Posts

Moreno finale spoiled as Toronto FC comes from behind in 3-2 win

Dwayne De Rosario scored twice in the second half to lead a come from behind win for the visiting Toronto FC in their 3-2 win over D.C. United in Jaime Moreno’s last game ever for the Black-and-Red. Moreno did however temporarily overtake Jeff Cunningham for the all-time goal scoring lead with his 133rd goal off a penalty kick conversion late in the first half. Defensive mistakes and a missed offside call doomed the home side in Moreno’s last match at RFK Stadium.

United got the party started early when Santino Quaranta gave the 18,071 in attendance a jolt with a rebound goal in the 2nd minute. The play started along the right sideline where Andy Najar received a long diagonal ball from Julius James. The 17-year old trapped the ball beautifully and duly waited for the overlapping run from Devon McTavish. McTavish played a ball into the box that Pablo Hernandez should have buried but his shot was well saved by former United goalkeeper Milos Kocic. The rebound however fell into the path of the hustling Quaranta who easily stabbed the ball into the net with exactly 1:00 been played.

Jaime Moreno

Jaime Moreno celebrates his final goal for D.C. United. Photo: Martin Fernandez.

United could not continue the momentum and in the 23rd minute the match was level at 1-1. Maicon Santos received a pass from Nick LaBrocca and hit a low left-footed piledriver that somehow got by Troy Perkins who seemed to have the angle covered.. After the goal both teams took turns knocking the ball around but it was some vintage Jaime Moreno magic in the 39th minute that brought many at RFK to tears. Perkins played a quick ball over the top of the TFC defense for Moreno to run onto in the corner. Moreno beat the defense to the ball and calmly held possession and waited for teammates to get into scoring position. As Pablo Hernandez was nearing the penalty spot, the crafty Bolivian centered the ball but it clearly deflected off the hand of TFC defender Julian de Guzman and a penalty was awarded. There was no doubt who would be taking the kick and there was equal no doubt in the result as Moreno calmly slotted the ball into the right side-netting to give United a 2-1 lead.

That lead would only last three minutes into the second half when TFC would equalize through a goal that should have been disallowed. Dwayne De Rosario clearly came from an offside position to meet a free kick delivered by LaBrocca and looped his header over Perkins into the far side-netting. Replays clearly showed De Rosario offside as the ball was played but the assistant linesman, in spite of a clear view, simply missed the call.

Moreno’s storybook ending of his United career unofficially came to an end in the 65th minute when TFC took the lead for good. United midfielder Kurt Morsink lost possession in midfield too easily and instantly fueled the TFC counterattack. TFC Academy player Nicholas Lindsay swooped up the loose ball and hit a no-look pass to the right flank to Jacob Peterson. His one-touch pass across the goalmouth went undefended and ended up on the boot of De Rosario who scored his second goal of the game and the game-winner.

United had a few more attacks left in them but in true 2010 United fashion, their utter and complete lack of finishing plays prevented them from sending Moreno off into the sunset with a win in his final game. Moreno was subbed out of the match in the 82nd minute and received hugs from all of the players on the field, including many TFC players in a sign of deep respect for the best player to ever grace the fields of Major League Soccer.

Jaime Moreno will be sorely missed and he was the last remaining piece of United’s last MLS Cup win in 2004.

United Notes

  • United finished with their worst-ever record in league play. 6-20-4 for 22 points
  • United also claims a few new records for futility. Not just team records, but league records as well. 17 shutouts was a new record and 21 goals scored was also a new record set this season.
  • United had their worst home record by miles this season. 3-11-1. In fact, they scored more points on the road (12) than at home (10) this season

United defense stifles Red Bull; Offense still MIA in 0-0 draw at Red Bull Arena

While normally a four-game road trip that ends with one win, a loss and two draws is looked upon as above average in MLS these days, it’s of little consolation to D.C. United after their 0-0 draw tonight at Red Bull Arena. With United losing eight of it’s first nine matches this season, their recent modest run of two wins, a loss and three draws still has them hovering near the bottom of MLS and time is starting to run out on the Black-and-Red. While playoff elimination is still technically a long ways off, what is apparent with United is their lack of offense this season. With tonight’s shutout, United has incredibly not scored in 10 of their 14 MLS matches this season. That’s not exactly a recipe for success but what is also apparent right now with United is that they are indeed playing more cohesive and better defensively as evident by tonight’s excellent defensive performance.

