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Match Report: DCU 1-2 Colorado Rapids

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.

Match Facts

  • 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. 

Lineups

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

Up next

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.

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Match Review

Match Report: POR v DC

Thoughts

Firstly, it’s great to see DC getting back to back wins, and even better that it’s been on the road. No goals conceded too, it certainly feels like it has been a while, in fact, the last time DC got back to back wins was back in May, and they were at home for those, and the last back to back clean sheets was also in May too. In this league it’s all about form at the right time, and DC right now are building that form. We’ve got 3 important “Cup Finals” coming up, and with one more win, we have bagged ourselves a playoff place, but we want to have that home game so we need to do all we can to get that spot. Seattle at home, followed by a trip to Red Smell Arena and a final game at home to FC Cincinnati.

This game was all about getting that win, we took the lead through a fortunate own goal. Slick passing followed by a cross by Segura, that cross was just across the six yard box, a dangerous area, but no DC players are nearby, in fact the closest was Rooney and he was by the edge of the box, Tuiloma slides in and taps it in for us. Great finish. There was a little bit of controversy in this game, which seems to be the going thing for any MLS game right now. Corner came in and Steve Clark, in no man’s land, ends up ricocheting off him and Williamson clears it. At 1st glance, I was cheering, and then the replays came on, and it just went over the line.

Credit: Pablo Maurer (Twitter)

Make your own mind up on that, but it just goes to show that VAR should have been used here, it wasn’t, and something needs to be done over the close season to not only train the refs, but actually get those who are looking at these camera angles to actually get the refs to look at them too. To add to that, maybe some investment into Hawkeye technology for this, that takes seconds and isn’t reliant on an interpretation.

The 2nd half of the game was one way traffic really, all Portland and at one point, they had 80% of the possession for that half. Many shots raining down as much as the weather at the DC goal, but only 4 of the 20-odd attempts hit the target, that’s as many as DC had, but we had only 6 attempts on goal. Portland’s struggles were getting to challenge Hamid. So many times DC have been in this position, taking a slender lead, defending deep in the 2nd half, but, we’ve won 11 of 11 games doing that now. Can’t say we aren’t good at protecting a lead.

Arriola had a great chance to give us a 2 goal cushion after being played through on goal by Segura, but a top notch save from Clark onto the post denied Arriola his 6th of the season. Acosta came on later and him, Arriola and Amarikwa all teamed up to play keep ball in the corner and wound down a couple of minutes of added time, great game management. Portland never found a way through and it finished 1-0 to DC.

Match Facts

  • Wayne Rooney returned to the starting XI for the first time since August 21 against the New York Red Bulls.
  • Bill Hamid recorded his 11th shutout of the season; a career season-high. 
  • Ulises Segura started his third consecutive match for D.C. United; he made his 30th appearance of the season. 
  • Russell Canouse made his second consecutive start at right back; United have conceded zero goals in that stretch.
  • D.C. United are 4-4-2 against Portland in club history.
  • The Black-and-Red are 2-3-1 on the road against the Timbers all-time.
  • The Black-and-Red are 6-6-4 on the road in 2019.
  • D.C. United recorded their second consecutive clean sheet on the road; their 11th of the season.

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Russell Canouse; Júnior Moreno, Felipe Martins; Lucas Rodríguez (Luciano Acosta 84′), Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura; Wayne Rooney (Quincy Amarikwa 79′) 

Unused Substitutes: Donovan Pines, Leonardo Jara, Ola Kamara, Chris Seitz, Emmanuel Boateng

Portland Timbers Lineup: Steve Clark, Jorge Moreira, Jorge Villafaña (Andrés Flores 79′), Bill Tuiloma, Claude Dielnda, Andy Polo, Diego Chara, Eryk WIlliamson (Tomás Conechny 62′), Marvin Loría (Cristhian Paredes 85′), Diego Valeri, Jeremy Ebobisse

Unused Substitutes: Marco Farfan, Aljaz Ivacic

Man of the Match

Credit: DC United Twitter

The official man of the match was Segura, he had a decent game, but not the best in my eyes, for me, it was the heart of the defence, the man who I called all game, Brick Wall Brillant. He was not allowing anything passed him, and picked up a hand injury towards the end of the game, but came back on to see the match out.

