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Conor Doyle celebrates his goal against the visiting fire with DC United mid fielder Fabian Espindola

Washington, D.C., September 15, 2015 – D.C. United only needed a draw last night to clinch their Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League Group H advancement and did it one better with a comfortable 2-0 win over Arabe Unido of Panama last night at RFK Stadium.

Conor Doyle and Jared Jeffrey notched first-half goals to ease United into the knockout stages of the tournament next February. United has won their group for the second consecutive year and did it in the same fashion with head coach Ben Olsen using almost exclusively reserves through all of their group matches.

United flipped the script of recent matches at RFK by scoring first through Conor Doyle just 36 seconds into the match. The sequence began when central defender Steve Birnbaum (the only First X1 player to start) waltzed through the middle of Arabe Unido’s central midfield and found Chris Pontius on the left wing. Pontius then whipped in a left-footed cross intended for Jairo Arrieta but found it’s way to Doyle on the far post where he one-timed his shot back against the grain for the early lead.

United continued their comfortable tempo and doubled the lead in the 22nd minute when Jared Jeffrey got on the end of a Facundo Coria corner kick and headed home under no pressure from six yards away.

United continued to keep the visitors at bay and rightfully should have had at least one penalty shout early in the second half. Defender Luke Mishu was hauled down in the box rather clearly but the claim was ignored by ref from Guyana and then just two minutes later Coria was taken down as well but no call came forth.

Arabe Unido did have two very good chances of their own in the second half only to see the shots clang off the crossbar. First up was a mammoth free kick from 35 yards by Renan Addles in the 52nd minute that rocketed off the crossbar and five minutes later Abdiel Macia’s close-range effort hit the crossbar before going over after a poor defensive clearance from United.

United had two more good chances to improve their goal differential (and in turn improve their potential top-seeding for the quarterfinals) but Coria’s fine solo bid was well saved by the Arabe Unido goalkeeper as well as Doyle’s stoppage time bid as well.

United now only have their last Group H match left to play next Tuesday night in Jamaica against Montego Bay. As Olsen has done through this competition, he will most likely send a skeleton crew of reserves for the match.

Meanwhile, United will now turn their attention to a critical match at RFK on Saturday when they take on Columbus Crew SC. Columbus trails United by a single point as both teams have just five league matches to go.

United lost the lead in the Eastern Conference to New York Red Bull as a result of last weeks matches after having the lead for nearly four months of the season. A scenario does exist that if United loses to Columbus on Saturday, the Black-and-Red could potentially drop to fourth place in the East, if results go against them this week. Chief among those matches is a Red Bull/NE Revolution match up tonight at Foxborough. A draw between these teams would be the best result for United heading into their match up with the Crew.

United in control of Group H of CCL play after 3-0 drubbing of Montego Bay United

Washington D.C., August 26, 2015 – D.C. United moved one step closer to advancement to the knockout stages of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League next winter with a thorough 3-0 win over Montego Bay United of Jamaica at RFK Stadium last night.

The win for United pushes them to the top of three-team Group H with 6 points out of six and a win over Arabe Unido next month at RFK will virtually seal the Black-and-Red’s advancement for a second year running.

With head coach Ben Olsen rotating his squad between MLS games, United put out almost the same exact starting X1 from last Wednesday’s 1-0 over Arabe Unido in Panama City. The same combination for that game-winning goal got United out in front in the 37th minute when Michael Farfan’s pass found Miguel Aguilar who worked his way free in the penalty area and put his shot between the legs of goalkeeper Jacomeno Barret for the 1-0 lead.

United should have doubled it’s advantage on multiple occasions early in the second half but found themselves wanting after easy misses from Facundo Coria and Jairo Arrieta. United would finally get that second goal on a bad clearance from the Montego Bay defense in the 70th minute.

From a corner kick United played a short ball to Farfan who initially sent the ball a bit too deep past the far post. However Coria did a good job in heading the wayward cross back into danger in the goal box. A very poor clearance from a Montego Bay defender saw Farfan back on the ball, this time much closer to goal. Farfan instinctively crossed it along the ground in front of goal where Kofi Opare’s sliding stab redirected the ball into goal.

