The start of the 25th season of MLS came and went, DC seemingly had a good offseason off the pitch as the Front Office listened to the fans and installed safe seating, the social media content was getting better and there were good vibes everywhere. It looked like we could get off to a great start. I was full of hope and optimism, seeing the likes of Flores and Gressel in the 11 and then with Asad & Sorga on the bench, I felt good.
Just under 17,000 (16,932 to be exact) were in attendance for the defeat by Colorado Rapids. From what I had seen and been told, it was freezing temperatures. The 1st half had lots of energy but a lot of scrappy play, which to be fair, for a first game of the season, that is to be expected. Nothing hugely clear cut from either side however, we did have a goal chalked off for offside. Flores moving just a little too early, but with a great header just inside the far post. And then moments later, Felipe had an effort fantastically saved by the Colorado keeper Clint Irwin. With neither side finding the back of the net, it finished 0-0 in the first half.
2nd half kicks off, and Colorado were looking the more energetic, keeping the ball, having some fluid attacking moves down the wings, really opening up the play. Kei Kamara doing what he does best and being a pain in the neck for the CB’s. Sam Nicholson looked good down the Rapids right hand side. But it was DCU who broke the deadlock. A cracking corner from Gressel, who had been lethal from the set piece all game, whips it in towards the far post, Canouse peels away from his marker and is left alone to nod in the 1st goal of the season. Then 7 minutes later, it was 1-1. A ball came in from the right and Kei Kamara moved in to also head home. No-one picked him up, it seemed that Brillant should have been the one and he didn’t get in front of him.
Yamil Asad came on for Flores which appeared to change how we played, and it was great to see him back. Asad has a more direct running approach compared to Flores. However we looked very leggy, tiredness seemed to dictate how we played after he came on. We fell into a more defensive shape and it felt like DCU of the back half of 2019. Ben not using his subs as they were not tall enough was not a good reason to not use them.
And the tiredness kicked in when in added time we conceded the winner, in the 92nd minute Canouse’s clearance didn’t really make it out of the box, and up steps Jonathan Lewis to slot it home to take the kick out of DC United’s home opener.
- Russell Canouse scored his first goal of 2020; his second career goal.
- Julian Gressel recorded his first career assist for the Black-and-Red; his 36th career MLS assist.
- Edison Flores made his D.C. United and MLS debut as a starter.
- Julian Gressel made his D.C. United debut as a starter.
- D.C. United are 21-14-10 against Colorado all-time.
- The Black-and-Red started their second full-season at Audi Field since opening in July 2018.
- D.C. United are 19-7-7 at Audi Field all-time.
D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Russel Canouse; Felipe, Júnior Moreno; Ulises Segura, Julian Gressel, Edison Flores (Yamil Asad 71′); Ola Kamara
Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Oniel Fisher, Kevin Paredes, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Erik Sorga
Colorado Rapids Lineup: Clint Irwin, Keegan Rosenberry, Drew Moor, Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines, Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Younes Namil (Nicolás Mezquida 64′), Sam Nicholson (Jonathan Lewis 85′), Andre Shinyashiki (Diego Rubio 80′), Kei Kamara
Unused Substitutes: Danny Wilson, Deklan Wynne, Cole Bassett, Andre Rawls
Man of the Match
Post match press conference
We have expansion side Inter Miami at Audi Field on March 7th. Kick off is 8:30pm(ish) and is being shown on Freesports here in the UK.