Up Next

We are back at Audi Field on September 23rd, when we play Seattle Sounders. Kick off is 1am BST and will be shown on Premier Sports 1.

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Blog Match Review

Match Report: MTL 0-3 DC

Thoughts

This match was certainly a curveball in more ways than one. From the announcement of the lineup, and the introduction of Canouse as a right back, Rooney out through suspension, and a woeful run of form. The only pleasing performance had to be the game against LA Galaxy, a game in which they showed heart and passion. All the talk from the camp was how there was a team meeting and how that involved clearing the air. And, that worked brilliantly.

One thing that had been an issue was the way DC played in the opening 10-15 minutes of the game. From the get-go, DC played in a high press fashion, challenging for the ball in the final 3rd, forcing them into mistakes. But what really shone for me in the 1st half was, was the way we took our chances. Kamara opening the scoring on 20 minutes, Rodriguez winning a free kick, Moreno firing it in, managing to break through the wall and falling to Kamara to score a proper poacher’s goal. And it didn’t stop there, Arriola scoring a perfect route one goal, Hamid pumping the ball through from a goal kick, challenge from Kamara on Piette who nodded it through to Arriola who stroked it passed Ed Busch in goal. DC weren’t done with the scoring, Kamara getting his 2nd of the game when a corner from Felipe, is nodded back across by Brillant and diverted in from Kamara. A great well worked goal, and DC showing what they can do. Montreal ended the 1st strongly with a number of efforts and crosses but couldn’t get beyond the defence.

2nd half kicked off, Montreal starting the half like they ended the 1st. All the possession was with the home side and DC having to defend with drive and determination. It seemed like this was the plan as the likes of Kamara and Arriola dropped deeper. That doesn’t mean to say there weren’t chances, of course there was but they were fewer. Montreal had a shout for a handball and penalty, but it was waved away after the ref had decided that the hand was in front of the body and therefore not making himself bigger. Urruti was booked for simulation, something I’m happy to have seen as it’s just horrendous to see that. Bojan got angry and was firing efforts with pace but not enough direction. And then Kamara spurned a glorious chance to get his hattrick, running to the left but off balance with his shot meant despite it being on target, it had no pace. DC’s subs were brought on late in the game, and provided the fresh legs required for those final moments, and it finished with a 3-0 road victory, and something for DC United to work with and hopefully provide a great end to the season.

Facts

  • Ola Kamara scored his second and third goals for the Black-and-Red, and his first brace since October 28, 2018, against Houston.
  • Bill Hamid recorded four saves and a clean sheet in the match, tying his career-high in single-season shutouts with 10. 
  • Paul Arriola scored in the 23rd minute of the match, his sixth goal for the club in 2019. 
  • Russell Canouse made his first start for United since July 27, 2019, against Chicago. 
  • Frédéric Brillant recorded his second assist in the 32th minute of the match.
  • D.C. United are now 7-5-7 against Montreal in club history.
  • The Black-and-Red are 3-4-3 on the road against the Impact all-time.
  • The Black-and-Red are 5-6-4 on the road in 2019.

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Russell Canouse; Júnior Moreno, Felipe Martins; Lucas Rodríguez, Paul Arriola (Luciano Acosta 87′), Ulises Segura (Leonardo Jara 90′); Ola Kamara (Quincy Amarikwa 87′) 

Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Donovan Pines, Marquinhos Pedroso, Emmanuel Boateng

Montreal Impact Lineup: Evan Bush: Bacary Sagna, Rudy Camacho, Daniel Lovitz, Jukka Raitala; Saphir Taïder, Lassi Lappalainen (Shamit Shome 77′), Orji Okwonkwo (Ballou Tabla 72′), Samuel Piette, Bojan Krkic, Maximiliano Urruti

Unused Substitutes: Clément Diop, Ken Krolicki, Clément Bayiha, Jorge Corrales, Zachary Brault-Guillard

Man of the Match

Totally agree, but it wouldn’t be a miss if this was given to Arriola either. Kamara played well and deserved his 2 goals.

Up Next

After the international break, we are up against Portland Timbers, on the road again on the 15th/16th September, kick off here in the UK is 12:38am, live on FreeSports.

