There’s no such thing as a must-win match in May, but after two deplorable performances, D.C. United was in almost-definitely-need-to-win-or-we’re-in-a-heap-of-trouble mode. For the sake of the season, and the sanity of the head coach, United couldn’t afford another thumping.
The 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium restored stability to a teetering team. Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff forged a productive partnership, and Andy Najar was assertive and influential, initiating the two scoring sequences and hitting the post. Bill Hamid’s late saves stymied Seattle’s comeback.
Read my match report.
Watch the video package.
For news and notes.....
*Chris Pontius and Clyde Simms left the match with what the club called minor leg injuries. They’ll be re-evaluated ahead of Saturday’s home match against FC Dallas.
*According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Hamid-Kasey Keller matchup was the first in MLS history featuring a goalkeeper in his forties against one under age 21.
*Keller suffered his first loss at RFK in his storied career. Between U.S. national team and MLS appearances, he was 8-0-2 entering the evening.
*The attendance of 11,254 was well below the club’s 20,935 average, which was produced by
three two weekend matches and a Thursday date.
*Center back Perry Kitchen started at right back. “I don’t think Perry has played that position since he was 16,” Coach Ben Olsen said. He then paused, as if remembering the rookie is only 19, and added, “which actually wasn’t that long ago.”
*Commenting on Hamid’s performance, Olsen said: “He’s not a small man, and when he stays big, he makes great saves.”
*Davies’s sixth goal of the season came in his seven appearance. Over the entire 2010 campaign, Najar and Danny Allsopp led the club with five apiece.
*Davies, on Najar: “He showed that when he gets the ball, he is not scared to run at guys. When he does that, he is extremely dangerous. It was a big step for him as far as confidence, which he needs. He is ready now to be a force for this team.”
*Sounders Coach Sigi Schmid, on United: “We played a team that was extremely motivated.”
*General Manager Dave Kasper said he has yet to receive official word from Honduras (Najar) or Canada (Dejan Jakovic) about Gold Cup call-ups but expects both players to be named to the respective rosters. Honduras is eager to cap Najar and Jakovic is a regular on Canada’s backline. If called, they would probably leave United after the May 29 match at Portland and return in mid to late June, depending of their teams’ success.
*Banners hung by Seattle supporters in the upper deck:
“DC: Your stadium has weeds”
“So this is what a non-soldout game looks like?”