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United vs Chicago: 1-1 draw locks up 2nd place in the Eastern Conference for United

D.C. United finished their improbable run to second place in the Eastern Conference, extending their unbeaten streak to seven games after surviving a few desperate moments in a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire.

With the draw, United finishes the regular season as the 2nd place team in the East and will now face their most hated rivals the New York Red Bulls in a two-game total goals aggregate series starting next weekend at Red Bull Arena. Thanks to Red Bull’s comprehensive 3-0 road win over Philadelphia earlier in the day, United knew exactly what they needed to wrap up the 2nd seed. A loss to Chicago would have sent United tumbling to 4th place in the East and would have hosted the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. With Hurricane Sandy expected to make landfall just north of Washington D.C. late Monday evening, it could have been a logistical nightmare with the expected massive power outages.

As it happens, Lionard Pajoy made that a moot point with his 51st minute equalizer after Patrick Nyarko had give the home side a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. Pajoy, a much-maligned player outside of United’s locker room, connected on a diving header after a gorgeous whipped in cross from Branko Boskovic to level the match. United continued to apply pressure and should have taken the lead late on only to see Pajoy’s weak chip attempt on a breakaway float harmlessly wide of an open net after Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson came out to narrow down the angle.

United came out in their now customary defensive posture but quickly grabbed hold of the match. Against the run of play in the 16th minute, the Fire worked the ball down United’s left wing and found Nyarko 25 yards out in front of goal. Marcelo Saragosa seemed to have a bead on Nyarko but a crafty cut-back move opened up space and the former Virginia Tech Hokie smoked his shot past a helpless Bill Hamid and the early lead. Chicago, had they held on to the lead would have jumped ahead of both United and Red Bull and into the second spot. It was not to be.

United continued to rule the match and got the deserved equalizer just after the halftime break. Branko Boskovic made his way down the left flank and whipped in a low cross that got around the defense and right onto the head of Pajoy who was diving away from goal. His redirect surprised Johnson as it settled into the far side netting. United continued to boss the match and the home side, desperately needing a win to avoid the knockout match, continued their out of sorts play.

The final ten minutes of the match finally saw Chicago pressing forward and they nearly equalized on numerous occasions but were stoned by Hamid on every turn. Hamid saved the best for last when he tipped Alex’ 30-yard bid over the crossbar in the dying seconds of the match to preserve United’s seven-game unbeaten streak and improbable climb up the Eastern Conference standings. Just seven weeks ago, United lost their captain Dwayne De Rosario to a knee injury and everyone except the men of D.C. United thought their season was done.

The second season is just now beginning…

United vs Chivas USA: Boskovic game-winner pushes United further up the Eastern Conference table

It’s been a very difficult week for Branko Boskovic. After being pulled in the 57th minute a week ago against the New England Revolution, the midfielder made known his feelings in the press about his lack of playing time and the perceived lack of faith that D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen has in his player. Just four days after that 2-1 win over the Revolution, Boskovic was pulled again in the 57th minute of a then scoreless draw with Philadelphia.

Fast forward to this evening and Boskovic came in as a sub in the 57th minute but this time he let his play do the talking instead of his mouth in leading United to a vastly important 1-0 win over Chivas USA. The win for United (15-10-5, 50 pts) pulled them into a tie with New York Red Bull for third place in the Eastern Conference and extended their lead over Houston (46 pts) and Columbus (45 pts) who both lost this weekend. With only four matches to play, United is in a very solid position to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Both teams came out with a defensive approach to the match but it was United who bossed the first 45 minutes. United had a few guilt-edged chances beginning with Nick DeLeon’s rasping drive from 25 yards in the 13th minute and then a nice save from Kennedy on Maicon Santos in the 20th minute. United threatened once more from DeLeon in the 38th minute but his 30-yard drive was saved comfortably by Kennedy. On the other end of the pitch United had little trouble dealing with MLS’ lowest scoring team (21 goals in 29 matches) with only a weak shot from Nick Labrocca being the only threat in the initial forty-five minutes.