Categories
Blog Match Review

Match Report: PHI 3-1 DC

As a fan, this is tough to write. I’ve watched the Post-Match Quotes, and you can see how much Paul Arriola & Steve Birnbaum are gutted and disappointed in the performances of late. Ben Olsen states that they are still figuring out the best group. When you’re 29 games into the season, and you’re still figuring that out, that’s inexcusable. As a head coach you should have that known before the season begins. You should have Plan A,B,C all the way through to Z. Paul openly admitted that the team lacked ideas going forward and that their wasn’t really any positives to take from the game. In the 2nd half, Union took their foot off the gas pedal which allowed DC to come back into the game, but that wasn’t of DC’s doing, which is why Paul is unhappy.

You’ve got to wonder how the team comes out so slowly in the game, again costing us early when Przybylko opens the scoring in the 5th minute. And it didn’t get any better as wave after wave of Union attacks came at the DC defence. And then another blow in the 15th minute came when a simple through ball, to Aaronson, who had no defenders around him, turned and then placed the ball passed keeper Hamid. And as if it couldn’t get much worse, it did when Ilsinho waltzed his way through a stand still defence and made it 3-0 in the 36th minute.

With the 2nd half, fans had been hoping that it couldn’t get much worse. Thankfully Union stood back and allowed DC to play a bit. Whether they were resting on their laurels, who knows but we started to find a way back in, we had much more of the ball, started getting a bit more energy and a way back into the game. We eventually had an effort through Kamara, who found it tough throughout the game. Further chances came but it was Acosta, who was making his first start since the last time we played Philly, managed to make it passed a few of the Union defenders, bit of luck with the ball being knocked back into his path, shot beneath Andre Blake and made it 3-1.

Despite some early subs, Quincy on for Kamara, Boateng for Arriola and Titi for Felipe, we couldn’t find another way through. Match finished 3-1.

Facts

  • Luciano Acosta scored his sixth goal of the season in the 56th minute; his first since the 1-1 draw against San Jose on June 1.
  • Bill Hamid recorded two saves in the match to equal his career-high of 110 saves in 2014.
  • Emmanuel Boateng made his second appearance for the Black-and-Red as a 69th-minute substitute.
  • Ola Kamara started his second consecutive match for the Black-and-Red.
  • Luciano Acosta made his first start since August 4 against the Philadelphia Union.
  • Ulises Segura made his first start since August 17 against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • D.C. United are now 8-13-4 against Philadelphia in club history.
    The Black-and-Red are 3-9-0 on the road against the Union all-time.
  • The Black-and-Red are 4-6-4 on the road in 2019.

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Leonardo Jara; Júnior Moreno, Felipe Martins (Lucas Rodríguez 79′); Paul Arriola (Emmanuel Boateng 69′), Luciano Acosta, Ulises Segura; Ola Kamara (Quincy Amarikwa 62′) 

Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Gordon Wild, Donovan Pines, Marquinhos Pedroso

Philadelphia Union Lineup: Andre Blake, Kai Wagner, Mark McKenzie, Raymon Gaddis, Jack Elliot, Brenden Aaronson (Fabrice-Jean Picault 73′), Jamiro Monteiro, Ilsinho (Marco Fabián 70′), Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Kasper Przybylko  

Unused Substitutes: Warren Creavalle, Robert James Allen, Andrew Wooten, Joe Bendik, Aurélien Collin

Man of the Match

Officially it’s Lucho Acosta, but I don’t think really anyone deserved it. For me, if there was any award to be given to anyone by DC United, it should be the travelling supporters. They were loud for 90 minutes and it was great to be able to hear them throughout the game. My People of the Match are the fans!

Up Next

It’s an away match against Montreal Impact at the Stade Saputo on the 31st Aug/1st Sep. Kick off is slated to be 12:30am BST. Match is being shown live on Sky Sports Main Event, Football & Mix.

Categories
Match Review

Match Report: Vancouver 1-0 DC United

Thoughts

The scoreline definitely does not tell the whole story of the evening. DC had a strong lineup out, which included the return of Wayne Rooney, and with Kamara making the bench. Against the side who were bottom of the Western Conference, and we hadn’t been beaten by since 2013, this one, on paper, should have been a formality. Unfortunately, for those in the world of the popular PC game Football Manager will know, DC were well and truly FM’d. DC having the majority of play but without anything to show for it. 24 attempts, 11 corners, 560 passes at 85% accuracy, and just over 64% possession, those stats though, they don’t win you games. And what DC failed to do was to take any chances. And one lapse in concentration, or poor positioning from Bill Hamid let in a tame long range effort from Reyna.

