Perry Kitchen (pictured) rises above the fray to score the first of his two goals tonight against Red Bull. Photo: Martin Fernandez.
No one is denying the fortune that has come D.C. United’s way through the first five weeks of the season. Back-to-back stoppage-time wins in the past two weeks have painted over some issues, particularly on the offensive side of things through the opening five weeks of the MLS campaign.
Tonight however the visiting New York Red Bulls flipped the script and grabbed a stoppage-time goal to secure a two-goal comeback in tonight’s 2-2 draw with United before 16,304 fans at RFK Stadium.
Lloyd Sam, quickly ascending to the top of the United Killers list, pounced on a Bill Hamid spill of a Sacha Kjlestan free kick from 30 yards away in the 91st minute to spoil what had been United’s best 90-minute performance of the season.
Perry Kitchen bagged both of United’s goals on the night, the first via a Taylor Kemp corner kick in the 26th minute and then a 23-yard laser to beat Luis Robles in the 67th minute to stake United to it’s first two-goal lead of the season.
That feeling lasted all of sixty seconds as United (3-1-1, 10 points) allowed Red Bull (2-0-2, 8 points) to cut the lead in half when defender Damien Perrinelle went relatively unchallenged to head home a corner kick of his own.
United seemed to have squelched the Red Bull comeback until a Luis Silva foul in the 89th minute set up the game-tying sequence. Kjlestan stepped up and hit a dipping shot over the wall that normally would be handled easily by a goalkeeper of Bill Hamid’s stature, however Hamid spilled the shot in front of goal and Sam beat Taylor Kemp to the ball and slammed it home for his second goal against United this season. Sam has scored three goals in four league games against United going back to late last season.
Even with the disappointing finish, United remains alone atop the Eastern Conference and welcome former conference foes the Houston Dynamo to town next Saturday night. Additionally, it will be the last game for Fabian Espindola to serve his six-game suspension imposed by the league for his physical confrontation with an official as United were eliminated by Red Bull last November.
Espindola will be a welcomed face to the lineup when they travel to Vancouver in two weeks time.