United capped off the evening in the 90th minute with another penalty area scramble that saw a ball pop out to Conor Doyle who calmly slotted his angled shot past Barret from 10 yards away for the final 3-0 scoreline.

Up next for United in CCL play is their decisive return match with Arabe Unido at RFK Stadium on Tuesday, September 15th.

United now turn their attention to the years most important game to date – Sunday at Red Bull Arena against New York Red Bull. United stand five points clear of Red Bull but their rivals play away to Chicago tonight and with a victory there they could surpass United with a win on Sunday night.

Ben Olsen, Chad Ashton. Photo: Tony Quinn

United extend lead in the East courtesy of Doyle wonder goal

Bridgeview, Illinois, June 24, 2015 – Conor Doyle’s sure to be goal-of-the-week blast in the 73rd minute was all D.C. United needed in their 1-0 victory over the Chicago Fire tonight at Toyota Park. The win extend United’s lead in the Eastern Conference to ten points after the New England Revolution fell to Columbus in Columbus earlier in the evening. The shutout for United (10-5-4, 34 points) was the first for the Black-and-Red in 12 league games.

Head coach Ben Olsen once again made numerous changes to his lineup after Sunday’s 2-1 win at home against the Revolution in the face of four matches in ten days. Facundo Coria made his first start in MLS for United and got the first chance to score when his dipping bid from 22 yards was saved by Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson early in the first half. Johnson was called up again just a few minutes later when he parried away a goal-bound effort from Jairo Arietta, making his first start in two weeks.

On the other end of the field Bill Hamid had precious little to do aside from a few slight scares but was not called upon for any save opportunities. United clearly came out of the game with a purpose and even though the squad was almost completely rotated out, the formation change put forth by Olsen put the team in a different mindset and although they didn’t score in the first half, the effort put forth was different from what has been seen lately when United had fallen behind in 8 of their last 9 league matches.

Olsen employed a three-man midfield tucked in behind the front runner Arietta with Luis Silva and Coria playing side-by-side with Markus Halsti protecting underneath. Doyle and Miguel Aguilar manned the flanks and Luke Mishu got a start at his preferred left-back with Steve Birnbaum playing on the right with Bobby Boswell and Kofi Opare patrolling central defense.

The change worked as the home side had no clue how to penetrate United’s disciplined defense. As the game wore on United got even stronger in the back as the Fire were forced to try and dump the ball over the United defense to no avail. Either United cleaned up nicely or the Fire were caught offside as United played their trap to perfection all night long.

United’s hard work paid off in the 73rd minute when Conor Doyle came up a with a goal that will not be forgotten any time soon in D.C. Fabian Espindola floated a free kick from the left flank into the penalty area where Birnbaum kept the ball alive at the back post. The ball ricocheted around the area for a second before landing at the feet of Boswell who’s toe-poked effort rebounded back outside the penalty area and into the path of Doyle who unleashed a 25-yard blast that flashed past Sean Johnson before he could even raise his hands to attempt to deflect the shot.

The goal sucked all the air out of Toyota Park and United easily saw out the remainder of the match in true first-place fashion. With another match just three days away in Toronto, United is already playing with house money thanks to the three points collected this evening when a draw would have been more than satisfactory for Olsen. With key starters getting rested tonight, United will most likely be at full-strength heading into their match in Canada save for the nagging injuries for Chris Pontius and Sean Franklin.

United’s match against TFC will be shown live on Comcast SportsNet at 5pm on Saturday afternoon. TFC easily put away their rivals the Montreal Impact at BMO Field 3-1 earlier this evening and United will definitely have revenge on their minds as it was TFC who snapped United’s 20-game unbeaten run at RFK two weekends ago.

Conor Doyle celebrates his goal against the visiting fire with DC United mid fielder Fabian Espindola

Espindola return sparks United to 3-1 win over Chicago

Washington, D.C., June 4 – Jairo Arreita bagged two goals and Fabian Espindola dished out two assists as D.C. United stormed back from a 1-0 halftime deficit to race past the Chicago Fire in last night’s 3-1 victory at RFK Stadium. Conor Doyle added his first goal of the season to complete United’s fourth win of the season after giving up the opening goal. United (8-3-4, 28 points) only won one match last season after giving up the first goal and have extended their lead in the Eastern Conference to seven points over the New England Revolution.