Frustrations were there to be seen as Wayne Rooney let his feelings known to the 4th official, audio that was picked up on microphone, I’ll be amazed if he isn’t warned about his conduct as a minimum. Yes the standard of refereeing is very poor in MLS and that needs to change massively, but I can imagine there is a better way for change.

That’s not to say there weren’t positives from the game. We recycled possession well, Felipe looked great in his 2nd outing for the Black & Red, and our movement was much better, it just didn’t click in the final 3rd. Something that has been the story of the season, but this looked better, you can see things are improving. And hopefully by the time the lads are back and ready for the Red Bulls, something will click. Hamid made a great save in the 2nd half to deny Cornelious, 2nd time in 2 games where he has made a one-handed save from point blank range. This is what Bill is great at.

It was tough for me staying up til 3am for kick off, and then not going to bed til 5am, but I wouldn’t change it. I love this game and this club. The ups and downs are what’s part of being a supporter. I just hope we can send Wayne back to England on a high.

Post Match Facts

  • Emmanuel Boateng made his D.C. United debut in the 67th minute of the match.
  • Ola Kamara made his Black-and-Red debut in the 74th minute of the match, his first MLS appearance since October 28, 2018.
  • Wayne Rooney returned to the starting lineup for D.C. United, he made his 23rd start for United.
  • Paul Arriola registered five shots during the match, his highest shot total of the season. 
  • D.C. United are now 5-3-2 in club history against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • The Black-and-Red are 2-2-2 on the road against the Whitecaps.
  • D.C. United lost their first match to the Vancouver Whitecaps since June 29, 2013

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Leonardo Jara (Ema Boateng 67′); Júnior Moreno, Felipe Martins; Lucas Rodríguez, Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura (Luciano Acosta 58′); Wayne Rooney (Ola Kamara 74′) 

Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Jalen Robinson, Quincy Amarikwa, Donovan Pines

Vancouver Whitecaps Lineup: Maxime Crépeau; Jakub Nerwinski (Doniel Henry 50′), Erik Godoy, Derek Cornelius, Ali Adnan; Andy Rose, Hwang In-Beom, Russell Teibert, Theo Bair, Fredy Montero (Tosaint Ricketts 79′); Yordy Reyna (Scott Sutter 90′) 

Unused Substitutes: Zac MacMeth, Victor Giro, Jon Erice, Jaoquin Ardáiz

Man of the Match

Difficult to say, but I’d be happy to go with Felipe. He looked good on the ball, was all over the pitch and was good on the set pieces. Not many highlights and stand-out performances from DC. Official MotM though goes to;

Up Next

We have the big rivals New York Red Bulls at Audi Field on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning depending on where you are. 1am kick off here in the UK. Being shown live on FreeSports.

Categories
Match Review

Match Report: DC 2-1 LA Galaxy

Thoughts

Coming into this game, there was a slight sense of optimism, cautious as it was, but optimism nonetheless. We’ve had a busy transfer week, 3 incomings, 2 of which were available to play last night. Only one made his debut, that was Felipe Martins. Thrown in at the deep end, more so down to injuries and suspension than anything else, he looked good. Didn’t make any obvious mistakes, delivered some good set pieces, consistency needs improving with that, but it was his first game after all. Boateng was an unused substitution, like everyone was last night. Ben Olsen did not make any changes during the game. And looking back on it, I can understand why, no-one looked overly tired, we were winning and had a good flow and we didn’t need to disrupt it. There will be people who disagree with me on that, and I’m happy for you to.

Goals last night came from a route one pass from Hamid, over the top, nodded on by Amarikwa, Segura plays a lofted through ball to Arriola who finished it first time underneath the keeper.

It could have been two at half time but Rodriguez was clearly offside. LA Galaxy equalized within the first few minutes of the 2nd half, and it felt like it was going to go downhill, Alvarez with a very good finish into Hamid’s bottom right corner. Galaxy got the flow going and were attacking our box. Hamid producing some stunning saves throughout the game. One of which came from a Zlatan volley inside the box, and an instinctive save, Bill putting his left arm up and tipping it away, world-class. Hopefully we can keep him once his loan spell has finished.

