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United makes history in 1-0 home loss to Columbus

It’s now two teams that hold one of the most futile records in Major League Soccer history. D.C. United and the expansion Toronto FC from 2007  are co-holders of the record for most times being shut out in a single MLS season. Both teams share 15 clean sheets against them, unfortunately for United, they still have 7 more matches to play and guess who is on the docket next week. Yup, you guessed it, Toronto FC.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto pounced on a goalkeeping muff from United youngster Bill Hamid and sent a ball into the empty net for the only goal in Columbus’ 1-0 win at RFK Stadium tonight. United weren’t even bothered to put up much of an effort as they didn’t even register a shot on goal for the entire 90 minutes. Granted, the visiting Crew weren’t much better, but they weren’t the ones desperate to give something to United’s quickly evaporating loyal fan base.

United, as per usual this season, had the chance to score first in the 6th minute. Santino Quaranta did well to out hustle crew defender Chad Marshall to a ball deep in the left corner and managed to work himself out enough space to curl in a right-footed cross that met the head of Danny Allsopp. Unfortunately with the goal staring at him, he managed to head well over the bar. In the 29th minute both Quaranta and Andy Najar had half-chances that were blocked and that was pretty much the extent of United’s chances on the evening. While the team stroked the ball around nicely, it was apparent to anyone watching that they simply didn’t have the talent or the firepower to breach the Columbus back line.

Columbus did manage to get on the board in the 23rd minute and they did so thanks to some Keystone Cops moments from United’s defense. It started when Kurt Morsink sent a ball behind Clyde Simms (who was playing central defense because of the call up to Canada for Dejan Jakovic) when Simms was clearly moving up the field. Simms stopped in his tracks and was forced to play the ball hurriedly back to Hamid in United’s goal. All the while, Schelotto was witnessing the calamity from United and make a beeline towards Hamid. Hamid’s first touch was bad and popped up in the air. Hamid still had time to calmly volley the ball away but he panicked in the presence of the Argentine maestro and completely whiffed on the ball. El Guille, as he is known, calmly picked up the loose ball and sent it under Hamid for the only goal of the game.

From then on it was quite the spectacle to witness United flail about in desperation. Already missing a number of starters due to call ups and injury, United had only Jaime Moreno as an offensive substitution left on the bench and even his introduction into the match in the second half did little to boost United’s already fading chances.

United will now head north to Canada to take on Toronto FC next Saturday at 4pm. Toronto would love nothing better than to erase their own names from MLS’ futility ranks with a shut out of the Black-and-Red. Seeing as United hasn’t scored in 15 of their 23 league matches, I would think their chances are better than ever in doing so.

United Notes

– Adam Cristman and Chris Pontius were late scratches. Cristman has what appears to be a rather serious knee injury that might need surgery. Though Ben Olsen talked about it after the match, he did not say if it ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Pontius is still nursing his season-long hamstring injury

– Juan Manuel Pena made the bench for United for the first time in nearly two months

Olsen’s debut doesn’t resonate, United lose 1-0 in New England

The coach may have changed, the talk prior to the match may have been more positive, but at the end of the day the team’s major deficiency reared it’s ugly head in their 1-0 loss to New England tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

Pat Phelan’s headed goal in the 43rd minute was all the home side needed as the frustration continued to mount on the evening for the Black-and-Red. United, not unlike their previous match against the Revolution (a 2-0 loss), had the lions share of possession but their futility in front of goal has haunted this team every step of the way. United suffered a team-record 13th shutout against tonight and they seem well on their way to shattering the league record of 15 shutouts set by the expansion Toronto FC in 2007.

United has 11 matches remaining to avoid that dubious record as well as two other significant marks of ineptitude. United has only 12 goals in 19 matches and they need to score 13 to equal the record of 25 set by Red Bull. United is also on course to not make the league record of 21 points for a season.

United striker Pablo Hernandez had a couple of chances including the game’s best chance in the second half when Branko Boskovic put him through in on Matt Reis. Hernanadez was under pressure from Cory Gibbs but was unable to slot the ball on either side of the onrushing Reis to keep the Revolution in the lead.

Stephen King and Adam Cristman both had good opportunities to level the match late on but in true 2010 fashion, United were not able to capitalize.