For what seems to be an alarming trend recently, United started out slowly once again and were in trouble in the 26th minute when Steve Birnbaum inexplicably reached out and handled a ball in the penalty area as United were under pressure. Birnbaum got the start at an unfamiliar left-back as Taylor Kemp and Chris Korb were both unavailable due to injury. Bill Hamid and Chris Pontius also did not suit up for United who were already missing Chris Rolfe due to a suspension.

Jeff Larentowicz stepped up to take the penalty but Andrew Dykstra made an incredible diving save to his right to keep out the goal-bound shot. Bobby Boswell and Markus Halsti both snapped to attention and swept the ball out of play before any Fire player could pounce on the rebound. United thought they were off the hook but just 60 seconds later the Fire would take the lead when Quincy Amarikwa’s pass from the left flank found speedy striker David Accam and the Ghanaian’s one-touch redirect flashed past Dykstra for a 1-0 lead.

United once again failed to create much of anything through the first half and most of it had to do with yet another batch of changes to the lineup as United are at the tail end of a 5-game in 15-day stretch of play. Head coach Ben Olsen though had a few tricks up his sleeve and the biggest and best one was named Fabian Espindola who was making his return back to the team after sitting out a month with a deep bruise to his knee.

Espindola came on after the break the tone of the match changed completely as United seemed more focused and picked up their pace of play. That urgency paid off in the 61st minute when Espindola’s perfectly whipped in cross from a corner kick met the head of Arrieta who snapped a header inside the far post to level match at 1-1. Just eight minutes later United would take the lead for good with a bit a good fortune. Arrieta was attempting a give-and-go with Nick DeLeon deep in the Fire’s penalty area when defender Lovel Palmer seemed to have thwarted the dangerous combination. However, the Jamiacan’s sliding challenge redirected the ball right back to Arrieta who’s one-time right footed blast easily beat Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch. The goal was the fifth of the season for Arrieta who has taken the team lead over Chris Rolfe in scoring.

Not to be undone, Espindola performed one more piece of magic to wrap up the night for United. In the 75th minute Espindola found himself deep in Fire territory hugging the left sideline. The crafty Argentine spotted a far post run from Conor Doyle and unleashed a worm-burner pass that hit Doyle just as he flashed in front of his defensive challenger and right in front of goal. Busch could only get a slight touch on the fall before the shot hit the roof of the net.

With United firmly in control, they saw out the remainder of the match with little difficulty as United cruised to back-to-back wins for the first time since beating Vancouver and Columbus a month ago.

Next up for United is a home match against Toronto FC this Saturday night at 7pm. This will be the end of United’s most grueling stretch of games of the season to date. United will most likely have most of their squad available as the injuries that forced Olsen’s changes tonight were a mixture of precaution and knowledge of another Eastern Conference game just three days away.

Hamid early, Silva late in United’s stoppage-time 1-0 win over Orlando City SC

Luis Silva’s 92nd minute free kick was the difference maker in D.C. United’s smash-and-grab 1-0 victory over Orlando City SC this evening at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.

Six days after Chris Pontius’ 93rd minute game-winner over the Galaxy, Silva stepped up and curled a clinical shot over the wall and off the mitts of Orlando City goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to give United (3-1-0  9 points) their first road win of the season and back-to-back stoppage-time wins, a first in team history. Conversely, the expansion Florida side (1-2-2,  5 points) dropped their second match at home in a row via a stoppage time free kick. The win for United vaults them to the top of the Eastern Conference for at least a week until their rematch with Red Bull next weekend.

While the headlines deservedly go to Silva, it must be noted that goalkeeper Bill Hamid kept United in this game with a number of spectacular saves to frustrate the Lions. Hamid made a pair of point-blank stops inside the six yard box in the first half, first on defender Rafael Ramos’ bid and then thwarting midfielder Kevin Molino’s one-v-one effort off of a nice pass from Brazilian Designated Player and resident superstar Kaka.

