For a few moments in today’s 1-0 victory for D.C. United at Toronto FC, the season-long script of misery was playing itself out once again. United dominated possession, dominated the scoring chances and had a mind-numbing miss in the second half that seemed to be a hallmark of their dismal 2010 campaign.
Julius’s James’ 81st minute goal changed all that and the Black-and-Red got themselves a well deserved victory. While the win will do little for United’s miniscule playoff chances, the mere fact that they finally rewarded themselves for good play could give this team what it has had very little of this season – some confidence.
The game-winning goal came about when Danny Allsopp won a free kick near the right side corner flag. Second half substitute Branko Boskovic sent a whipped in ball that Allsopp got the slightest touch to. The ball fell to the feet of James who showed remarkable composure in waiting for the defender to commit before blasting a left-footed shot to the far post.
That composure was needed earlier in the match when United had a number of opportunities to take the lead. Allsopp and Pablo Hernandez worked a very nice give-and-go that left Allsopp all alone in the box but Toronto FC goalkeeper Stephen Frei did well to come out and smother the shot to keep the game at 0-0.
Just minutes into the second half United should have taken the lead. Andy Najar got loose at the top of the penalty area and managed to work his way through two defenders with only Frei to beat. Najar made the correct choice in slotting the ball to his left to a wide open Santino Quaranta but he over hit his pass forcing Quaranta to try and slide to meet the ball. Quaranta’s effort went agonizingly wide of the open goal and you could sense a seasons worth of frustration starting to build for United with that miss.
United did manage to overcome that miss unlike in previous matches this season and put the pressure on the home side that still has a decent chance to make the playoffs. The loss however will be a dagger blow to Toronto FC as they were facing the last place team in the league who was having trouble scoring goals. Toronto did not seem to show any urgency until they fell behind late in the match and while there were a few troubling chances for the home side, goalkeeper Troy Perkins and his defense were rock solid in keeping the clean sheet.
- Clyde Simms was a late scratch when he pulled up with an injury in pregame warmups
- Boskovic made a substitute appearance after helping Montenegro to two wins in European Qualification during the past week.
- D.C. United will be facing Western Conference leader, La Galaxy, on Saturday September 18 at the Home Depot Center. Fans of sports betting sites should take into account United’s win over Toronto FC when placing bets.
- D.C. United announced that Bill Hamid, United’s 19-year-old goalkeeper, will travel to Birmingham, Alabama, to undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum on his right shoulder effectively ending his season. Hamid has started eight games for the Black-and-Red but has been struggling with shoulder pain all season.