Juan Pablo Angel, long Red Bull’s most dangerous player for four seasons now and usually a United killer, was smothered by the central defensive pairing of Dejan Jakovic and Julius James. James in particular seemed to frustrate the entire Red Bull attack as his lunging tackles and physical play dominated the match. Angel had scored in four consecutive matches but hardly had a look at goal this evening as the Black-and-Red garnered their second defensive clean sheet of the season.

Truth be told, both teams struggled to put together any quality chances to score. United’s best chance was a tough-angled bid by Santino Quaranta in the 6th minute that was parried away by Red Bull goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul. United had a handful of promising efforts that either were hopeful long-range efforts or passing sequences that fizzled out in the last third of the field, a season long problem which mostly explains the teams lack of goalscoring this season. Red Bulls chances weren’t much better either as Troy Perkins only had to make two routine saves all evening long.

As it happens though, United did finish their longest road trip of the season with 5 points in 4 matches and with the team struggling to score goals, that seems quite a feat at this point of the season. Up next for United is a long awaited return to RFK Stadium on Thursday night when they entertain Seattle Sounders FC. This match will be live on ESPN2 starting at 8pm EST

DC United's Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal agains i-95 rival Philadelphia Union, but it wasn't enough to give United the vicotory

United nightmarish start continues with 3-2 loss to expansion Philadelphia Union

DC United's Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal agains i-95 rival Philadelphia Union, but it wasn't enough to give United the vicotory

DC United’s Jaime Moreno notched a bizarre goal in the second half of his team’s match against i-95 rival Philadelphia Union to tie the score at 2, but it wasn’t enough to give United a point or the victory. (Photo: Rafael Crisostomo)

Sebastion Le Toux scored a hat trick and powered the  Philadelphia Union to their first ever MLS victory in their home debut over D.C. United by a 3-2 scoreline. Don’t let the close score fool you, United were outmatched for 80 of the 90 minutes as the home side took only four minutes to take the lead. Le Toux got on the end of a cross from Roger Torres to power an unmarked header past Troy Perkins for the early deficit. Lax marking from United allowed the lanky Frenchman to simply walk through the penalty area.

Things didn’t improve for the visiting Black and Red as the first half saw a no rhythm or sense of composure on either end of the field as the expansion side passed triangles around the befuddled visitors. Philadelphia extended their lead in the 40th minute on a devastating counterattack. United were pushed up field playing their first corner of the game and Torres got hold of a clearance and sent the ball up field to Alejandro Moreno. Moreno did well to shield off Kurt Morsink and then fired a laser precise pass across the field to Le Toux who sprinted all alone into the box. As desperate United defenders converged, Le Toux fired low and hard to Perkins right and it was 2-0 for the Union.

After halftime head coach Curt Onalfo made the obvious choice to insert Jaime Moreno into the match. The Bolivian sparked United immediately creating a few dangerous opportunities but it was the Union that almost increased their lead to 3-0 when Le Toux was sent in alone when Dejan Jakovic fell pray to a dummy move from Alejandro Moreno. Perkins did well to come off his line and thwart the challenge and keep the score at 2-0. In the 63rd minute United finally broke their seasons duck when Santino Quaranta picked up a bad pass from Michael Orozco and let loose a left-footed blast from 22 yards that took a slight deflection and got past the diving Chris Seitz to halve the lead.

