United’s winless streak hits six matches after 2-0 loss to Montreal

Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 26, 2015 – D.C. United entered their match in Montreal on Saturday desperately needing a result to turn around their winless September in league play.

Two Didier Drogba highlight reel goals inside the first 11 minutes put rest to that wish as the Montreal Impact strolled to a comfortable 2-0 victory yesterday afternoon at Stade Sapudo. Once again United were the creators of their own demise when two critical defensive errors paved the path for both of Drogba’s sensational goals. The 37-year old striker has scored 7 goals in 6 league matches since signing with Montreal during the summer transfer window and an argument could be made that both goals on display were his best.

Montreal got on the score sheet in just the 4th minute after Taylor Kemp was whistled for a handball about 30 yards outside the area in front of goal. There was initial confusion on the play after Kemp badly misplayed a seemingly harmless clearance when it hit his left arm. Montreal striker Dominic Oduro picked up the loose ball and tried to round United goalkeeper Bill Hamid who successfully made the save and then cleared the ball out of play. However, referee Jair Maruffo called for the play to come back to the initial hand ball spot from Kemp. United felt undone as it seemed advantaged was played then taken back. After the match however it was confirmed that Maruffo had indeed blown the play dead at the time of the handball and was not going to allow the goal to stand had Oduro scored.

Drogba stepped up on the ensuing free kick and hit a masterful upper 90 shot that Hamid could only get his fingertips to as the ball ricocheted off the post and in for the early 1-0 lead. Perhaps the biggest sign of United’s continual problems during this season is the fact that the team has now given up an astonishing 10 goals this season inside the first five minutes of a game. No one in MLS is even close to United in that regard.

So, United is once again forced to play from behind and chase the match. Things got doubly worse just seven minutes later when Markus Halsti attempted a foolish back pass under heavy pressure from Montreal midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker. With teammates available in multiple directions to unload a simple pass, Halsti inexplicably tried to push the ball all the way back to Hamid in goal. The pass was criminally under hit and fell into the path of Drogba who only had United defender Steve Birnbaum to beat. Drogba easily juked Birnbaum out of his shorts just inside the penalty area and calmly lifted a shot over the onrushing Hamid for the 2-0 lead.

United should have cut the deficit in half just sixty seconds later but Chris Rolfe couldn’t control the rebound of a Fabian Espindola angled shot that was saved by Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush right into the path of Rolfe who was just four yards out in front of goal. The ball it Rolfe in the chest and was smothered by Bush before Rolfe could get a foot on it to poke it home. That was pretty much the extent of United’s danger on the evening as the Impact saw the remainder of the match out without much difficulty.

The loss for United keeps United in fourth place in the Eastern Conference but the only good news for the Black-and-Red on the weekend was that all three teams above United did not win either. However, United is in danger of dropping to fifth place as Toronto FC are now just two points adrift of United and they have a game in hand.

Up next for United is a critical home match on Friday night against NYCFC. If United can win that match it would clinch a playoff berth as well as eliminate NYCFC from the playoffs. United lost their only match with NYCFC so far 3-1 in New York City in August.

Return of Hamid key factor in United’s 1-0 win in Montreal

Montreal, Canada – August 8 2015- Bill Hamid’s return to the nets couldn’t have come at a better time as his timely saves powered D.C. United to a 1-0 win in Montreal tonight at Stade Saputo.

Hamid, making his first appearance since June 27th, made two one-v-one saves on either side of halftime to help preserve the win for United, their third in a row. After setting an MLS record with back-to-back wins after a two-goal deficit in the previous two weeks, United came back down to Earth and set another league record in recording a win with only one shot attempted for the entire 90 minutes. One shot..

Chris Rolfe got that game-winning shot in the 13th minute thanks in part to the high pressure he and Jairo Arrieta put on the Impact defense. Arrieta poked the ball away from defender Victor Cabrera and beat Wandrille Lefevre to the loose ball and Arrieta, subbing in for the injured Fabian Espindola, tapped the ball into the path of Rolfe who easily dispatched his shot to the left of Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush for his team-leading 9th goal of the season and the early 1-0 lead.