United were on the back foot for most of the first half and finally settled into the game after the second of Hamid’s stunning saves. The Black-and-Red nearly grabbed the lead against the run of play when Chris Rolfe’s volley went inches wide of the far post, a shot that Ricketts would have had no chance to save.

After the break United started to gain more control of the match and severely limited the Lion’s chances to take the lead. In fact, it was United who should have taken the lead in the 68th minute  when a trio of shots somehow managed not to go into the goal. The play started with a beautiful diagonal ball over the top of Orlando City’s defense from defender Taylor Kemp. The ball met Sean Franklin in stride and his cut back on Aurelien Collin opened up a pass to the onrushing Conor Doyle. The substitute striker’s shot was well saved by Ricketts but right into the path of Chris Pontius who’s goal-bound bid was miraculously stabbed out of the way by retreating defender Brek Shea. The ensuing pop-up of Shea’s play was headed by Doyle but his bid was frustratingly palmed away by Ricketts for a corner kick.

United must have thought that was their golden opportunity to snatch all three points given that the team has been sporadic offensively through their first four league matches, undoubtedly due to the numerous injuries of key players and the suspension of leading scorer from last season Fabian Espindola. Fortunately for United a slight remedy was at hand as Silva was making his season debut with United when he came on for Rolfe in the 76th minute.

Silva managed to draw a foul at the edge of the area offset to the left when he was bowled over by Collin in the 91st minute. There was no question who was going to take the ensuing free kick and Silva made Orlando City pay dearly for their missed opportunities and silenced the crowd of 32, 822 with a curling effort just over the wall and out of the reach of the rangy Jamaican goalkeeper.

While United has been far from aesthetically pleasing through the first month of the season, the fact that they have banked 9 out of 12 possible points is encouraging as their injured players (and suspended ones) slowly start to make it back to the playing field. Things hopefully will get better from a soccer standpoint, but I really don’t think Ben Olsen cares at this point about the lack of flow offensively.

With that in mind, United has an opportunity to exact revenge on their bitter rivals New York Red Bull when they welcome them to RFK Stadium next Saturday night at 7pm. Red Bull easily defeated United 2-0 two weeks ago at Red Bull Arena.  This match will be televised live on CSNWashington.

 

United Notes

  • Eddie Johnson, out all season with an illness not yet officially disclosed by the team, was in attendance tonight and in the locker room after the match. According to eye witnesses, Johnson proclaimed, “I’ll be back soon”.. More good news perhaps???

United picks up first win of the preseason

First half goals from 2015 top draft pick Miguel Aguilar and third-year player Conor Doyle were more than enough to help D.C. United gain their first preseason win tonight over the host Austin Aztex 2-0 in the ATX Pro Challenge. After starting the preseason with two draws and a loss in Florida over the past two weeks, it was a team of reserves that ushered the Black-and-Red to the win.

Aguilar, who just officially signed with the team on Friday, scored on a brilliant shot from the top of the penalty area in the 14th minute to stake United to the early lead. United nearly doubled their advantage just a minute later when defender Kofi Opare and trialist, rumored to be Costa Rican defender Alexander Robinson Delgado (why United won’t announce who this player is a baffling mystery but almost par for the course in MLS), both hit shots off the crossbar within seconds of each other.

United did however get their second goal a few minutes later when Jairo Arrieta was the benefactor of a poor giveaway deep in Austin’s territory. The Costa Rican striker quickly slipped a ball between the retreating defenders to Conor Doyle who easily curled his shot around the Aztex goalkeeper for the 2-0 lead.

With this very likely being the last opportunity for any of United’s reserves to see playing time due to United’s first-leg match in the CONCACAF Champions League knockout stage against Alejuelense of Costa Rica just two weeks away, they took advantage of the opportunity to keep United comfortably in front. The only real scoring threat from the home side came inside the first few minutes when they had a free kick from the top of the area only to see Andrew Dykstra palm the shot away for a corner kick.

