Washington, D.C., August 22, 2015 – D.C. United continued their trend of giving up early goals at home and this time there was no miracle comeback to save them in their 2-0 loss tonight to the San Jose Earthquakes before a season-high 20,043 fans at RFK Stadium.
The loss for United (13-9-5, 44 points) is their second straight in league play but they will remain at least five points clear of New York Red Bull who are idle this weekend. Red Bull are United’s next league match a week from this Sunday and the Black-and-Red are in danger of letting their lead in the East and the Supporters Shield race slip away Even with a five point cushion, Red Bull have four matches in hand and are currently on a 7-1-1 run through MLS over the past two months.
For the fourth consecutive match at RFK, United gave up a goal within the first four minutes of the match. This time it was Chris Wondolowski who nabbed the early tally after United failed to clear out the area and somehow managed to lose MLS’ most potent goal-scorer over the past six seasons. Wondolowski was initially denied by Bobby Boswell at the top of the six-yard box but the failed clearance bounced back to Wondo who’s angled shot when through two United defenders and past Andrew Dykstra for the 1-0 lead.
United put forth plenty of energy and effort on the evening but lacked the final finishing touch and forward Alvaro Saborio had a night to forget in the finishing category. Saborio had a golden chance to level the match midway through the first half when his redirection of a Boswell flick in the penalty area somehow got deflected over the crossbar from just four yards away.
The frustration continued to mount for United as they had plenty of free kick and corner kick opportunities to grab the equalizer. However, as the night lingered on, you could just sense that United could not pull off the miracles they had been performing over the past month to turn deficit’s into victories.
After the break the visitors struck again within minutes of the restart. This time it was bona fide United killer Quincy Amarikwa who did the bulk of the damage in putting San Jose up 2-0. A very lax layoff pass from Sean Franklin (his first league start at right back in over two months) to Conor Doyle deep in San Jose territory was the genesis of the second goal. Wondo pounced on the errant pass and took off in the opposite direction. He spotted Amarikwa who torched Kofi Opare (starting for Steve Birnbaum who was carrying a knock from their CCL match in Panama on Wednesday) before laying a pass of to Shea Salinas streaking down the left flank. Salinas cut back deep in the box and sent a shot towards the far post that Dykstra simply did not get a good read on and it was 2-0 for San Jose.
That goal pretty much sealed the deal but United thought they had a goal in the 81st minute only to see Saborio’s wide-open header at the far post somehow miss the goal completely. The miss en-capsulized United’s evening and that was confirmed after the match when a clearly agitated Ben Olsen was in no mood to discuss his team’s shortcomings on the evening with the media.
Up next for United will be their second match in Group H play in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night at RFK Stadium when Montego Bay from Jamaica come to visit. Olsen will most likely roll out a lineup very similar to the group of players who defeated Arabe Unido 1-0 this past Wedensday in Panama City, Panama.
United’s next league match will be at Red Bull Stadium on Sunday, August 30th and will most likely be the match that will determine who will win the Eastern Conference. Red Bull has won (2-0) and drawn (2-2 at RFK) it’s two matches this season with United.