To say United then sat back and decided to defend could be the understatement of the year. After giving up late goals in stoppage time in losses to Philadelphia, Seattle and FC Dallas on the road earlier this season due to their bunker mentality, this game was very much traveling the same path. At halftime the Impact had a 9-1 shots advantage with Hamid coming up big one-v-one on Andres Romero to keep United out in front.

After the break not much changed, in fact it got a little more worrisome for United as their deep bunker could not afford themselves the opportunity to hold possession and relieve pressure. Hamid stoned Dominic Oduro on a one-v-one challenge midway through the second half and also kept Montreal at bay with stellar positioning and solid command of his penalty area. If not for some wayward shooting inside the penalty area, most specifically from defender Eric Miller (two misses) and Dilly Duka (big miss from 6 yards out in stoppage time), United could have suffered the similar fate that took them down in games earlier this season employing a deep bunker.

As it happens, United (13-7-5, 44 points) extends their Eastern Conference lead to 11 points over Red Bull who host NYCFC tomorrow night at Red Bull Arena. Red Bull has four games in hand and could theoretically catch United should they win all four of those matches. One non-win however drops them below the winnable threshold. Needless to say, despite the very poor offensive showing tonight, it was a huge road win, their fourth of the season.

Speaking of NYCFC, they will be United’s next opponent when they meet next Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. Due to both the Redskins and Ravens playing NFL Preseason games at the same time, this match will only be available via

DC Heads to Montreal looking to tighten up their game

It’s been a wild and wacky two games for league leading DC United as their normally tight defense has been leaking like a sieve, but incredibly their moribund offense emerged from the stone age to make up for it.

DC is riding a two game win streak despite falling behind early and giving up six goals total in those games because they have suddenly found their offense to the tune of nine goals scored to make up for those uncharacteristic defensive lapses. To put their last two games in perspective, DC had scored only 24 goals in 22 games, but spent the better part of the season leading the East because they only gave up 20 goals heading into the last two weeks. Apparently the trade for Alvaro Saborio put that strategy on its ear because as soon as Sabo took the field, DC began spilling goals like a leaky paint bucket, but scoring them like a Pakistani Cricket team. From scoring barely a goal a game, DC scored an average of 4.5 goals a game in the last two games. DC had only allowed 2 goals against 3 times (NY twice, TFC) in 21 games until allowing Philly 2 and RSL 4 the past two weeks, and giving up 2 goals in Dallas the week before that.

However, there is no doubt United coach Ben Olsen will be looking to ratchet down the bolts on the defense particularly early in games, while hoping for continued offense albeit perhaps not averaging the unlikely 4.5 goals a game they have scored the last two games.

Fixing the defense should be both easy and likely. It’s not like DC has forgotten how to play defense after being arguably the best defensive team in the league the past two years with pretty much the same players. No. DC has simply gotten away from their normally aggressive style of defense. By no means the most physically imposing group, the defense has made its bones by being aggressive as well as positioning themselves intelligently. If you look at the goals scored lately, almost all are scored on defenders who are in position for the most part, but they are laying off players too much or simply getting out muscled. It’s not a case of DC defenders getting caught upfield, there’s plenty of guys back defending, they just aren’t making the plays they need to make and have made all year. DC has to stop giving so much room to players on the ball in the offensive third of the field and they have to be in there scrapping with elbows and teeth while they’re at it. Starting from the opening whistle to boot. They are not good enough to make up for playing any other way. Smart and scrappy is their mantra and they need to get back to it.

Oddly enough I think keeping the offense rolling might be the more difficult task. DC has caught two teams pretty unprepared for the change that Saborio brought to DC’s offense and I think that is likely to change as teams adjust now that they have some startling game film to catch their attention. Saborio is a pure number 9 and he occupies the center backs which allows room for Fabian Espindola to play off him on the fringes of the attack as well as provides room for Chris Rolfe and Nick DeLeon to operate without so many players collapsing on them. Both Philly and RSL play with one defensive minded player in midfield and that got exposed badly so look for teams to clean up those areas when playing DC. Perhaps by intentionally playing one back on Saborio and pushing the other up, or by shifting another midfielder into the channels or whatever fits their style, but I expect teams to adjust.