After the break United continued to control the tempo. Although the game-ending stats would show Chivas USA with a 58-42% advantage in possession, their possession was aimless and mostly negative.

All that changed just seven minutes after Boskovic made his appearance into the match. Lionard Pajoy did well to juke and jive Chivas USA defender Jorge Villafana deep along the right sideline. Pajoy broke free just long enough to send a low driven cross into the penalty area where Boskovic dove and neatly headed the ball into the opposite side netting to send RFK Stadium into rapture. The goal was the first for Boskovic in league play through his four seasons with the Black-and-Red and arguably couldn’t have come at a better time.

United managed to see out the remaining thirty five minutes of the match without any real threat from the visitors and extend their club record unbeaten streak to 15 games. United has also clinched their first winning record since the 2007 season.

United has four matches remaining, three of them on the road. “That’s been our Achilles Heel,” head coach Ben Olsen commented after the match in regards to his teams road performances this season, “But we got that monkey off our back in Philadelphia and look forward to this two-game stretch (at Portland and at Toronto FC).”

United will play in Portland next Saturday night before heading up to Canada to play Toronto FC the following weekend. United will be off the week of the October 13th for the World Cup qualifying break and then will host Columbus at RFK Stadium in United’s last home match of the season on October 20th. By that time, all will be revealed and United will know exactly what they need to either qualify or move up the table in the chase for higher playoff seeding.

United vs Revolution: Pontius, Hamid lead United to vital 2-1 win

Chris Pontius had a goal and an assist and Bill Hamid made a flurry of stunning saves in the final minutes to help D.C. United preserve a critical 2-1 win over the New England Revolution tonight at RFK Stadium.

The win lifted United (13-10-5  44 points) past the Columbus Crew and into fifth place in the race for the playoffs thanks to their 3-1 loss in New York this evening. The win also drew United just one point from fourth place which is currently occupied by the Houston Dynamo. United has a game in hand on the Dynamo and a draw later this week against Philadelphia would put United ahead of Houston due to the overall goals scored on the season so far. In addition, United has now set a new club record for most consecutive matches without a loss (14) at home. United is 10-1-4 at home this season with their lone loss coming in the season opener against Sporting Kansas City.

New England opened the match much brighter than United and were rewarded with an early lead in the 29th minute. A Nick DeLeon turnover started a lightning counter attack for the Revs as Diego Fagundez bombed towards United’s goal. His pass hit Kelyn Rowe in stride and he unleashed a shot that took an unfortunate deflection off the sliding Chris Korb and over the shoulder of Bill Hamid and off the underside of the crossbar for the 1-0 lead.

United didn’t have to wait long to level the match when in the 32nd minute Branko Boskovic got hold of a loose ball at the midfield stripe and weaved his way towards goal. Chris Pontius made a reverse run behind Boskovic and the Montenegran’s silky back heel hit Pontius in stride and he unleashed a 22-yard rocket that gave Matt Reis no chance and the match was tied at 1-1.

After the break the visitors continued to apply pressure on United’s goal but were left with only a few half-chances before United started to turn the match in their favor. Playing without injured captain Dwayne De Rosario who is lost for the season with an MCL sprain of his left knee, United struggled at times to create clear scoring opportunities. In the 61st minute United should have taken the lead but Matt Reis stoned Maicon Santos’ breakaway attempt and left the 15, 104 fans in attendance in agony.

That agony subsided just two minutes later when Chris Pontius set up Lewis Neal for the game-winning goal. United had won the ball deep along the left sideline and Pontius made his way out towards the top of the penalty area. He spotted Neal and feathered a pass to the Englishman at the top of the penalty arc and his sweeping left-footed shot nestled into the far side netting to send RFK into pandemonium.