In the 70th minute Jaime Moreno tied the match on one of the most bizarre goals in MLS history. Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz was just about to punt the ball out of the box when Moreno faked a move towards Seitz just as he dropped the ball to volley it. Since Moreno never actually made contact, the move froze Seitz in his tracks and the ball fell to the ground. The Bolivian swept it up, put a fake on Seitz and easily slotted the ball into the empty net to give the visitors a highly improbable tie match at 2-2.

That all changed in the 81st minute when Alejandro Moreno was adjudged to be taken down in an obvious goal scoring opportunity. A red card was show to United’s Dejan Jakovic and the resulting free kick was placed easily inside the far post giving the Union their first ever MLS win by a 3-2 margin. United must now find a way to pick themselves up and get back on track as they start a 3-match home stand starting next weekend against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, April 17th.

United Notes

– defender Juan Manuel Pena was subbed out of the match early in the first half with a hamstring strain

– Dejan Jakovic will miss the Chicago Fire match with his red card

Red hot Moreno leads D.C. United to their first Charleston Challenge Cup; United beats Charleston 2-0

At some point in the near future, Jaime Moreno will no longer be playing for D.C. United. The 36-year old Bolivian goalscorer will keep playing this game as long as he keeps being an effective player. Tonight Moreno scored twice to prolong Father Time and help the Black and Red to a 2-0 victory over the host Charleston Battery and won their very first Charleston Challenge Cup.

Moreno scored on a glancing header off a Christian Castillo corner kick midway through the first half. The United legend closed out the scoring in stoppage time of the first half with a very cheeky penalty kick chip that badly fooled the helpless Charleston goalkeeper. Santino Quaranta was brought down in the box after a nice pass from Castillo and an equally nice turn by Tino on the defender who dragged him down.

United also retained the vaunted Coffee Pot Cup, their own individual competition with the Battery. The Charleston Battery supporters group will pay for the beer that will fill the Cup as United’s fans will drink from the Cup in the Three Lions Pub after the match.

United will now turn their attention to the season opening match next Saturday night in Kansas City. The best news of the day, aside from United obtaining more silverware, was that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement was ratified and signed this afternoon paving the way for the start of the MLS season this Thursday evening.

United wins opener 2-1 over Real Salt Lake in Charleston Challenge Cup

Jaime Moreno scored twice in the second half to lead D.C. United to a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake in the opening match of the Charleston Challenge Cup in Daniel Island, South Carolina.

Moreno capitalized on a blunder from former United goalkeeper Nick Rimando late in the second half.  A Rimando clearance was blocked by the good hustle from substitute Adam Cristman and the resulting rebound was easily dispatched into the empty net from 25 yards by the Bolivian sniper. Moreno added the game-winning goal just moments later when he latched onto a Santino Quaranta corner kick that made it’s way through a thicket of players to the back post where Moreno easily slid the ball home.

United played the match with a majority of starters going the full 90 minutes. Moreno, Dejan Jakovic, Devon McTavish, Troy Perkins, Santino Quaranta and Kurt Morsink all went the distance. United also got a good performance from Bolivian trialist defender Juan Manuel Pena. Pena, who played on the 1994 World Cup team with Moreno, has been playing in Spain for the better part of his career. He looked lively and in control for the 60 minutes he was on the field. Julius James replaced him and likewise was very steady as the Real Salt Lake threats were few and far between after taking a 1-0 halftime lead.

In the 41st minute, United’s defensive midfielder Morsink was whistled for a foul in the box when he challenged Ned Grabavoy. Though Grabavoy went down very easily, the match referee didn’t hesitate in pointing to the penalty spot. Robbie Findley stepped up and sent Perkins the wrong way to give the defending champs the lead.

United will now take on Toronto FC on Wednesday evening at 7:15 pm at Blackbaud Stadium. You can go to www.behindthebadge.com to view the match online, courtesy of Toronto FC

Heartbreak for United as stoppage time penalty draws match with Kansas City at 2-2; United now needs major help for playoffs

D.C. United was four stoppage time minutes away from going back to the MLS playoffs. By virtue of Toronto’s awful gag job (5-0 loss to Red Bull) and Real Salt Lake’s comprehensive 3-0 win over Colorado, United was in position to advance to the postseason with a win. Julius James, hobbled with an injured hamstring, leaped over a Kansas City defender in the 82nd minute and headed home a weak clearance from Kevin Hartman and gave United brief hope that they pulled off the improbable come from behind win.

