United vs Sporting Kansas City: United fall 1-0 to Sporting – go winless on the road for the year

Dom Dwyers 7th-minute goal was all Sporting Kansas City needed in their 1-0 win over D.C. United this evening at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The loss for United capped off a winless season on the road (0-14-3) with only six goals scored in their seventeen matches. The loss also guarantees that United can do no better than 4 wins on the season, a mark of futility that would match Tampa Bay’s league record back in 2001.

In a moment that encapsulates United horrific season, Perry Kitchen horribly misplayed an easy pass from teammate Jared Jeffrey in the seventh minute that allowed Sporting to take the early lead. Kitchen, seemingly with plenty of time for a routine clearance, dawdled on the ball before C.J. Sapong arrived and forced Kitchen into a back pass to Bill Hamid. Problem was was that Dom Dwyer was sensing the mistake and ghosted in and easily slipped the ball past a stunned Hamid for the 1-0 lead.

United could not recover from yet another tragic gifted goal to an opponent and spent the rest of the half chasing down Sporting. In spite of the territorial dominance from the home side, United did manage to carve out a golden opportunity just minutes after the Kitchen gaffe when Chris Pontius sent Jeffrey in all alone on Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen. Jeffrey over thought the situation and took one too many touches as Nielsen narrowed his angle on the United midfielder and Jeffrey could only produce a tame shot directly into the midsection of the goalkeeper.

That was pretty much it for the quality chances for United hoping to avoid becoming just the fifth team in MLS history to go an entire season without a win on the road. The Vancouver Whitecaps in their inaugural season of 2011 were the last team to pull off the dubious feat.

United, thoroughly outplayed on every level in the first forty-five minutes managed to at least carve out some nice possession in the second half but as has been the case all season long, most of that possession was meaningless and produced next to nothing in terms of scoring chances in the second stanza. Such as life for the 2013 version of D.C. United.

United will close their MLS season with a home match against the Houston Dynamo on NBC a week from this Sunday. This match will end what will be the worst season ever by an MLS squad if they fail to beat the Dynamo who are in the middle of a frantic playoff push by at least eight of the eleven Eastern Conference teams. Never fear, United only lost 4-0 to Houston at RFK earlier this season.

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