Washington, D.C. – Frustration continues to mount for D.C. United as Michael Barrios scored twice in the first half to lead the visiting FC Dallas to a comfortable 3-0 win at RFK Stadium last night.
United continued their struggle on both ends of the pitch by giving up two goals through defensive mistakes and also failing to hit the net for the second time in four league matches so far during this early part of the season. United (0-2-2, 2 points) have now dropped to ninth place in the Eastern Conference after their ineffective start to 2016. If you include United’s two CONCACAF matches, the team is winless through six matches and have managed to only score three times in that span.
United were missing their stalwart central defender Steve Birnbaum (away with the US National Team) and it showed today as Kofi Opare took his place in the lineup. While Opare was far from blame on most defensive issues on the day, he was a chief conspirator in the games opening goal just 14 minutes into the game. A seemingly routine clearance from either Opari or Taylor Kemp would have done the trick as they both were retreating towards United’s goal tracking down a wayward header from midfield. However, at the critical time to make a decision, both players hesitated in clearing the ball and it bungled into the path of FC Dallas midfielder Michael Barrios. The diminutive Barrios gladly picked up the loose ball and expertly curled a left-footed shot around Travis Worra who had no chance to save the shot.
United up until that point had established the tempo to their liking and had threatened the FC Dallas goal numerous times but as would be the case for the entire day the final moment of magic never came for the Black-and-Red and were left angry and frustrated after giving up the opening goal so comically.
FC Dallas doubled their lead in the 28th minute when Barrios exploited a huge patch of field right through the heart of United’s defense and toe-poked a shot over the onrushing Worra to continue United’s misery.
After the break things didn’t get any easier as Maxi Urruti put the visitors up 3-0 in the 52nd minute. FC Dallas were missing seven of their players due to international duty, but none of them were their regular starters in the offensive half of the field. That trademark speed that FC Dallas is known for carved United up as just two passes unlocked United and sent Fabian Castillo out alone on the left flank. His first time cross hit Max Urruti perfectly in stride in the penalty area and despite pressure from Taylor Kemp he settled the cross and pushed it past Worra for the games final goal.
The drama would not stop there and United’s frustration would continue to grow. United were given a penalty in the 66th minute which appeared to be a classic make up call from referee Jose Carlos Rivero who had waived off a penalty claim from Patrick Nyarko just two minutes prior. The foul on Nyarko was as plain as the nose on your face but Rivero made a motion that the FC Dallas defender got the ball, which he clearly didn’t.
Two minutes later Sean Franklin was hardly touched in the area and actually kept on running towards the loose ball when the whistle inexplicably went against FC Dallas. Up stepped Fabian Espindola to take the penalty shot and his shot was weak and right into the diving arms of former Maryland Terrapin goalkeeper Chris Seitz. United now has missed it’s last four penalty kicks going back to Chris Rolfe’s miss against the New England Revolution during last seasons MLS playoff win at RFK. As Seitz outletted the save, Marcelo Sarvas caught up with Barrios and then all of sudden Barrios went down like he was shot. Rivero followed closely behind with a straight red card that sent Sarvas into a rage. Replays showed no contact through the player except for a wayward hand that barely brushed Barrios’ face.
With United a man down, the outcome was all but certain and now United will have to gather themselves and get ready for a cross-country flight and their first ever match at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California next Saturday night at 10:30 pm EST.