But after those saves, DC set off on yet another counter attack. Arriola passing it across to Segura, who then has a long range effort, this gets saved by the keeper, falls to Arriola, keepers makes a double save, but then it falls to Rodriguez who side-foots it into the bottom right corner to score the winner.

After that, it was a case of clinging on to the lead. Galaxy were getting more desperate and frustrated as time went on. Amarikwa keeping the ball and drawing fouls, even having efforts on goal after. But it was all sweetly wrapped up and the pure elation was there to see, joyous celebrations, players falling to their knees. You know this was hard fought, you could see the team was so desperate to win this one. The form has been very poor recently, but we managed to find this win, not only against a very good Galaxy side, who have just signed wonderkid Cristian Pavon, but we did it with injuries, suspensions, and most of all, without Wayne Rooney.

Post Match Facts

  • Paul Arriola and Lucas Rodríguez both scored their fifth goals of the season in the 28th and 73rd minutes, respectively. 
  • Quincy Amarikwa recorded his first assist in MLS for the Black-and-Red in the 28th minute.
  • Ulises Segura recorded his second assist of 2019 on the 28th-minute goal.
  • Felipe Martins made his Black-and-Red debut after being acquired on August 6 from the Vancouver Whitecaps.
  • Quincy Amarikwa made his first start since the 0-0 draw against Toronto on May 15.
  • Jalen Robinson made his 25th appearance for the Black-and-Red.
  • D.C. United are now 15-20-11 in club history against Los Angeles.
  • The Black-and-Red are 10-9-5 at home against the Galaxy.  
  • D.C. United recorded their first win at Audi Field since the 1-0 win against Orlando City on June 26.
  • The Black-and-Red are 6-3-5 at Audi Field in 2019.

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Jalen Robinson; Leonardo Jara, Felipe Martins; Lucas Rodríguez, Paul Arriola, Ulises Segura; Quincy Amarikwa

Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Marquinhos Pedroso, Luciano Acosta, Emmanuel Boateng, Griffin Yow, Gordon Wild, Donovan Pines 

LA Galaxy Lineup: David Bingham, Rolf Feltscher (Julian Araujo, 90), Giancarlo Gonzalez, Daniel Steres, Diego Polenta, Uriel Antuna (Chris Pontius, 84′), Uriel Antuna, Perry Kitchen (Sebastien Lletget, 78′), Favio Alvarez, Jonathan dos Santos, Cristian Pavón, Zlatan Ibrahimovic 

Unused Substitutes: Servando Carrasco, Matt Lampson, Jørgen Skjelvik, Dave Romney

Man of the Match

For me it was Bill Hamid, coming up with some absolute vital saves and two world class ones, one in each half. He was fantastic when called upon. The official DC man of the match though goes to…

Credit: DC United Twitter

Up Next

We are on the road this week, and we take our monster trip to Vancouver. Kick off is a brutal 3am BST on Sunday 18th August. Will I be watching, who knows?

Categories
Match Review

Match Report: CHI 0-0 DC

Thoughts

Where do I begin? This was one of the worst matches I’ve seen for a long time. Both sides not playing well at all, and neither lacking any conviction. From a DCU perspective, going forward we couldn’t hit the target, the only attempt being on target was a Rooney FK, so nothing from open play. The lack of goals on the road is really showing us up right now, only 12 from 12 games, and not scoring in 6 of those. And at the back, Pines had an off game, his tackling was on point, but with the ball at his feet, he gave the ball away on so many occasions I lost count. Whether it was gifting it straight to them or putting it out of play. We were kamikaze at times, whether it was just hacking the ball away or giving the ball to Chicago right at the back.

It seems that Ben can’t get the best lineup out right now, always some issue happening, with Mora having visa issues which relegated him to the bench (not sure why, may as well start him and bring him off later on), and we began with 3 at the back. Rodriguez starting as a LWB which has never worked well for us, so not sure why that happened either. It was all a bit questionable last night. Rooney returned to the lineup alongside Acosta for the 1st time in a while, and Pines made yet another start.