That said, DC should still score goals and very likely go back to stopping them too, just not at the ridiculous levels we’ve seen lately.

So, looking at the likely lineups, DC does catch their usual huge break as Montreal will be missing their star central defender, Laurent Ciman due to suspension as well as very likely dodging the Didier Drogba bullet as the newly signed legendary former Chelsea sniper isn’t likely to play much if at all. Montreal is also dealing with a glut of games lately too. The DC match will be their third of four games in eleven days albeit all but the first one is at home. So, with all that in mind I expect Montreal coach Frank Klopas to go with his usual 4-2-3-1 with Dominic Oduro as the lone forward with Argentine Playmaker Ignaccio Piatti playing underneath him with Dilly Duka and Andres Romero on the left and right wings respectively. Italian hard man Marco Donandel is back from suspension to partner with Scottish teeth rattler Calum Mallace in the defensive roles in front of Montreal’s back four. The defense should be homegrown Donny Toia on the left, Cameroonian Ambroise Oyongo and likely Wandrille Lefevre replacing Ciman in the center, and Victor Cabrera on the right in front of goalkeeper Evan Bush.

For DC, I fully expect the same starting XI for the third game in a row, although I wouldn’t be surprised if one change is made, but more on that later. Olsen will certainly play his usual 4-4-1-1 with Sabo up top and Espindola roaming freely. In midfield, I expect Rolfe, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, and Nick DeLeon playing left to right and in defense it will surely be Taylor Kemp, Bobby Boswell and Chris Korb as Sean Franklin remains out with Achilles tendonitis. However, while I think Olsen will stay with Steve Birnbaum in the center of defense with Boswell, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kofi Opare gets a start over Birnbaum either. Birnbaum has been the prime offender in playing soft and loose lately and that can’t happen given Oduro’s speed and the scrappiness of Duka and Romero. Olsen is loyal longer than one would expect, but Opare is a better option if Birnbaum needs some time on the pine to get his head right. We’ll see.

So, looking at the matchups and likely tactics this game is going to be very close and could go either way. Both teams like to cede possession and seek to counter-attack. Offensively, Saborio and Espindola are strong and crafty enough to cause problems for Oyongo and Lefevre who was less than impressive earlier this year as the starter before losing his job to Oyongo. However, Donadel and Mallace are very good at clogging up the middle and forcing turnovers, something DC doesn’t need any help doing on their own, so DC will need to be efficient on the chances they do get. The key may well be who controls the wings better and keeps their opposite number playing defense more than they’d like. If so, Romero could cause big problems for Kemp requiring Rolfe to help which will keep Rolfe from exploiting Cabrera, Montreal’s weakest defender, as much as he should. Same thing with DeLeon and Korb. Duka has been very dynamic this year and will pin Korb back, so DeLeon will have to pick and choose his spots to attack Toia who is a solid player.

Defensively, obviously Piatti is the key to their attack. He pulls the strings in midfield and is another reason why Opare might be the better option. Opare’s physicality and range pushing up from the backline would be more effective than sticking Kitchen on Piatti and keeping him buried back in front of the backline. That also leaves Arnaud pretty much alone keeping tabs on Donadel and Mallace scooting forward which is perhaps not such a good tactic either. It’s OK if Arnaud and Kitchen get pinned back as long as Rolfe and DeLeon can get forward, but that could turn on a dime against DC too, especially as Montreal has real speed in their counter-attacking and DC does not. Also, if Drogba comes in he could be a nightmare for Boswell should Montreal need a goal late. He is brutally precise in forcing mistakes and could be the kind of physical force not seen in MLS since Mamadou Diallo.

