MLS soccer: A much-improved effort, but D.C. United comes up short at FC Dallas


Dwayne De Rosario, here in a 2011 match, had United’s lone goal Saturday night vs. FC Dallas. It was his 101st regular season goal, tying him for sixth place on the MLS career list. (Ned Dishman/GETTY IMAGES)

D.C. United finally scored an away goal, but a poor start and fragile defending on a late corner kick Saturday night resulted in a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas and a club-record seventh consecutive defeat.

Dwayne De Rosario scored a tying goal late in the first half for United (1-8-1). But in the 77th, Michel’s corner kick bounced untouched in the six-yard box to Je-Vaughn Watson, who pushed the ball into the net with his chest.

Dallas (7-1-3) extended its unbeaten streak to nine.

Following a 4-0 home loss to Houston on Wednesday, United Coach Ben Olsen shook up the starting lineup against MLS’s points leader in Frisco, Tex.

The most notable changes were in goal (Joe Willis for Bill Hamid) and central defense (Ethan White for Brandon McDonald). Willis made his first start of the year, while White was in the lineup for the first time since 2011.

In addition, James Riley entered at left back, midfielder Nick DeLeon started for the first time since March 23 and forward Casey Townsend made his 2013 debut after being recalled from a loan to third-division Richmond.

Two minutes after Townsend hit the right post, United conceded a goal inside 30 minutes for the ninth time in five matches.

Eric Hassli collected the ball in front of Dejan Jakovic, pulled it away from defender James Riley and slipped a pass to Jackson Goncalves in a pocket of space in the heart of the penalty area. Goncalves lifted a left-footed shot into the left upper corner for his third goal of the year.

United drew even in the 44th minute on a set piece. After touches by Kyle Porter and DeLeon, De Rosario powered a low, 23-yard effort into the far corner for his 101st regular season goal, tying him for sixth place with Taylor Twellman on the MLS career list.

Willis made two quality saves in the second half but failed to touch the decisive corner kick.

United will host Sporting Kansas City next Sunday at RFK Stadium.

Spirit, Breakers tie

Lori Lindsey scored a superb equalizer early in the second half as the winless Washington Spirit earned a 1-1 draw with the Boston Breakers in a National Women’s Soccer League match before 4,027 at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Joanna Lohman, a Silver Spring native, scored for the Breakers (2-0-2) in the 24th minute on a 12-yard one-timer, set up by Lianne Sanderson. Both played for D.C. United Women in the second-tier W-League last year.

Lindsey smashed a 17-yard shot to the top far corner in the 51st minute for her first goal of the year. Diana Matheson had intercepted a pass and led the cutting Lindsey with a pass to the top of the box.

After playing four straight at home, the Spirit (0-2-3) will play the next three on the road, starting Thursday at Seattle (0-4-1).

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.
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