Josh Wolff got the scoring started in the 31st minute of sloppy first half between both sides. Andy Najar set Charlie Davies loose down the right flank and Davies appeared to have gotten away with a slight push which sent Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado to the turf. Davies raced towards the end line and hit a perfectly weighted square pass along the ground to far post where Wolff buried his second goal of the season. United nearly doubled their lead four minutes later when rookie Perry Kitchen’s low line drive was somehow saved by Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
After the half time break, both teams settled into the match with a much more crisp display of soccer and United did indeed double their lead thanks to a eerily similar build up to their first goal. This time though, Najar dribbled his way seemingly through the entire Seattle defense and tapped a ball out to the wing for Wolff who one-timed a beautiful curling pass to the far post where Davies’ sliding effort poked the ball home for a 2-0 United lead.
Considering recent events with United’s defense, things were going to get interesting especially after Seattle was awarded a penalty in the 70th minute, just two minutes after United were denied what seemed to be a sure penalty when Kitchen was steamrolled in Seattle’s penalty area. Brad Evans stepped up and sent United keeper Bill Hamid the wrong way to halve the deficit.
United’s much maligned defensive unit however did a good job of keeping Seattle off the scoreboard for the final 20 minutes of the match but not without difficulty. United’s defending on free kicks continues to be an adventure as Seattle nearly equalized on numerous occasions only to see the ball go narrowly wide of goal or deflect off a player and go out of bounds. Bill Hamid came up with a number of saves to keep United on the winning side of the ledger, the best of them coming just two minutes after Seattle had scored their penalty. A Seattle counter attack saw the ball played from the right flank over United’s defense to the back post where an unmarked Alvaro Fernandez’s bullet header was tipped over the bar by Hamid to keep the match at 2-1.
With Seattle pressing forward, United did a very good job of keeping possession of the ball and out of the hands of the visitors over the final 10 minutes and rode the game out and gained a valuable three points to help soothe the frayed nerves of the players, coaches and fans. Up next for United is FC Dallas on Saturday night at RFK Stadium.
– Marc Burch failed a late fitness test and was out of the 18-man roster. Daniel Woolard started at left back and played very well
– Chris Pontius left the match in the 49th minute when his calf tightened up on him. Pontius got kicked in the calf last week against Houston but it lingered after the halftime break and he was removed as a precaution. My guess is that he won’t be available on Saturday
– Clyde Simms cramped up late in the match and was replaced by Steven King who got his first MLS minutes of the season