However, a stoppage time red card issued to Fred for intentionally keeping a goal bound ball out of the net with his right elbow set the stage for Claudio Lopez’ penalty conversion in the 2-2 draw tonight at Comerica Ballpark in Kansas City, Kansas this evening. Rodney Wallace had a right-footed effort sting the inside of the post after the equalizer from Lopez that would have certainly seen the Black-and-Red through to the playoffs. As it stands now, United will need one scenario and one scenario only to advance to the playoffs. A Dallas draw in Seattle and a New England loss in Columbus. While both results are not out of the realm of possibility, as of this publishing, FC Dallas had a 1-0 lead in Seattle late in the first half of their match.

United came out of the game playing the obviously more attentive soccer as the Wizards had been eliminated last weekend. Julius James had a header go off the far post and Christian Gomez, later subbed out in the first half after suffering a clash of heads, missed narrowly wide. The Wizards then stepped up and got the games first goal in the 30th minute. Graham Zuisi (from Maryland) sent in a free kick that Kei Kamara got a diving header to and glanced it past United goalkeeper Steve Cronin for a 1-0 lead that held up through halftime.

After the restart, United obviously were in dire straights and got the game leveled on a rather dodgy penalty call mid-way through the second half. Fred was patrolling the right sideline and cut into the box and seemed to go down without much contact. The referee bought the move and MLS’ all-time leader in both penalty conversions and goal scoring, Jaime Moreno,  stepped up and was fortunate to beat Hartman as he got a glove on the shot but it still trickled past and the match was level at 1-1.

Later in the match, United defender Julius James suffered a hamstring injury when tracking back to defend a Wizards counter attack. The Trinidadian defender was out of the match for a few minutes and with United having used all their subs was forced to move James up top as not to have an injured player on their 3-man back line. United was awarded a free kick in the 82nd minute and when Hartman mishit his clearance, the injured but clearly athletic James rose way above the ground and easily nodded the ball into the empty net to set off a raucous celebration as it seemed United just might have pulled the rabbit out of the hat.

It was not to be however as the Wizards clawed their way back. In the 90th minute the Wizards had a corner kick and United struggled to clear the ball out and with a shot heading for the empty net, Fred stuck out his elbow and left referee Jair Marrufo no choice in showing the red card and pointing to the spot. United’s season started out on a dodgy penalty call against them and most likely also ended on a penalty called against them. Quite a turnaround considering United didn’t give up a penalty all of last season.

Now it’s a waiting game for United.

United falls to San Jose 2-1 at RFK; In danger of not making playoffs for second year in a row

There used to be a time when D.C. United scored first, they most likely won that match. This is no longer the case as the San Jose Earthquakes scored twice in the second half to come from behind to beat United 2-1 at RFK Stadium this afternoon in front of 14, 375 disappointed fans. The loss, United’s second consecutive home loss in MLS, keeps United two points out of the playoff race. A win today would have seen the Black and Red leapfrog three teams into a comfortable position with three matches remaining in the season.

After going the first 11 MLS home matches without a loss this season, United has now coughed up two poor losses at the most important time of the season. Jaime Moreno scored a fantastic goal in the 26th minute to give the home side a deserved lead. However, as has been the case numerous times this season, United could not add to their lead and got to halftime holding the 1-0 margin. The goal came about from some nice and not often seen flank play. Ben Olsen received a ball on the left flank in the 26th minute and held possession and waited for the overlapping run from Chris Pontius. The rookie sent in a left-footed one-timer that Moreno expertly controlled with his right foot and then unleashed a left-footed blast underneath former United goalkeeper Andrew Webber. The goal was the Bolivian’s 129 goal, the all-time leader in MLS.