The 1st half offered very little in the way of chances, Fire having the best of it with a Gaitan FK coming in and a melee of players in the box trying to get the ball in, cleared away by Brillant. He also made a goal saving tackle in the 1st half and was they key player for DC. The 2nd half opened up a bit more, and Acosta found more room for dribbling and had a couple of attempts on goal, one being incredibly close, just on the wrong side of the post. Rodriguez, making more impact in the game too, and his recent form showing why he should be made a permanent signing, dribbled from the back, found his way through 2-3 players and won a FK, Rooney steps to take and is well saved by the Fire keeper, who parried it away. That being the only attempt on target. Fire having the best chance in the whole game when Dax McCarty having an attempt deflect off Birnbaum from the edge of the 6yd box. Ben Olsen not making a tactical sub until the 87th Minute, this has irked a lot of fans as this really leaves no time for any impact to change the game. He was forced into a substitution when Canouse had to go off with a rib injury.

Key Points

  • Wayne Rooney returned to the starting XI after missing the match against Atlanta United on July 21.
  • Chris Durkin came on as a 65th-minute substitute; his first MLS appearance since the 1-1 draw against Toronto on June 29.
  • Bill Hamid recorded his ninth shutout of 2019; his first since the 1-0 win against Orlando on June 26.
  • United have a 23-20-18 record against the Chicago Fire all-time
  • The Black-and-Red are 7-11-12 on the road against Chicago.
  • United are 4-4-4 on the road in 2019.
  • The Black-and-Red recorded their first shutout on the road since the 0-0 draw against Toronto on May 15.

Man of the Match

Not sure anyone really deserves this, but, Brillant did have a decent game, making a couple of goal saving tackles and blocks. Well done Fred!

Up next

Our next match is against Philadelphia Union at Audi Field. KO is 12:30AM BST August 5th.

Categories
Blog Match Review

Match Report: ATL 2-0 DC

Thoughts

After the midweek win against Cincy, a lot of fans came into this one thinking we might be able to get a result here. 4 goals from open play, bit of swagger in the 2nd half and all was looking good. The big test was against the reigning MLS Cup champions. It wasn’t to be however, and it all started when news came out that Rooney hadn’t travelled with the team. Rumours were flying around but it turned out that he had picked up a few knocks in the previous game and needed the rest. This was only the 2nd time he missed a match since joining the Black & Red, the previous occasion was through suspension against Montreal Impact, the game I was in attendance for.

We set up with the same formation as the previous game, something I was surprised with, but happy. Acosta replaced Rooney as the lone forward, but as a false nine, so we didn’t play with any recognised striker, that I was not happy with, but Hamid came back to take his place in the sticks after being out for the Cincy game. And it all looked good in the 1st half, yes they had 70% possession, but we had a great counter attack, and we almost made them pay on a few occasions. Arriola with a couple of efforts and an almost assist for Rodriguez, but it was hit too far for him. The DC defence kept Josef Martinez at bay, only allowing half chances, and Bill Hamid was equal to every single one.

The 2nd half was a bit different, we didn’t look like we wanted to counter, and we were playing for the draw. Something no-one likes to see. Pines was doing his best covering the ground and getting some good tackles in, but it was just wave after wave of ATL attacks. Eventually they got themselves a penalty, after J Martinez went down in the box, replays showed very minimal contact, if there was any, and again for the 2nd game in a row, the penalty wasn’t double checked, why this isn’t the case with every single penalty I don’t know, but that is the state of play right now. And then, Josef Martinez became Josef Chokinez after he spooned his attempt over the bar, looking like a fool with his hop-skip-jump routine. Looks good when it goes in and fools the keeper, looks horrible when you miss like he did. Afterwards though, the other Martinez came on, Pity, and in the 89th minute, a cross comes in from the right, Pity strolling into the box unmarked, and heads it in. Where our defenders were, our defensive midfielders, I just don’t know. We had coped for that long and lost it there. We did go all out for the equalizer, however that was our undoing as J Martinez was fed through, was 1on1 with Hamid and he chipped it over him. Nothing Bill could do about that.

That’s how it ended. Mixed emotions with this game, gutted that we didn’t hold out, gutted we couldn’t take the chances in the 1st half, and annoyed that we seemingly played for a point in the 2nd half which left us with a defeat.