At least DC has some success up there in Montreal lately. DC tied the last time they visited, and trounced the Impact 4-1 the visit before that behind a Silva hat trick and Nick DeLeon scoring the winner. DC also squeaked by Montreal in the first game of this season here at RFK. Overall, DC is 3-2-2 against the Impact, but 3-1-2 since losing the very first game against them in Montreal back in 2012. Which is good because DC is an abysmal 3-6-2 on the road considering their position leading the league in points, an even worse 1-5-2 since beating Vancouver back in April with only a 1-0 win in Chicago in the last 3.5 months. Montreal on the other hand is 6-2-1 at home so far this year and 6-1-0 since Portland snuck out of Montreal with all the points in early May. NYCFC three weeks ago is the only team to beat Montreal at home in the past 3 months, and Montreal has shut out 3 of their 4 four opponents at home as well, while DC has been shut out 6 of their last 9 road games.

So there you have it, DC can certainly surprise Montreal in their house, but while I think Sabo and Espy will combine to score one, I see Montreal getting one of their own most likely from Piatti getting loose in the defense as he’s bound to do at least once or twice. And that’s assuming DC tightens up the ship on defense of course. If they continue to lay off players and let themselves get beat physically, then they will have to hope to keep outscoring teams, and while that is possible against Montreal with Ciman conveniently being out of the lineup, it is certainly not the recipe for success Olsen is looking for.

Arrieta Celebrates

United takes opener with 1-0 win over Montreal

Jairo Arrieta’s lone goal helped to propel D.C. United to a season-opening 1-0 win over the Montreal Impact this afternoon at snowy and cold RFK Stadium. Just two days removed from a storm that dumped eight inches of snow on the Nation’s Capital, United and the Impact met on a field strewn with pock marks and soggy patches of grass. The elements not withstanding, both teams were coming off of their respective CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matches with the visitors in the better mood via their advancement over Mexican giants Pachuca while United were left licking their wounds after their dismissal at the hands of Alajuelense of Costa Rica.

Undeterred, the Black-and-Red took it to their Canadian counterparts and controlled large portions of the run of play. United had the first opportunity of the match 19 minutes in thanks in part to the determination of Arrieta. A poor first touch from Belgian defender Laurent Ciman allowed the speedy Costa Rican to steal the ball away 30 yards from goal. While being tackled Arrieta managed to nudge the ball to fellow striker Chris Pontius and his angled left-footed bid rolled agonizingly past the far post.

DSC_0172United continued to boss the play but it was Montreal that would strike at the next golden opportunity in the 35th minute and to no one’s surprise United goalkeeper Bill Hamid easily parried away Montreal left back Donny Toia’s rasping 25-yard drive. After the break both teams took turns wrestling the tempo away from each other but it was United who would finally break through in the 58th minute. After a routine save by Hamid, Nick DeLeon played a ball to Davy Arnaud who immediately one-timed it upfield to Chris Rolfe, Rolfe, easily the best player on the day, sent a ball over the defense to a streaking Arrieta. Arrieta, playing in place of suspended striker Fabian Espindola, easily outpaced the Impact defense and beat goalkeeper Evan Bush to the ball just inside the top right corner of the penalty area. The slippery Arrieta then pushed the ball with the outside of his right foot (left) just beneath Bush and it rolled easily into the vacated net to give United the 1-0 lead.

United should have doubled the score just two minutes later when Pontius and Arrieta combined for a beautiful chance at goal. Pontius was a bit quicker to a bouncing ball and beat Ciman and headed the ball over the Belgian to Arrieta. Arrieta, sensing the run to goal from Pontius, put the ball over his head and into Pontius’ stride where he chested the ball down and toe-poked a shot past Bush but off the crossbar and down just a few inches from going over the goal line.