The second half saw the visitors come flying out of the gate and they should have tied the match in the 5oth minute when Ryan Johnson headed home a goal in a challenge with United goalkeeper Josh Wicks. Referee Baldomero Toledo inexplicably blew the play dead immediately when he saw Wicks crumple to the ground. Wicks left the match with an injury to his left shoulder and was replaced by Milos Kocic. It didn’t take long for the energized Quakes to finally equalize. In the 58th minute, United defender Julius James fouled Ryan Johnson 20 yards in front of goal with a bear hug. El Salvador’s National Team captain Ramon Sanchez stepped up and curled a beautiful free-kick into the near post upper 90 that gave Kocic no chance. San Jose increased their lead in the 73rd minute on a very dodgy piece of defending by Marc Burch. Burch, returning to the lineup after being out for three weeks, decided to try and body the ball off of onrushing San Jose attacker Arturo Alvarez. The speedy Salvadoran-American easily stripped the ball from Burch and his shot was deflected by Clyde Simms off the crossbar. The rebound found the head of the diving Ryan Johnson who easily dispatched the ball into the empty net to give the Quakes the game-winning goal.

United finally awoke from their second half slumber and should have equalized and gone ahead on numerous occasions. However, as has been the case too often this season, United couldn’t find the target when it mattered. Chris Pontius had two golden chances to equalize. In the 81st minute he latched onto a Santino Quaranta cross and headed straight into the ground and over the bar. Had he simply directed it to the far post, Webber would have had no chance at it. Just one minute later Pontius again was denied when his bicycle kick was cleared off the line by Ramiro Corrales. Finally in the 89th minute substitute Boyzzz Khumalo had his shot carom off the top of the crossbar and United was done with their chances at getting any points in this match.

The loss is a crippling blow for the Black and Red as they lost a glorious opportunity to jump into prime playoff positioning. United, who was off from league play last weekend, saw a number of other results in the league over the past two weeks go in favor of United and set them up with this great opportunity. It wasn’t to be and now United finds themselves in a position to almost have to win their last three matches to even have a chance at making the playoffs. Next up for United is their 5th match in group play for the CONCACAF Champions League this Wednesday against San Juan Jebloteh. A win in that match combined with a loss by Marathon against group leaders Toluca will guarantee United passage into the knockout phase next Spring.

United’s next league match is against fellow playoff hopefuls Chivas USA at RFK Stadium next Saturday evening.

United battles back twice to gain 2-2 draw in Dallas

Marc Burch and Jaime Moreno tallied on either side of halftime to help United come from behind twice in their 2-2 draw at Pizza Hut Park on Saturday evening against FC Dallas. Both goals offset poor positional efforts that allowed both goals for FC Dallas. The draw for the Black and Red brought them even with the New England Revolution, 4-2 losers at home to Kansas City, in the standings with 33 points apiece. However, the Revolution have both the head to head tiebreaker with United (with a win and a draw in two matches this season against United) and more importantly, two games in hand to make up the difference.

The scoring started in the 10th minute when defender Julius James took a poor angle on a ball sent over the defense and Jeff Cunningham outmuscled the Jamaican and only had to poke it over Josh Wicks to give the home side a 1-0 lead. Wicks, a suprise starter considering his recent blowups in back to back matches, really didn’t need to come out as Cunningham was angling away from goal with James ready to recover. The goal seemed to snap United out of their early game malaise and they were able to draw level just before halftime. In the 44th minute United drew a foul about 30 yards from goal and Marc Burch unleashed his trademark left-footed blast and a redirection from FC Dallas midfielder helped it past Dario Sala to send the teams to the locker room tied at 1-1.

It didn’t take long for FC Dallas to regain the lead when in the 50th minute a Dave van Den Berg cross was badly misjudged by James again and David Ferreira took it calmly off his chest and volleyed past Wicks for a 2-1 lead. United didn’t give up and the game changed for good in the 56th minute when Santino Quaranta did a rare thing for United this season, he got behind the defense and was taken down from behind by defender Daniel Torres just as he was about to shoot on goal. Torres clipped the heels of Quaranta and a penalty was called for the Black and Red. Torres was also shown a red card for denying a goal scoring opportunity. MLS’ all-time leading goal scorer Jaime Moreno stepped up and easily sent Sala the wrong way and United had the match leveled at 2-2.