United then had to work very hard to stave off a determined Revolution side and a pair of stunning saves for Hamid inside the final five minutes helped to preserve United’s precarious playoff position. Hamid made a reaction save when a deflected clearance hit off the face of Kelyn Rowe and was heading inside the near post. Hamid somehow managed to parry that attempt just wide of the post. Seconds later, Benny Feilheiber was open on the far post and Hamid sprung out towards the U.S. International and again somehow managed to get enough of the shot to send it wide of target.

United now has to turn their attention to an important road match at Philadelphia on Thursday evening. United is currently on a six-game road losing streak and need to garner at least a point to stay firmly in playoff contention.

 

United vs. Philadelphia: Controversy abounds in 1-1 draw with the Union

D.C. United captain Dwayne De Rosario missed his second attempt at a penalty kick in the 89th minute after scoring on the first as the Philadelphia Union held on to draw D.C. on Sunday, 1-1, in a match that spiraled out of control late at RFK Stadium.

An encroachment call on De Rosario’s successful penalty kick attempt in the 87th minute was followed by a scrum, during which United midfielder Branko Boskovic was handed a red card.

De Rosario rocketed the ensuing kick over the goal to preserve the final score, but the dramatics weren’t done. D.C. defender Emiliano Dudar was handed a straight red three minutes later, Union defender Sheanon Williams was sent off with a second yellow in the dying seconds of the match.

The Union ended a two-game losing skid despite blowing an early lead, while D.C. now have one win their previous five tries. Philadelphia (7-12-3, 24 points) jumped up one spot to eighth in the Eastern Conference while D.C. (11-8-4, 37) took sole possession of fifth, just ahead of the Montreal Impact.

After beating Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath to his right on the first penalty attempt, De Rosario chipped his second shot high over the net. Chris Pontius was tripped by Roger Torres in the box, setting the stage for the penalty.

Boskovic’s 70th-minute free kick deflected off Philadelphia’s Amobi Okugo for an own goal that proved the equalizer in a match where the Union’s Brian Carroll gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

Boskovic, who entered the match in the 57th minute and turned the tide for the Black-and-Red, delivered a beautiful left-footed service that slid through the penalty area, then caromed off Okugo’s head and by the outstretched arms of MacMath.

Philadelphia’s goal resulted from a set piece where former United midfielder Freddy Adu lobbed a useful ball toward the box. The service pin-balled to Carlos Valdes, who fired a shot that was headed well wide of United’s goal only to ricochet off United midfielder Perry Kitchen, right to Carroll. The former United midfielder poked it by United keeper Bill Hamid for his first goal of the season and sixth of his career.

In the 64th minute, it appeared United had their first goal, but referee Mark Geiger ruled MacMath was interfered with by Hamdi Salihi as he was reaching for the ball. Replays showed MacMath didn’t have control of the ball on the play and the call drew the ire of a majority of the 12,312 spectators in attendance.

Both goalkeepers loomed large in the first half with Hamid making two diving saves and MacMath stopping four quality chances.

D.C. United will now take on the red-hot Chicago Fire on Wednesday evening before heading north to take on the Montreal Impact on Saturday evening.

 

United Notes

– Dudar and Boskovic will be out the match on Wednesday due to their red card ejections. Most likely Dejan Jakovic will play central defense alongside Brandon McDonald with De Rosario filling in the central midfield role, as he did tonight to start the match.

– Lionard Pajoy started for United and played 57 minutes before being replaced by Boskovic. Ironically, Danny Cruz, whom he was traded for on Thursday, also started for the Union and was subbed out in the 57th minute. Head coach Ben Olsen said he was pleased with Pajoy’s performance but still needs to figure out his team mates tendencies.

United vs Montreal: United back in control with 3-0 win over Impact

After back-to-back matches on the road in which D.C. United were thoroughly outplayed, the Black-and-Red enjoyed their brief visit back to RFK Stadium with a complete and professional 3-0 pasting of the expansion Montreal Impact (5-10-3  18 points). The win for United (10-5-3  33 points) gives them their sixth consecutive home win and eighth of the season overall. Both win totals are the highest from United since the 2008 season.