After that point it was all Montreal as the visitors pushed numbers into the attack. Montreal felt hard done by when in the 76th minute Hassoun Camara’s shot from five yards out was goal bound only to see it hit off the upper arm of Conor Doyle who was positioned on the goal line. The Impact were screaming for a penalty as the ball was finally cleared out of danger. Minutes later the game would take a sullen turn as Impact midfielder Justin Mapp suffered what seemed to be a serious injury. The speedy winger had gotten in behind the United defense and was just about to pull the trigger on a shot when defender Chris Korb managed to poke the ball away. At the same time Hamid had come out to narrow the angle and as all three players converged (below), it was Mapp who came out injured when he apparently dislocated an appendage when cushioning his blow to the ground. Hamid and Korb both called immediately to the training staff as they both realized the severity of the collision.


After Mapp was carted off United continued to defend in numbers and held the Impact without any real game-tying chances. In addition to their defensive effort, substitute Miguel Aguilar did a fantastic job of killing of time with a number of great challenges to win balls including one 30-second sequence in which he skinned every Impact defender in sight as they struggled to take the ball off the precocious rookie who was making his MLS debut.

United easily saw out the extended injury time, due to Mapp’s gruesome injury, and got themselves their first opening day win since beating Columbus in 2011.

Silva hat trick propels United into first place at World Cup break

Luis Silva’s first-half hat trick pushed D.C. United to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Impact at  soggy Stade De Saputo tonight in Montreal, Canada. The win for United (7-4-4 25 points) vaulted them past the idle New England Revolution and into first place heading into a two-week break for the World Cup which starts tomorrow afternoon in Brazil.

Silva, starting in place of injured Designated Player Eddie Johnson, got United off to a quick start in the 6th minute after receiving a nice through ball from Fabian Espindola and putting the ball between the legs of former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins. Espindola, who had three assists on the night, almost didn’t make it past the opening kickoff when he was inexplicably chopped down by Impact midfielder Felipe Martins literally three seconds into the match.

United’s talisman limped to the sidelines but shook off the nasty challenge and led United on a four-goal outburst that matched their season-high for goals in a game (4-1 win over FC Dallas on April 26th). More importantly it was a key road win for the Black-and-Red as they face a road-heavy league schedule after league play starts back up at the end of June.

After the great start for United, the Impact drew level in the 12th minute through Jack McInerney. McInerney has feasted on United in his short MLS career and added his second goal against them this season when United defender Bobby Boswell was a bit too lax in closing him down and his angled shot beat goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to the far post. Dykstra was a replacement for Bill Hamid who suffered a slight knock in United’s less than enthralling 0-0 draw against Columbus this past Saturday night at FedEx Field.

United then fell behind in the 21st minute when some sloppy defending allowed the home side to take the 2-1 lead. Andres Romero did a good job weaving his way through a number of United players but his run through heavy traffic seemed destined to fall short when a toe-poke from Perry Kitchen sent the ball to United defender Sean Franklin. Franklin however displayed an uncharacteristic heavy touch which allowed Romero to swoop in and reclaim the ball and after a deke to his left, his near-post shot got by Dykstra.

Undaunted, United equalized just two minutes later when Espindola’s pass from the left flank curled perfectly into the path of Nick DeLeon to side foot into the goal for his first tally of the season.

After that point it was the Luis Silva show. United reclaimed the lead in the 39th minute when an errant pass was picked off by Espindola and his bungled touch fortunately fell into the path of Silva. Silva took off towards goal and the Montreal defense was most likely thinking that he would pass the ball to Espindola who was making his way towards the penalty area to Silva’s right. However, the now-confident Silva smoothly curled a shot from 25-yards out that Perkins could only get a finger to before it settled into the net.

Silva punctuated his performance with a stoppage-time penalty kick conversion after rookie defender Steve Birnbaum was hauled down in the area by Hassoun Camara during a corner kick. Silva stepped up and blasted his shot to Perkin’s right to give United what would be the final goal in a wet and wild 4-2 first-half.

After the break head coach Ben Olsen made the precautionary and smart move of subbing off Espindola who has easily been United’s best player through the first 15 games of the MLS season. Conor Doyle came on and encapsulated the all-out team effort to press the ball and not allow the Impact to dictate the second-half tempo.

