D.C. United’s horrific season continues to spiral downhill as they lost this evening to visiting Toronto FC 2-1 at RFK Stadium. The loss extends United’s club-record winless streak to 13 games. Even worse, the loss came to a TFC team that itself was on a double-digit winless streak of their own.
In a matchup of non-titans, United came out on the front foot and actually took the lead in the 19th minute on Dwayne De Rosario’s converted penalty kick to give the Black-and-Red their first lead in a league match in over three months of play. The penalty was set up by an amazing 50-yard run by Nick DeLeon through the TFC defense that ended up with him being tripped just as he entered the penalty area.
United nearly doubled the lead when a give-and-go from De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy resulted in a half-chance by Pajoy but he ran out or room along the endline with an open goal at his mercy.
This is where it started to fall apart. TFC had done precious little offensively and United were on cruise control. Then the dreaded set piece rears it’s ugly head. United has given up over a dozen goals this season on set pieces and tonight was no exception.
In the 30th minute, 5-foot-7 inch Robert Earnshaw managed to beat 6-foot-1 United defender Brandon McDonald to a seemingly harmless floated 60-yard ball and headed the ball off the post and past Bill Hamid to level the match.
Just ten minutes later the frustration of a season-long epidemic of shooting themselves in the foot came to fruition when Daniel Woolard headed a ball into his own goal. It was the fourth own-goal given up by United this season.
United could not regain any momentum and things may have just gotten worse for United when De Rosario was forced off with an injury that seemed to drain whatever life was left in United. Chris Pontius, Kyle Porter (injured) and Carlos Ruiz (away on international duty) already were not availabe tonight adding to head coach Ben Olsen’s woes.
United now must turn their attention to next Saturday’s matchup at RFK against the San Jose Earthquakes.