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Davy Arnaud struggles to maintain posetion

United’s struggles continue as they drop 2-0 decision at home to San Jose

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.

United vs San Jose: United defense crumbles in 5-3 loss to the Quakes

Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart both scored a pair of goals to lead the red-hot San Jose Earthquakes to a 5-3 mauling of D.C. United last night in San Jose, California. The loss snapped United’s seven match unbeaten run and vaulted the Quakes to the top spot in MLS, a point above idle Sporting Kansas City.

United went into the matchup knowing it was missing it’s top two central defenders in Emiliano Dudar and Dejan Jakovic through injury and it showed as head coach Ben Olsen was forced to shuffle the lineup by inserting Perry Kitchen into central defense and moving Marcelo Saragosa into Kitchen’s usual defensive midfield position.

For the first twenty minutes it seemed everything was going well for United as they took the lead on a fantastic strike from Dwayne De Rosario in the 8th minute. The next 15 minutes told a different story as the Quakes scored three times to wrestle control of the match. Lenhart and Wondolowski scored two minutes apart and then ten minutes later rookie defender Justin Morrow scored to seemingly put the match out of reach.

United came to life early in the second half and gave themselves an opportunity to complete a wonderful comeback with Daniel Woolard’s diving header goal in the 64th minute to cut the deficit to 3-2 but the Quakes responded twice in five minutes when Wondolowski (header) and Lenhart (deflection) scored again to put the match to rest. Hamdi Salihi did finally break his duck with a well taken goal in the 88th minute but it was too little too late at that point.

United had not yielded five goals in a road match since a 5-2 defeat against the Los Angeles Galaxy in September of 2008.

United now turns it’s attention to winless Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon at 4pm in Toronto

United makes history, the bad kind, in 2-0 loss to San Jose

Chris Wondolowski scored on either side of halftime for the visiting San Jose Earthquakes in their 2-0 win over D.C. United tonight at RFK Stadium in front of 14, 822 fans. United has now established the Major League Soccer record for most times shutout in a season with their 16th clean sheet of the season. The expansion Toronto FC in 2007 were tied with United at 15 shutouts heading into the match. United is also well on it’s way to another league record for fewest goals scored in a season. Right now the Black-and-Red sit on 18 goals through 28 matches. The very same Toronto FC team from 2007 holds the current record for season long futility at 25 goals scored. That record seems to be set to be destroyed by the 2010 United squad.

The match got off to a raucous start when both Jaime Moreno and Brandon McDonald were ejected in the 8th minute by referee Alex Prus. Television replays showed a slight elbow thrown to the midsection by Moreno followed by an elbow to the head from McDonald. While Prus didn’t see the infraction, apparently he got help from his assistant referee and the 4th official to send both players off. Moreno was making his first start in over two months for United and his sending off seemed almost typical for the way United’s season had gone.

If that didn’t send a message then San Jose taking the leading in the 45th minute definitely typified United’s season-long struggles. United had dominated the first 45 minutes barely letting the Quakes string two passes together much less cross midfield, but as happened pretty much all season long, United failed on their opportunities in front of goal and yet again allowed the opposition to strike first before Troy Perkins had even made a save in the match.

Tim Ward sent a ball diagonally through the penalty area that Clyde Simms failed to jump for to head away. The result was a bouncing ball between Simms and fellow defender Jordan Graye and it ended up on the right foot of Wondolowski who smashed the ball past Perkins on the volley for a rather undeserved 1-0 lead.

Ten minutes into the second half the visitors put the game away and this time it was Perkins who had a hand in the play, or more accurately, did NOT have a hand in the play. A cross from the left wing was sent into United’s penalty area and Perkins came out to punch the ball away. Admittedly there was token pressure applied to Perkins but he basically whiffed on his punch and the ball ended up on the left foot of Wondolowski who one-timed the ball past a sliding Simms and the result was no longer in doubt.

United came into the match with not only a number of players on the injured list, but they also were missing four starters due to suspension (Andy Najar) and International call-ups (Julius James, Dejan Jakovic and Branko Boskovic) with severely hampered interim head coach Ben Olsen’s choices to play. United were forced to sign emergency defender J.P. Rodrigues from Division 2 Miami this week and he made his debut in the second half after the game was no longer in doubt.

United will now turn their attention to their last road game of the season in Chicago next Saturday afternoon at 4pm. Moreno obviously won’t be available but the four aforementioned players will return to the field as United looks to win their 4th game at Toyota Park in a row.