United seemed to have stemmed the tide but a penalty called against Davy Arnaud in the 75th minute for a hand ball sent the nerves jangling a bit. However, a bit of fortune was with United on this night as Patrice Bernier’s penalty rang off the post and then the shoulder of Dykstra and somehow managed to roll over the end line for a corner. With that disaster averted the final 15 minutes was an exercise in patience and keep-away for United as they frustrated the Impact and walked out with a well deserved win.

United now will take a little time off before they play an Open Cup match in Rochester on Tuesday, June 17th against the Rhinos. If United advances against the third-division USL side, they will host a home match at the Soccerplex in Boyds, Maryland most likely against the New England Revolution in July.

United will return to league action on Saturday, June 28th when they host MLS’ other division leaders – the Seattle Sounders at RFK Stadium at 7pm EST.

Episode 142 – The Talent is Back

Join the guys on this special edition of the podcast. The boys talk about DC United’s past three matches, including the draw vs Montreal, the win against Houston, and the road loss to the New England Revolution. The guys also touch base on the US Men’s National Team and the noted omissions from the 23 man roster.

It's been a rough week for Eddie Johnson. Photo: Tony Quinn.

Johnson’s late goal salvages 1-1 draw with Montreal

It’s been a rough few weeks for Eddie Johnson. Photo: Tony Quinn

Surprisingly left off the United States World Cup training camp roster in combination with a season-long scoring drought and not-so-flattering comments on his new team mates has added up to a ton of media attention and soul searching from the much-maligned 30-year old striker.

Perhaps now he can exhale and move on with the remainder of the season as he finally scored his first goal for D.C. United in last night’s 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact. Johnson scored in the 84th minute and saved what would have been a very disappointing loss to the cellar dwelling Impact.

Both teams struggled throughout the match to grab any type of foothold but it was the Black-and-Red who fell behind through another defensive mistake in the 54th minute. Cristian Fernandez, for not the first time this season, was caught in possession along the right sideline and Justin Mapp swooped in to collect the wayward touch from United’s left-back. Mapp took the ball to the end line where he spotted bona fide United-killer Jack McInerney peeling away from Bobby Boswell. McInerney took one touch to settle and then toe-poked the ball into the far side netting.

Minutes later, the Impact should have salted the game away if not for some heroic defending from Bill Hamid and Chris Korb. Sanna Nyassi, who’s speed on the counter gave United trouble all night long, took advantage of a slip from defender Jeff Parke in the box to open up some space and fire a shot that Hamid did well to parry to his right. The rebound however fell right into the lap of the opportunistic McInerney who had an open goal to shoot at. Korb desperately lunged his body in the way and deflected the goal-bound effort into the hands of the surprised Hamid.

With that bit of good fortune provided, United pushed forward and nearly equalized in the 73rd minute when substitute Luis Silva’s shot stung the crossbar and deflected over. It was United’s second effort off the woodwork of the night as they nearly scored an own-goal way back in the  15th minute.

United persistence finally paid off in the 84th minute with the game-tying goal from Eddie Johnson. Photo Tony Quinn.

United persistence finally paid off in the 84th minute with the game-tying goal from Eddie Johnson. Photo Tony Quinn.

United persistence finally paid off in the 84th minute with the game-tying goal. Great combination work from Cristian to Chris Rolfe to Espindola freed up the Argentine playmaker down the left flank. Espindola’s cross was beautifully whipped in and met the rising Johnson at the edge of the six-yard box and his header was perfectly placed into the far corner giving former United goalkeeper Troy Perkins no chance.

While the result was acceptable on it’s face, it felt very much like a lost opportunity for United on the night as it was the last-place team in MLS in United’s backyard. United now will turn their attention to the Houston Dynamo who come to town for a midweek clash on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. Houston is coming off a 1-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy last night, a win that pushed the Dynamo ahead of D.C. United and into a tie for second with Sporting Kansas City in the Eastern Conference.

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.