Both teams had opportunities to take the lead in the remaining 30 minutes with the best of the chances falling to Quaranta in the 87 minute when his shot was rifled into the side netting at a bad angle.

With the draw, United now has an opportunity with 5 straight home matches to make a serious run at a solid playoff position. However their task is now made much more difficult with the news that their top defender Dejan Jakovic is in Germany getting hernia surgery that would put him out of both upcoming matches this week at RFK. United doesn’t play another MLS match after next week until September 27th against the San Jose Earthquakes, which should be plenty of time for Jakovic to recover.

United ends long road drought with massive effort in 1-0 win in Chicago

D.C. United got a much needed road win and snapped the team right back into a playoff position with a tough fought 1-0 win in the Windy City over the Chicago Fire. Bryan Namoff’s second headed goal of the season was all the Black and Red needed on a night that saw United pull off their second consecutive league shutout. United has been MLS’ worst defensive road team this season and perhaps their visit to Chicago was exactly what they needed to snap themselves out of a bad patch of form. United has now won three consecutive matches at Toyota Park and they have jumped back over Toronto FC help their playoff positioning. United only has two road matches remaining this season with five home matches sandwiched in between them.

United got the scoring started in the 11th minute with a rare headed free kick goal. Christian Gomez lined up a free kick from about 40 yards out on the right side of the field and the ball whipped into the box and met the head of Bryan Namoff who skimmed it easily to the far post and a 1-0 lead for United.

Chicago continued to pour forward throughout the remainder of the first half but while they presented some dangerous and nervy moments for United in their barely used 4-4-2 formation, they rarely challenged United netminder Josh Wicks. A header from CJ Brown and a wayward Cuauhtemoc Blanco free kick from 19 yards were the only serious challengers for United. United managed to hold on and get to the locker room with the 1-0 lead.

With United’s penchant to give up leads and goals throughout the MLS season, United went from their familiar 3-5-2 to a more defensive 4-4-2 to start the match. After the goal in the first half, that actually morphed into a 4-5-1 when it was clear that Ben Olsen couldn’t hack playing on the right side of midfield . As the second half progressed, it seemed United was more interested in bunkering down than settling the ball and counter attacking. It seemed obvious the goal was to frustrate the Fire and try to hold on to the lead for as long as possible. But somewhere along the way United figured their best defense could be their best offense.

United almost doubled their lead in the 63rd minute when a sustained period of possession resulted in a near goal from Ben Olsen. March Burch sent a driving ball to the far side of the penatly area where Santino Quaranta one-timed his volley to Olsen who’s toe-poke just narrowly went wide of the far post. Chicago nearly equalized a minute later but Wicks dove to his right to smother a Marco Pappa drive. Amazingly, the Black and Red came right back down to the other end of the field and Luciano Emilo forced Jon Busch off his line and he made a jumping reaction save to Emilio’s attempted chip over the diminutive goalkeeper to keep the scoreline at 1-0 for United.

United continued to gain more traction in the match and actually carved out a number of decent chances but couldn’t put anything behind Jon Busch. Marc Burch might have had the best opportunity on a rare counter attack in the 75th minute when substitute Jaime Moreno fed him down the left flank and the left-footer with a hammer for a peg hesitated when an open look on his preferred left foot was available. He instead chose to fake his oncoming defender and eventually sent in a cross that caused a few defensive problems for the Fire but was eventually cleared out of danger.