After the break the reserves stayed on the field with the exception of Bill Hamid who was making his preseason debut with United due to a nagging shoulder injury. Just minutes into the second half, Doyle nearly made it 3-0 after a nice buildup from United which eventually saw a nice ball played by Aguilar to Doyle who’s one-time shot whistled just wide of the near post.

Head coach Ben Olsen then swapped in his presumed starters into the match in the 61st minute with an eye on increasing the lead against the USL third division side. However, it was the plucky lower-leaguers who came closest to scoring. Hamid made a sensational save on a corner kick in the 74th minute to keep the Aztex off the scoreboard. United created numerous chances to increase the lead but failed to do so.

With the win, United will now advance to the final on Sunday afternoon at 2pm EST against FC Dallas. Interestingly enough, this match will serve as a pseudo home-and-home series with FC Dallas as United were already scheduled to play them in Frisco, Texas on February 20th as their send off match before taking on Alejuelense on February 26th in Costa Rica.

 

United Notes

  •  Michael Farfan made his debut with United in central midfield and his service to Opare in the first half set off the double-crossbar sequence that should have resulted in a goal
  •  United released MF Dan Metzger earlier in the day. Metzger was United’s 2nd round pick in this years MLS SuperDraft and seemingly lost out in United’s crowded midfield
  •  United also released MF Andrew Driver on Thursday as well. Driver had yet to sign with the team and was acquired in a trade in December that saw GK Joe Willis and D/MF Samuel        Inkoom go the other direction to Houston

United vs Philadelphia: Late goal breaks United’s spirit in 1-1 draw with Union

For 89 minutes, it appeared as though a sublime first-half strike off the foot of D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon would hold up, as the home side were the aggressors all evening at RFK Stadium.

Jack McInerney had other ideas.

The Union’s leading scorer, who subbed on in the 73rd minute, nodded a Kleberson cross past D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid in second-half injury time to help the visitors salvage a 1-1 draw on a rainy Saturday night at RFK Stadium. It was his first goal since June 1, a span of 18 matches and 133 days.

The Union (12-10-10, 46 points), who haven’t lost in three matches, didn’t play like a team eager to seize and opportunity against D.C., a side they had beaten twice already this season. Philadelphia currently sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, one point ahead of New England and tied with Montreal.

United (3-22-7, 16 points), meanwhile, saw their winless streak run to 10 games and have guaranteed at least a tie for the fewest wins in an MLS season (4).

Philadelphia failed to generate much of anything in the opening 45 minutes. Instead, for the second straight match at RFK, United were the aggressors and dominated possession. This time, however, as opposed to a 3-0 loss against Chicago last week, D.C. had something to show for their early pressure in the form of DeLeon’s sublime effort.

The winger’s second strike of the year came after he was played into the attacking third by Lewis Neal in the 36th minute. There the second-year player found space between two Union defenders and blasted a 30-yarder into the far upper corner of the net past diving Philly goalkeeper Zac MacMath.

Two of the Union’s best chances before McInerney’s goal came in the 38th minute. Forward Conor Casey headed a ball that forced Hamid to show off his vertical leaping skills. The ball deflected back to Casey, who turned around and fired another shot that Hamid cradled into his chest for one of his four saves.

In a wide-open sequence in the 82nd minute, United’s Conor Doyle outraced MacMath in pursuit of a long ball well outside the Philly penalty box, sidestepped the stranded ‘keeper and dropped it off for Chris Pontius, but the D.C. veteran fired high over the goal. On the Union’s immediate counterattack, McInerney’s blast forced Hamid to make a sprawling stop.

It was a precursor to his equalizer, which kept the Union in the race for at least one more day.

As for United, they will travel to Kansas City on Friday night to take on Sporting Kansas City in their last attempt to win a road match for this season. United is 0-13-3 on their travels away from RFK  and want to avoid being the fifth team in MLS history to go through an entire season without a win away from home.

 

United Notes

– Nick DeLeon, who was arguably having his best game this season, was subbed out in the second half due to tightness in his groin. His replacement Sainey Nyassi didn’t exactly cover himself in glory by drawing an unnecessary foul along the left sideline that was the precursor to the Philadelphia equalizer.

