United makes history in 1-0 home loss to Columbus

It’s now two teams that hold one of the most futile records in Major League Soccer history. D.C. United and the expansion Toronto FC from 2007  are co-holders of the record for most times being shut out in a single MLS season. Both teams share 15 clean sheets against them, unfortunately for United, they still have 7 more matches to play and guess who is on the docket next week. Yup, you guessed it, Toronto FC.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto pounced on a goalkeeping muff from United youngster Bill Hamid and sent a ball into the empty net for the only goal in Columbus’ 1-0 win at RFK Stadium tonight. United weren’t even bothered to put up much of an effort as they didn’t even register a shot on goal for the entire 90 minutes. Granted, the visiting Crew weren’t much better, but they weren’t the ones desperate to give something to United’s quickly evaporating loyal fan base.

United, as per usual this season, had the chance to score first in the 6th minute. Santino Quaranta did well to out hustle crew defender Chad Marshall to a ball deep in the left corner and managed to work himself out enough space to curl in a right-footed cross that met the head of Danny Allsopp. Unfortunately with the goal staring at him, he managed to head well over the bar. In the 29th minute both Quaranta and Andy Najar had half-chances that were blocked and that was pretty much the extent of United’s chances on the evening. While the team stroked the ball around nicely, it was apparent to anyone watching that they simply didn’t have the talent or the firepower to breach the Columbus back line.

Columbus did manage to get on the board in the 23rd minute and they did so thanks to some Keystone Cops moments from United’s defense. It started when Kurt Morsink sent a ball behind Clyde Simms (who was playing central defense because of the call up to Canada for Dejan Jakovic) when Simms was clearly moving up the field. Simms stopped in his tracks and was forced to play the ball hurriedly back to Hamid in United’s goal. All the while, Schelotto was witnessing the calamity from United and make a beeline towards Hamid. Hamid’s first touch was bad and popped up in the air. Hamid still had time to calmly volley the ball away but he panicked in the presence of the Argentine maestro and completely whiffed on the ball. El Guille, as he is known, calmly picked up the loose ball and sent it under Hamid for the only goal of the game.

From then on it was quite the spectacle to witness United flail about in desperation. Already missing a number of starters due to call ups and injury, United had only Jaime Moreno as an offensive substitution left on the bench and even his introduction into the match in the second half did little to boost United’s already fading chances.

United will now head north to Canada to take on Toronto FC next Saturday at 4pm. Toronto would love nothing better than to erase their own names from MLS’ futility ranks with a shut out of the Black-and-Red. Seeing as United hasn’t scored in 15 of their 23 league matches, I would think their chances are better than ever in doing so.

United Notes

– Adam Cristman and Chris Pontius were late scratches. Cristman has what appears to be a rather serious knee injury that might need surgery. Though Ben Olsen talked about it after the match, he did not say if it ruled him out for the remainder of the season. Pontius is still nursing his season-long hamstring injury

– Juan Manuel Pena made the bench for United for the first time in nearly two months

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