What a day!
Barcelona slaps around Donetsk. Manchester United trims Chelsea. Real Salt Lake will learn its CONCACAF Champions League opponent. The USA goes for an Under-20 World Cup berth. LeBron James is buying a share of Liverpool. Lionel Messi joins Facebook. And best of all.....
U.S. Open Cup qualifying. D.C. United vs. Philadelphia Union. Maryland SoccerPlex. At stake is a berth in the second of three rounds of U.S. Open Cup qualifying in three weeks. (Don’t get me started on this ludicrous process.)
United midfielder Fred’s wife gave birth to their second child today. No worries: He lives here in Germantown and was planning to suit up.
No TV. No streaming video. No radio. No online audio. Sorry. Updates on the Twitter pages of United and the Insider. United will produce a highlight package, which will appear on its Web site Thursday morning.
DCU LINEUP: Hamid; Barklage, White, Brasesco, Woolard; Najar, King, Fred, Boskovic; Wolff, Ngwenya. Subs: Willis, Jakovic, Shanosky, Simms, Morsink, Pontius, Brettschneider.
In case of a draw after 90 minutes, they’ll play 30 minutes of extra time and, if necessary, decide the winner on penalties.
HALFTIME UPDATE: Philadelphia went ahead in the 18th minute off a long throw-in by defender Sheanon Williams from the right corner. United failed to clear, the ball skipping dangerously through the box. Barely pressured, Carlos Ruiz settled it and smashed a 12-yarder past Bill Hamid. United generated a few mild threats, most notably by Andy Najar, whose clever footwork opened space for a low bid that Faryd Mondragon smothered. In the 45th minute, Josh Wolff took advantage of a wild scramble in the box, heading in Joseph Ngwenya’s ball from five yards to level the score. Najar threatened again on the final touch of the half . 1-1.
SECOND HALF: A lively 45 minutes yielded several quality chances but no goals. Najar narrowly missed the far corner, Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon made a fine save on Branko Boskovic’s shot from distance and Hamid denied Danny Mwanga’s low effort. Union defender Carlos Valdes was sent off in the 86th minute after receiving his second yellow card. United had five late corner kicks, but couldn’t find the final touch. Heading to 30 minutes of extra time. 1-1.
EXTRA TIME: With a man advantage, United dominated possession. Blake Brettschneider’s bid struck the far post and Mondragon blocked Ngwenya’s low effort. In the 111th minute, after two United shots were blocked in rapid succession in the box, left back Daniel Woolard drove an angled attempt into the roof of the net. Three minutes later, Mondragon stopped Ngwenya’s weak effort. In the 118th minute, after Hamid’s save off a corner kick, Brian Carroll drove a shot off Woolard for the dramatic equalizer. 2-2.
PENALTY KICKS: United wins, 4-2. Hamid saved Roger Torres’ shot and Jack McInerney missed. Chris Pontius, Brandon Barklage, Najar and Boskovic converte for United.