Allsopp brace leads United to first win of the season; 2-1 over Kansas City

Danny Allsopp

DC United's Danny Allsopp scored in the 12th and 34th minute to give DC United their first win of the season. Photo Chris Bannon.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. D.C. United head coach Curt Onalfo made two major first team moves when he sat goalkeeper Troy Perkins and midfielder Santino Quaranta to start tonight’s 2-1 win over the Kansas City Wizards. Saddled with five straight losses to open the season, Onalfo turned to a 19 year old rookie goalkeeper and a 31 year old Australian striker to help jump start a moribund United team. Well, it worked as forward Danny Allsopp scored two first half goals and Bill Hamid was one minute from a shutout in his MLS debut in United’s first win of the season.

Allsopp scored in the 12th and 34th minutes to give the Black and Red their first lead of the season at any point through six MLS matches. United hung on until a Kei Kamara goal in stoppage time halved the deficit and made the 10,038 fans in attendance at RFK Stadium a bit nervous until the final whistle just a minute later from referee Alex Prus.

United started the scoring in the 12th minute on a relatively harmless clearance by Rodney Wallace out of United’s defensive zone. The ball bounded up field and Allsopp muscled Wizards defender Pablo Escobar off the ball and regained possession 30 yards from goal. The Australian then put a deft touch past the other Wizards central defender Jimmy Conrad and was heading towards goal. Allsopp unleashed a left-footed blast that took a slight deflection off the leg of Conrad past helpless Wizards goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

United doubled their advantage in the 34th minute off a dreadful mistake from Escobar. The Colombian defender’s pass intended for left back Roger Espinosa was under weighted and easily picked off by the hustling Adam Cristman. Cristman easily dispatched Espinosa’s attempt of a tackle and fed Allsopp all alone in front of goal and the big striker took only one touch before sending a laser precise right-footed shot past Nielsen and into the side netting for a 2-0 lead.

United rookie goalkeeper Bill Hamid was then called on for a reflex save in stoppage time to deny Wizards midfielder Jack Jewsbury and keep the score at 2-0. Hamid looked nervous early on in the game but came through unscathed at the half.

After the half the visitors began to really pour on the pressure. Halftime substitute Kamara, who was stunningly left out of the starting lineup in spite of his personal success against United, was a match up nightmare for United. The 6 foot 4 inch striker was elusive and bothersome to the United defense but after about 20 minutes of sustained pressure, United began to turn the tide. Allsopp nearly had a hat trick when his left-footed effort was palmed away by Nielsen to keep the score at 2-0.  In the 68th minute Clyde Simms had a similar shot but from about 25 yards away that narrowly missed the outside post. In the 77th minute United’s last chance at goal was denied by the woodwork. Christian Castillo’s pile driver of a free kick from 40 yards stung the right post and the rebound was then sent into orbit by Boyzzz Khumalo.

United defended gamely but did concede late in stoppage time when Josh Wolff’s excellent whipped in cross found the outstretched boot of Kamara to beat Hamid and spoil the rookie’s shutout bid in his first game.

United will now go on to face FC Dallas this weekend at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday evening at 8:30 pm EST.

United Notes

  • Luciano Emilio and Andy Najar were both unused subs tonight for United
  • Devon McTavish made a late appearance subbing in for a very tired Juan Manuel Peña

Red hot Moreno leads D.C. United to their first Charleston Challenge Cup; United beats Charleston 2-0

At some point in the near future, Jaime Moreno will no longer be playing for D.C. United. The 36-year old Bolivian goalscorer will keep playing this game as long as he keeps being an effective player. Tonight Moreno scored twice to prolong Father Time and help the Black and Red to a 2-0 victory over the host Charleston Battery and won their very first Charleston Challenge Cup.

Moreno scored on a glancing header off a Christian Castillo corner kick midway through the first half. The United legend closed out the scoring in stoppage time of the first half with a very cheeky penalty kick chip that badly fooled the helpless Charleston goalkeeper. Santino Quaranta was brought down in the box after a nice pass from Castillo and an equally nice turn by Tino on the defender who dragged him down.

United also retained the vaunted Coffee Pot Cup, their own individual competition with the Battery. The Charleston Battery supporters group will pay for the beer that will fill the Cup as United’s fans will drink from the Cup in the Three Lions Pub after the match.

United will now turn their attention to the season opening match next Saturday night in Kansas City. The best news of the day, aside from United obtaining more silverware, was that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was ratified and signed this afternoon paving the way for the start of the MLS season this Thursday evening.