Chicago nearly got the game-tying goal in the 85th minute when a Blanco cross was met by Mike Banner who headed  it into the middle of the United goal area. Julius James and Josh Wicks nearly collided but the Jamaican defender managed to get the ball over the bar to keep the shutout intact.  Chicago nearly had another chance to tie in the 90th minute when James fouled a Chicago attacker right at the top of the box, but Blanco misfired for the third time in the match and United knew at that point that the win was in the cards. The match had a very unusual conclusion which saw Josh Wicks nearly come to blows with his own teamate Marc Burch. Wicks was complaining about the fact that Burch seemingly was lax in his defending a Chicago onslaught. Cooler heads prevailed however and United got back to finishing off the match.

 

 United now will face the Seattle Sounders FC in the U.S. Open Cup final on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. United will have the opportunity to win their 13th major trophy in their existence. For anyone keeping score, that’s 13 more than Metrostars/Red Bull have ever gotten, should United win the match.

 

United Notes

– Danny Szetela and new signing Ty Shipalane were left back in DC. Andrew Jacobson (ankle) was out injured and also left back in Washington.

– Big thumbs down for Fox Soccer Channel when at halftime, their 6 in 60 segment (a series of questions in one minute) included a question for Santino Quaranta about “your preferred choice of adult beverage”. Apparantly no one at FSC bothered to realize that the youngster is in the throws of substance abuse recovery. Nice job.

– Thanks to results across the league, United is still out of a playoff position in 9th place. They could drop even further if the Colorado Rapids win on Sunday afternoon.

– Dejan Jackovic is now suspended for United’s next match at Dallas next Saturday when he got a late yellow card during the Wicks/Burch bust up.

United gains rare shutout in 0-0 draw with Galaxy

D.C. United set a club record with it’s 11th draw of the season in last nights 0-0 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy in front of a season high 22,000 plus at soggy and humid RFK Stadium. While the defensive effort was a massive improvement over performances from the last two months, the offensive now all of a sudden is missing in action. That’s not entirely the truth however as United did actually score and yet again was wrongly denied a goal by an incorrect offside decision. United has already had three apologies from league officials on separate occasions this season when decisions made by officials have gone against the Black and Red and there is no reason to believe a fourth apology is forthcoming later this week.

In the eight minute Luciano Emilio timed a run beautifully and snapped a shot past Los Angeles goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts for an apparent 1-0 lead. However the far side assistant referee had his flag raised for offside. Subsequent replays showed that Emilio had at least two Galaxy defenders keeping him onside when Fred clipped the ball over the defense for his fellow Brazilian to latch onto. To United’s credit however they didn’t let it affect their play and remained resolute in their defending and allowed the Galaxy only a few dangerous chances throughout the entire match to gain the valuable shutout. United did have another bone of contention in the 67th minute when it appeared that Galaxy defender shoved Emilio to the ground in the penalty area. Referee Mark Geiger waved the play away but again replays showed no effort from the Galaxy defender to play the ball while Emilio had made a nice chest trap move to avoid the Galaxy player and he was shoved to the ground for his efforts.

At the end of the day this was a match that United sorely needed three points from and only garnering one point is hurting the squad right now. United remains just a single point out of the eighth and final playoff spot, thanks to Toronto’s 2-0 loss in Los Angeles to Chivas USA. However, a New England home victory tonight over Real Salt Lake could push United to 10th place overall. Conversely, should RSL take the points, they too would move a point above United in the playoff chase.

United will now direct their attention to their Wednesday evening CONCACAF Champions League match with Toluca of Mexico at RFK. After that United has to go on the road yet again and face the Chicago Fire. The good news there is that United actually won both of their road matches at Toyota Park last season.

United Notes

– Head coach Tom Soehn was not on the sidelines tonight and was tested for the H1N1 virus after coming to work on Friday very ill. Chad Ashton and Mark Simpson took over the coaching duties with Ashton meeting the media afterwards.

– Danny Szetela has managed to find himself in the doghouse in record time. No details were given of his indiscretion.

– David Habarugira didn’t make the final 18 last night and not suprisingly defender Greg Janicki was left off as well.

– Boyzzz Khumalo has had complications from his wrist surgery and is apparently out for another four weeks of recovery.