Chris Pontius’ goal (9th of the season) right before halftime and Robbie Russell’s first goal with United just five minutes into the second half were more than enough on a very sticky evening in front of a season high 18,302 fans on East Capitol Street.

United started the match a bit slowly trying to feel out their Canadian neighbors to the North but once the realization that Montreal’s injury-shortened squad were more interesting in putting bodies behind the ball the game started to open up for United.

Maicon Santos stinging drive from 28 yards away in the 20th minute was well saved by Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush. Chris Pontius and Branko Boskovic almost finished off great individual moves a few minutes later but it was a harbinger of things to come for Montreal.

Pontius put United up 1-0 in the 45th minute with a beautiful individual effort that spun MLS debutant Calum Mallace into the ground. Pontius received a pass from Dwayne De Rosario on the left flank and after a pair of sharp cut-back moves Pontius blasted an angled left-footed drive to the far post for the lead.

After the break United essentially put the game away with another goal in the 50th minute provided by the left-foot of Branko Boskovic. Boskovic’ free kick was perfectly curled and met Robbie Russell in stride who flicked it past the motionless Bush for the 2-0 lead.

After this point, United played keep away from Montreal with the  occasional venture towards goal with the mindset of forcing Montreal to chase United during the stifling humid conditions. As the game wore on the hope started to drain from the visitors and in the 90th minute the deal was sealed when substitute Hamdi Salihi poked in a rebound goal (his fifth of the season) after a nice save from Bush on Nick DeLeon.

United will have another two-week break from league action and will return to play in Houston on July 15th to begin a two-game road trip that will conclude in Columbus on July 21st..

United vs Philadelphia Union: United steal a win in Philadelphia

On a night where D.C. United were less than impressive coming off a two-week break, the Black-and-Red managed to steal a 1-0 victory over the hapless Philadelphia Union. The Union (2-8-2  8 pts) were playing their first match after the firing of Peter Nowak during the midweek and were by far the more aggressive team on the night and were unfortunate not to take advantage of a rare off night for United.

Chris Pontius’ goal off of another brilliant free kick from Branko Boskovic in the 78th minute was the difference and kept United (9-4-3  30pts) in first place for another week in the Eastern Conference. United has won four games in a row after struggling for over three seasons to even put back-t0-back wins together. The goal was the sixth of the season for Pontius who was making his first league appearance since early May due to an injury to his backside. Boskovic once again provided the key spark for United when he subbed in for the ineffective Maicon Santos midway through the second half. To be fair to Santos, not a single player for United stood out on a night where there was no cohesion and the “new coach bump” for Philadelphia was in full effect.

Boskovic’ free kick was whipped perfectly over the wall to Pontius who ran on to the ball at the back post for an easy tap-in. On the evening United created very few chances and were just a step off and were fortunate not to go behind if not for a few sparkling saves from Bill Hamid. Hamid’s save on a Carlos Valdez header in the 86th minute preserved the win for United.

United’s next opponent will be another Eastern Conference rival when they travel to Harrison, New Jersey to take on the Red Bulls on Sunday, June 24th.

DC United's Andy Najar Controls the ball during his team's U.S. Open Cup match against the Richmond Kickers. Photo: Matt Mathai.

DC Escapes Richmond with 2-1 Win

DC’s Branko Boskovic hit the corner kick to Marcelo Saragosa to score the winner in 107th minute of overtime to give United a 2-1 victory over the Richmond Kickers and a ticket into the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup where they will host the Philadelphia Union at the Soccerplex in Germantown next Tuesday night.

DC scored first in the 24th minute from a lovely cool finish from Hamdi Salihi but Richmond answered back just before halftime from the penalty spot as DC defender Lewis Neal bundled over Richmond’s Chris Agorsor setting up the spot kick that Stanley Nyazamba converted for the 1-1 score that held up until 30 minutes of extra time added to the end of the match.