– Dwayne De Rosario will be back with United after he played with Canada over the weekend in South London

United vs Revolution: United overwhelmed in 2-1 loss in New England

For the second time this season the New England Revolution turn around a 1-0 halftime deficit into a 2-1 win over D.C. United tonight at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA

Lee Nguyen’s second-half penalty kick conversion was the difference on a night when the Black-and-Red were on the back foot for nearly the entire ninety minutes.  United could not string any passes together and were under heavy pressure from the Revolution who are in the hunt for one of the final playoff positions in the Eastern Conference. United did however jump out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute against the run of play when Luis Silva’s hopeful through ball was redirected into the goal by Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. Silva was attempting to thread the ball through a number of Revolution players to the onrushing John Thorrington but Caldwell took care of any finishing that might have required on the play.

The Revs continued to pour at United’s goal but Bill Hamid kept the home side at bay with a few routine saves as the teams went to the locker room. United offered very little cohesion in the first forty-five minutes and things did not improve in the second half either.

After the break it was more of the same and it didn’t help matters that United were just starting to fall on the wrong side of some dodgy calls from the game officials. United were whistled for a penalty when Dejan Jakovic seemed to make a routine tackle on Kelyn Rowe in the penalty area. The head referee felt differently and pointed to the spot. Nguyen stepped up and hit his shot to Hamid’s right only to see United’s burly goalkeeper make the save.

Just seconds later a United turnover gave the Revs their equalizer. However, once again the officials got it wrong as midfielder Diego Fagundez was clearly offside when he received a through ball but the diminutive midfielder put it past Hamid for his team-leading 11th goal of the season.

United had still failed to register a shot on goal deep into the second half when they almost fashioned the game-winner in the 82nd minute. Nick DeLeon and Conor Doyle combined to overwhelm Revolution defender A.J. Soares and DeLeon’s header sent Doyle in on goal. With Jose Goncalves and goalkeeper Matt Reis converging on Doyle, the Derby County on-loan striker managed to lift the ball over Reis. Reis quickly turned around sprinted for the goal line and palmed the ball away just inches before it crossed the line.

Just a minute later a poor decision by substitute Lewis Neal gifted the Revolution their second penalty kick when he dove in and clearly took down Nguyen. Nguyen waived off attempts by Fagundez and Rowe to take the second spot kick and the Revolution captain didn’t miss a second time when he calmly chipped to Hamid’s left as United’s goalkeeper dove again to his right.

United now has hit the 20-loss mark (3-20-6  15 points) on the season and are still win less on the road with an abysmal 0-12-3 record. For weeks now head coach Ben Olsen has made mention of his team building towards the Open Cup final on October 1st in Sandy, Utah against Real Salt Lake. Well, if their performance tonight and in recent weeks is any indication, United will be in for a long night in the Open Cup final.

United will now turn their attention to road match in Toronto next weekend where it is expected that Olsen will rest most, if not all of his expecting lineup ahead of the final in Utah just three days after this match. With United staring at the history books for season-long futility, I don’t expect much next weekend, even against a just as terrible TFC squad.

United vs Montreal: United still winless on the road after 2-1 loss in Montreal

Marco Di Vaio broke out of a six-week scoring drought with both goals for Montreal in their 2-1 win tonight over D.C. United at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Canada. The loss for United brings their road record to 0-9-3 on the season with only 3 goals scored in those matches.

Di Vaio scored in the final minute of the first half to give Montreal the lead after a non-call for handball by referee Ismail Elfath in front of the Montreal penalty area was ignored and play moved on. The Impact swiftly moved up field and in spite of the non-call, United appeared to have plenty of numbers in the area to defend Justin Mapp’s cross. However a clever dummy run from Felipe took two United defenders out on the play and Di Vaio curled a one-time shot into the upper corner past Bill Hamid for a 1-0 lead at the half.

