United Gets Another Tie After Late Rally

D.C. United rookie Chris Pontius, left, goes up for a header against Chivas USA's Paulo Nagamura. United is unbeaten in its last six MLS matches.
D.C. United rookie Chris Pontius, left, goes up for a header against Chivas USA's Paulo Nagamura. United is unbeaten in its last six MLS matches. (By Branimir Kvartuc -- Associated Press)
By Steven Goff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 17, 2009

CARSON, Calif., May 16 -- D.C. United staged another stirring comeback Saturday night, scoring twice in the final 13 minutes to earn a 2-2 tie with Chivas USA and extend its unbeaten streak in league play to six.

Luciano Emilio struck in the 77th minute and Santino Quaranta scored the equalizer in the 85th on the last of several bizarre sequences in front of 16,223 at Home Depot Center. By scoring in the closing moments for the fourth time in six games, United (3-1-6) retained a share of first place in MLS's Eastern Conference and stretched its overall run to seven.

Maykel Galindo scored a controversial goal midway through the first half and Eduardo Lillingston added another just before intermission for Chivas (7-1-2), which remained atop the Western Conference.

United's starting lineup brought more changes, most notably in goal, where Louis Crayton regained his job and Josh Wicks served as the back-up with rookie Milos Kocic, last weekend's starter, remaining at home.

Coach Tom Soehn kept his backline intact and rested playmaker Christian Gómez in favor of a unique alignment that had Jaime Moreno and Quaranta supporting Emilio and rookies Rodney Wallace and Chris Pontius running the flanks.

Ben Olsen returned to defensive midfield, paired with Clyde Simms, after missing two games with a hamstring strain. But just six minutes into the match, he reached for his right leg after a midfield challenge and immediately signaled to the bench for a substitution. It was the hamstring again, prompting his exit and Andrew Jacobson's entrance.

Before Olsen's injury, Chivas threatened to score on a play that appeared offside. In the 25th minute, the hosts did score, and initial indications seemed to show a clear offside.

As Atiba Harris sent a through ball along the right side, United defender Bryan Namoff stepped forward to catch the rocket-footed Galindo offside. Linesman Emiliano Monje was in poor position, however, and missed the call, allowing Galindo to breeze in alone, touch the ball past the desperately charging Crayton and tuck the shot into the vacant net.

Slow-motion video replays showed the play was much closer to being onside than initially thought. Nonetheless, Galindo was a step beyond Namoff when Harris offered the ball.

Soehn and his assistants protested vigorously, but the goal stood -- the first in more than a year by the oft-injured Galindo.

Two minutes later, Lillingston ran onto a ball in a gaping channel and thumped a blistering shot off the crossbar.

United settled down, gradually mounting an attack but failing to link passes in dangerous positions. With the combination work out of synch, Moreno shot from distance in the 40th minute and Zach Thornton made a routine save.


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