With tired players and a spot in the quarterfinals on the line, the overtime turned into a lively affair on both ends, but it was a Branko Boskovic corner kick that just missed Dudar, but fell to right to Saragosa standing unmarked near the spot and he thundered a volley into the roof of the net to give United the lead that eventually held up after United survived a few tense moments over the final minutes of the match.

As is usual when playing a lower division opponent with a changed lineup, DC United dominated possession, but failed to really threaten a pretty disciplined Kickers defense. Conversely, the speedy kickers counter attack caused quite a bit of confusion in the United’s makeshift defense, and if not for the stellar play of Emiliano Dudar as well as the abysmally poor finishing by Richmond, the night could have finished with a lot worse for United.

DC did manage the first quality chance of the match when Andy Najar was sent deep down the right side where he pulled a cross back towards the top of the area. A sliding Richmond defender managed to deflect the ball away, but it fell right to Salihi for a shot at the open goal but he smashed the ball well over the bar.

Salihi made no mistake with his next chance however as Maicon Santos pulled off some lovely work in midfield and slotted a diagonal ball to Salihi making a perfect diagonal run across the box behind the ball watching Kicker defense, drawing the keeper slightly, United ‘s Albanian attacker cooly slotted the ball into the far side of the net to put United out front 1-0 midway through the first half.

However, that seemed to fire up the Kicker counter attack and the rest of the half, United’s discombobulated defense was constantly scrambling any time they gave up possession. In the 27th minute, Richmond’s Ryan Heins collected a loose pass and scampered behind Ethan White to zip a ball far post where Chris Agorsor had slipped inside Neal, but the Richmond forward whiffed the bouncing ball with an open net yawning in front of him.

On a similar play 10 minutes later, Richmond’s Gerson Dos Santos was sent down the left in the seam between White and right back Chris Korb where he crosses far post again to Agorsor inside Neal, but this time he is nudged just as he shoots and the ball sails well wide.

Richmond got third time lucky though as they went to that well again just before haltime and when the ball was worked across to Agorsor this time, he and Neal fumbled over each other as Saragosa clattered into the pile too. Predictably, the referee awarded the penalty kick that Nyazamba thundered into the net after sending United’s Joe Willis the wrong way to tie that match 1-1 at the stroke of halftime.

DC coach Ben Olsen brought in rookie Nick DeLeon to play the left side at halftime for Salihi which caused a shuffle sending starting left wing Josh Wolff to forward. The move didn’t work so well at first as Wolff lost a ball and was skinned going back the other way leading to another dangerous counter that ended with a low shot that skipped barely wide from Dos Santos in the 55th minute.

However, Wolff and DC started to click after that. In the 56th minute, DeLeon pegged a perfect cross to Wolff bursting in at the six, but his volley was slammed right at Richmond keeper Ronnie Pascale. Pascale again saved the day a few minutes later. This time it was a Wolff cross to DeLeon that Pascale managed to block first, but the ball fell to DeLeon. He too shot right at Pascale, but incredibly got another chance as the rebound fell right to him was an open net yawning above the prone Pascale, but his hurried shot went well wide from 6 yards.

In the 75th minute, DC made the decisive change as Olsen brought on Boskovic for Stephen King and United’s attack immediately flourished. In the 78th Najar ghosted past two defenders and ripped a shot, but Pascale went horizontal for a spectacular save. Then it was Boskovic moving up the center easily before smashing a shot that Pascale did well to smother with Santos hovering for a rebound. Josh Wolff also ripped a low shot to the near post that Pascale had to smother as well.

United’s defense still struggled to contain attackers whenever Richmond got the ball, but Dudar was gigantic in snuffing out trouble before it got to the point of a shot on goal. Still, Richmond began to look a lot more threatening as well once they brought on their leading scorers, Matthew Delicate and David Bulow midway through the second half.