United started off the match very poorly with a number of self-inflicted wounds defensively that should have seen the Black-and-Red down by at least a goal inside of the first ten minutes. Hamid came up big on a one-v-one save opportunity deep in the penalty area to keep United even with Montreal. After that harrowing first ten minutes, United settled into the match and started to create a few opportunities of their own the best of which came off the foot of captain Dwayne De Rosario in the 38th minute. Perry Kitchen forced a turnover in midfield and fed Porter who’s one-time pass met DeRo in stride heading towards goal . Former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins was quick off his line to cut down the angle and force De Ro’s chip attempt over the bar.

After the break it was the visitors who were starting to dominate the run of play. United had multiple opportunities to level the match but their season-long bugaboo of not finishing off sequences with any quality was starting to rear it’s ugly head once again.

After a truly bizarre sequence in the 72nd minute that saw both head coaches sent off by Elfath, United did finally find their equalizer in the 81st minute. Substitute Conor Doyle scored his second goal of the season (both against Montreal) after a nice feed from Luis Silva and United thought they at least had a very hard earned point. However, just two minutes later, another season-long anchor around the neck of the leagues poorest team allowed the home side to take the victory.

A seemingly harmless ball was put over the top to Di Vaio down the left-side channel into the penalty area. United defender Dejan Jakovic was step-for-step with Di Vaio but inexplicably allowed Di Vaio to easily cut  to his preferred right peg and then the Italian curled his shot again into the upper corner past Hamid for the game-winner.

United now will have a rare opportunity to host another struggling side when Toronto FC comes to RFK Stadium next Saturday night at 7pm.

Luis Silva scored the opener in the 19th minute and jumped to the team lead with 3 goals from his 3 matches with United.

United vs Montreal: Doyle is the difference in United’s 3-1 win over Impact

Youth has been served at RFK Stadium

Conor Doyle scored the game-winning goal and unselfishly provided the assist for the insurance goal in D.C. United’s 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact tonight at soggy RFK Stadium. United won for only the third time this season and it was a trio or recent acquisitions that pushed all the buttons tonight. Luis Silva (above – Photo: Chris Bannon) scored the opener in the 19th minute and jumped to the team lead with 3 goals from his 3 matches with United. Chris Pontius was the last United player to score in three straight matches when he did it just over a year ago.

After an equalizing goal Jeb Brovsky from the Impact at the start of the second half, it was substitute Conor Doyle that made the difference in the match. Just minutes after entering for captain Dwayne De Rosario, Doyle made a near post run deep in the penalty area in the 68th minute and met James Riley’s cross perfectly and touched it between the legs of former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins to give United a rare second-half lead. With the Impact throwing numbers forward, United sealed the match in stoppage time when debutant Collin Martin fed Doyle on a long solo run with no from Montreal in sight. With Perkins bearing down on him, Doyle pushed a pass into the path of Jared Jeffrey who slotted into the open net to seal United’s most impressive win of the season.

The go-ahead goal from Doyle marked the first time this season that a United substitute had scored a goal and the final margin of victory was the first time United had held a two-goal lead at any point. The night couldn’t have worked out any better for head coach Ben Olsen. Olsen took off his three most influential players in De Rosario (64th minute), Silva (69th minute) and Nick DeLeon (76th minute) with an eye on their Wednesday night U.S. Open Cup semi-final match up at the Chicago Fire. Their substitutes were Doyle, Sainey Nyassi and Martin respectively and all three played a major part in extending what was then a tied match at the time of De Rosario’s substitution.

Unite will now hope to carry the confidence of their best performance of a dismal season into Toyota Park next Wednesday evening. The match will kick off at 8:30pm EST and will be streamed live at www.dcunited.com

United will return to league action next Saturday night in Philadelphia to take on the Union at PPL Park.

United Notes

  • United may have made MLS history tonight when they had four Homegrown Players listed on their bench on their 18-man roster. Bill Hamid, Ethan White, Conor Shanosky and Collin Martin made the game-day squad
  • Chris Pontius, John Thorrington (rested for Open Cup match), Carlos Ruiz and Casey Townsend were the major first team players that were left off the roster tonight. Lionard Pajoy will be out for about 6 weeks after hernia surgery earlier this week