cayó la anotación de Dallas.

United downs Charleston to take Coffee Pot Cup

First half goals from Maicon Santos and Ryan Richter and a late goal from Hamdi Salihi helped D.C. United to a comfortable 3-1 win tonight over the host Charleston Battery in their second match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. With the win tonight, United retains the Coffee Pot Cup in their annual competition with the Battery and also assured that only a draw will be needed on Saturday evening against the Columbus Crew for United to win their third consecutive Carolina Challenge Cup

Maicon Santos got the scoring started in the 13th minute as he was the benefactor of a great move in midfield from Branko Boskovic. The Montenegran midfielder easily sidestepped a pair of defenders and set Santos down the left flank. The striker drifted towards the box and unleashed his patented left-footed rocket past Battery goalkeeper Kevin Klasila for a 1-0 United lead. After the goal the hosts settled into the match and started taking the play to United and were rewarded with the equalizer in the 29th minute as United’s defense switched off momentarily. Trialist defender Jose Burciaga, Jr. got beat down the right flank by Battery midfielder Charlie Romero who raced to the end line and hit a picture perfect cross onto the head of Jose Cuevas who gave United goalkeeper Joe Willis no chance and drew the match level at 1-1

United didn’t sulk and reacted immediately as Burciaga, Jr. raced down his left flank and whipped in a cross that met the forehead of United trialist Ryan Richter and his bullet header gave United a 2-1 lead. Richter scored his second goal of the preseason and has gone a long way towards securing a valuable roster spot as his versatility has been on display throughout training camp.

After the break both teams made a number of substitutions that seemed to halt the match in its tracks. However, it picked up significantly in the 76th minute thanks to a vicious red card tackle from behind by Battery midfielder Mark Wiltsie on United midfielder Danny Cruz. Cruz lay on the ground for a few minutes before walking off with a noticeable limp as he was replaced by Daniel Woolard.

United didn’t take long to put the hammer down and finish off the match as Andy Najar took off on a nearly full-length of the pitch run towards the Battery’s end line. His give-and-go with Josh Wolff at the end line freed up the Honduran to square a ball to a wide open Hamdi Salihi to tap into the empty net for the final goal in United’s 3-1 win. Salihi has scored in both of his appearances in preseason so far and has lived up to the billing of his very high goal scoring rate in Europe.

United will now face the Columbus Crew with a chance to clinch the Cup on Saturday evening starting at 5pm . Thanks to Columbus’ draw with Charleston last Saturday and their 1-0 loss to Chicago earlier this evening, United only needs a draw to win the Carolina Challenge Cup. With head coach Ben Olsen essentially rotating his squad through the first two matches of this tournament, don’t be surprised if Olsen gives everyone in attendance a preview of his starting X1 for the home opener on March 10th at RFK Stadium.

United fortunate in 1-0 win over Chicago in Carolina Challenge Cup opener

The old adage “it’s better to be lucky than good” certainly played a major role in D.C. United’s 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in the opening game of the Carolina Challenge Cup tonight in Charleston, South Carolina.  Hamdi Salihi’s 66th minute volley over Fire goalkeeper Jay Nolly was all United needed to start their defense of the Carolina Challenge Cup. United survived a dominant Chicago Fire first half that saw United goalkeeper Joe Willis save a 4th minute penalty kick from Mexican International Pavel Pardo. Willis, in place of first-team goalkeeper Bill Hamid who along with Perry Kitchen are away with the US U-23 team, also made a string of saves to keep the game scoreless at halftime.

United’s first 45 minutes barely produced anything offensively and was more about the number of giveaways that led to Fire counter attacks forcing saves from United’s backup keeper. After the break, United were fortunate once again not to go behind as Dominic Oduro’s 50th minute shot stung the crossbar and came down on the goal line but was ruled not over and the Black-and-Red survived to live another day. United eventually started to string some opportunities together behind the sharp individual play of Andy Najar who forced a close-range save from Nolly. Just a minute later Najar was menacing once again as his feed to Dwayne De Rosario forced a save and the rebound fell to Chris Pontius who’s shot was deflected out for a corner. On the ensuing corner, Ethan White got on the end of Najar’s service and his  20-yard volley just shaved the outside post.

Minutes later however United took the lead thanks to the efforts of their new Designated Player Salihi. Ethan White sent a ball over Chicago’s high defensive line and the Albanian striker timed his run perfectly. His angled volley from 15 yards stung the fingers of Nolly before settling into the far side of the goal. Salihi was starved of service for essentially the entire match with United’s midfield turning the ball over constantly, but Salihi at least initially proved his weight in gold by taking advantage of his only chance of the game.

United will now face the host Charleston Battery on Wednesday evening at 7:15pm at Blackbaud Stadium. The match will be streamed live on www.dcunited.com

 

United Notes

– With this being a preseason tournament, unlimited subs were used by both teams

– New players for United who made an impression were defender Emiliano Dudar, Brazilian trialist Guilherme, top draft pick Nick DeLeon and midfielder Lance Rozeboom, all second half substitutes

– Of the players who started, very shaky outings for midfielders Steven King, Marcelo Saragosa and right back Robbie Russell