Charlie Davies broke out of his own personal goal scoring drought in a big with way with all three goals tonight in D.C. United’s 3-0 win over Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California. With the win United leapfrogged three MLS teams and into playoff positioning in the 10th position with multiple games in hand on everyone in MLS. However, the win may have come at a steep price as it appeared that midfielder/forward Chris Pontius may by lost for the remainder of the season with a serious lower-leg injury suffered just minutes after assisting on Davie’s third goal in the 66th minute.
Davies got the scoring started in the 9th minute when United was the benefactor of a fortunate bounce off of referee Ricardo Salazar. Juan Pablo Angel, Chivas USA’s recently acquired forward, was trying to safely pass back to his defense when the ball struck Salazar and fell right into the path of Dwayne De Rosario. The Canadian sped into the opposition half of the field and sent a perfect ball down the wing to Pontius. Pontius then centered the ball to the back post where a sliding Davies punched it into the empty net for a 1-0 lead. This was Davies first goal since United’s 2-2 draw at home against Houston back in July. The significance of the goal was not lost as Davies, wearing #9, scored his ninth goal of the season in the 11th minute. All this on the eve of 9-11.
United doubled the lead just four minutes later again benefiting from a defensive mistake. Andy Najar was sent down the right wing by De Rosario and his harmless cross into the box was not cleared well by defender Ben Zemanski and it fell right on the boots of Pontius. Pontius calmly slid the ball to his left to a wide open Davies who converted to make it 2-0 for the Black-and-Red. United made it to halftime but surely should have increased the lead when Davies somehow managed to miss an easy opportunity to make it 3-0 when he sent a shot narrowly wide of the post late in the half after being set up expertly by De Rosario.
Davies did however get his hat trick in the 66th minute with United’s third counter attack goal of the evening. Pontius broke through the Chivas midfield and then was in alone on goal but unselfishly squared the ball to Davies to complete the 3-0 scoreline. Pontius’ night and perhaps his fantastic season may have ended just a few minutes later when he was involved in a nasty collision with Chivas USA defender Davie Lopes. Lopes and Pontius collided and the third-year player from UC Santa Barbara came out the worst for wear with a bad lower leg injury. Suspicion of a broken leg or ankle could end Pontius’ best season to date in MLS.
United will now turn their attention to another West Coast opponent when they face the Seattle Sounders next weekend in Seattle on Saturday, September 17th.
– Head coach Ben Olsen started Pontius as a forward alongside Davies and inserted Santino Quaranta into the left side of midfield. De Rosario dropped back into the attacking midfield spot
– United was forced to make two injury substitutions as Clyde Simms came off at the half in favor of Stephen King and Marc Burch came on for Pontius
– Bill Hamid seemed to re-aggravate his hamstring injury from the Chicago match two weeks ago early in the match. However, he stayed on the field and had Brandon McDonald take goal kicks. Hamid clearly was favoring his injury as it limited his movement but it didn’t stop him from gaining his sixth shutout of the season