In the first 15 minute OT, Deleon maneuvered through three Richmond defenders to smack a clever shot to the far post, but Pascale again palmed it and the ball rolled achingly just past the post. DeLeon earned the CK in the 107th minute that Boskovic clipped into the area for Saragosa to finally hit the shot that would ultimately decide the match.

Still United had to survive a lively scramble over the final few minutes. A Richmond CK to Delicate was headed barely wide. In the 199th minute, Agorsor turned Ethan White and burst into the area, where he leaned into White and shoved over. However, the ref didn’t fall for the ploy and refused to call the PK. Then just before the end, DUdar with his only poor touch of the match hit a poor clearance that fell right to a Richmond attacker in the box, but his shot was drilled right at Willis to end the match.

DC has now faced Richmond five times in the Open Cup and beaten them four times. The only loss was in 2004. United also extends their record against lower division teams in the Open Cup to 18-3-0.

DC now faces the Philadelphia Union, who beat the Rochester Rhinos, in the quarterfinals at the Soccerplex in Germantown Maryland next Tuesday night at 7:30 Tickets are $20, or $15 bought in advance.

United vs Revolution: United survive furious Revolution rally; climb to 1st Place in the East with 3-2 victory

Maicon Santos’ go-ahead goal in the 61st minute helped D.C. United to a 3-2 win tonight over the visiting New England Revolution at RFK Stadium. With the win United (8-4-3  27 pts) vaulted over idle New York Red Bull and into first place in the Eastern Conference ahead of their two-week break from league play. The Revolution (4-7-1  13 pts) almost pulled off a stunning result, rallying from a 2-0 first half deficit by scoring twice inside the first five minutes of the second half before Santos fired United ahead.

United took the lead in the 15th minute when Brandon McDonald flicked a header from a Branko Boskovic free kick over the head of Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis. United doubled their lead in first half stoppage time when United’s Dejan Jakovic scored on a goal mouth scramble from a corner kick. It was the first goal of the season for each of United’s central defenders and the first of Jakovic’ MLS career.

After the break the Revolution stormed back to level the match at 2-2 before many of the 14, 627 fans at RFK could find their seats. Saer Sene followed up a wicked long-range blast from Benny Feilhaber in the 48th minute for his team leading sixth goal of the season. Just two minutes later the match was tied when defender A.J. Soares beat a United defender to a corner kick and his header flicked into the far side netting and the a new match was born.

The Revolution continued to send numbers forward and paid for their aggressiveness in the 61st minute with a well-crafted sequence from the Black-and-Red to retake the lead. Substitute Maicon Santos, only on the field for five minutes, made a dazzling spin move between two Revs defenders in midfield and headed towards goal. His pass to Dwayne De Rosario freed the Canadian into the penalty area and with  Hamdi Salihi open in front of goal, De Rosario chose to pass back towards the penalty spot to Santos who’s first-time strike was too precise for Reis.  The goal for Santos was his team leading 7th of the season.

United then were forced into their own end of the field for the remainder of the match and had to fight off a number of dangerous chances from the Revolution. Once chance in particular saved the three points for United when goalkeeper Bill Hamid acrobatically leaped to his left to fingertip a goal-bound header from rookie midfielder Kelyn Rowe over the bar in stoppage time to help preserve United’s third win in a row.

United is now on a two-week break from league play and will remain in first place due to the fact that only two games are scheduled league-wide in that span because of World Cup qualifying beginning in early June. United’s next league match will be away to the suddenly reeling Philadelphia Union on June 16th.

United Notes

  • United is four games above .500 for the first time since June of 2008. Three wins in a row are their most since that same time period in 2008
  • Nick DeLeon made his first start since injuring his hamstring in training in early May. Jakovic made his first start since facing New England in Foxboro in April
  • Emiliano Dudar made the bench for the first time since injuring his hamstring in United’s 3-2 win over Houston in mid-May

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.