Key Points

  • Bill Hamid has faced three penalties in 2019; none of which have been converted. 
  • Luciano Acosta returned to the starting lineup after serving a two-game suspension for a red card against FC Dallas on July 4.
  • Bill Hamid returned to the starting lineup; he recorded four saves.
  • Donovan Pines started his second consecutive game for the Black-and-Red; he has made eight appearances in his rookie season.
  • United have a 5-3-0 record against Atlanta United all-time
  • The Black-and-Red are 1-3-0 on the road against Atlanta.
  • United are 4-4-3 on the road in 2019

Man of the Match

Difficult to come out with a best player for DC. But really one man did stand out from the rest, and that’s not because of his physique, but his overall play and the way he gets himself around the pitch. The rookie, Donovan Pines!

Our next match is against Chicago Fire on Saturday July 27th EST, or July 28th BST. Kicking off at 1am(ish) here in the UK.

Categories
Match Review

Match Report: CIN 1-4 DC

Thoughts

A fantastic result for DC United, not just the scoreline, but the fact that it was on the road, against a team we’ve not played yet in MLS, add in the recent form, this was a result that we so badly needed. The game got off to a sluggish start, as it seems to happen with DC recently, but we had plenty of efforts in the first 20mins, 4 to 0, however Cincy had more of the ball, 55% to be exact. It took a while for us to get the 1st goal in, 43rd minute, and for me, that’s a great time to score, leaves very little time for the opposition to get back into the game and leaves them at HT thinking what could have been. The goal itself was fantastic. Just take a look at the video below.

2nd half was a much more entertaining 45 minutes. 4 goals in total, and each goal in the game was a “talking point”. The next goal was one for Cincy, a penalty given for a “handball” by Arriola. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the rules now state if it hit’s your arm/hand, and you aren’t making yourself bigger, then it’s not a handball. Unfortunately I can’t find the video to embed here, but have a look on the MLS app and you’ll see. Even the commentators were saying it wasn’t a pen. Another frustrating and game-changing decision. Ledesma popped up and slotted in the bottom corner, even that was a talking point, stopping mid-way through his run up.

That tie was short-lived, Titi Rodriguez getting his brace just two minutes later. Here is yet another great goal! 3 fantastic so far from Titi.

Then it became a bit of a landslide, the Cincy defence just crumbled away. The 64th minute brought Rooney’s 11th goal of the season, and another goal from open play.

What they failed to show in that video is the unbelievable ball from Jara. A great cross field pass from him to set up Rooney. And then, it’s Arriola’s turn to get in on the act, great run and great finish with his weaker foot.

That was the final goal of the game and it finished 4-1. Great result, and hopefully this will be the point where we kick on and show how good we are at the business end of the season.

Key Points

  • Lucas Rodríguez scored his third and fourth goals of the season in the 42nd and 59th minute.
  • Rodríguez recorded his first career brace for the Black-and-Red.
  • Wayne Rooney scored his 11th goal of the season in the 64th minute.
  • Wayne Rooney recorded his seventh assist of the season in the 42nd minute.
  • Paul Arriola scored his fourth goal of the season in the 73rd minute.
  • Paul Arriola recorded his second assist of the season in the 59th minute.
  • Leonardo Jara recorded his fifth assist of the season in the 64th minute.
  • Lucas Rodríguez recorded his third assist of the season in the 73rd minute.
  • Donovan Pines made his second consecutive start for the Black-and-Red.
  • Chris Seitz made his first MLS start for the Black-and-Red.
  • This was the first fixture in MLS history between D.C. United and FC Cincinnati.
  • The Black-and-Red are 1-0-0 against FC Cincinnati all-time in MLS.
  • United are 4-3-3 on the road in 2019.
  • The Black-and-Red scored four goals on the road for the first time since June 13, 2018; a 4-4 draw against Toronto.
  • United recorded their first away win since April 24, 2019; a 1-0 win against Columbus.

Man of the Match

No word on a man of the match from DC, but according to MLSSoccer.com, it was Titi Rodriguez. I would whole-heartedly agree

Man of the Match – Titi after bagging a brace for the 1st time for DCU

Next up is Atlanta United at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this Sunday, and it’s on at 9pm on Sky Sports Football