My match report from D.C. United’s 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at RFK Stadium.
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For observations and bonus quotes.....
*United is unbeaten in six straight since that fiasco at Los Angeles: draw, win, draw, win, draw, win. Next up: Houston at RFK on Saturday night, followed by trips to San Jose, Toronto and Houston.
United’s prosperity is more impressive when you consider this: Hamdi Salihi, who was supposed to be the big goal scorer, hasn’t scored. Dwayne De Rosario, the 2011 MVP who won the MLS Golden Boot last year, hasn’t scored. Branko Boskovic and Andy Najar haven’t scored.
Chris Pontius is the only returning player to have scored (four times). Newcomers Maicon Santos, Nick DeLeon and Danny Cruz have combined for the other eight goals.
*Ben Olsen, on DeRo’s lack of goals:
“Dwayne is doing enough. We all jumped on Dwayne’s back last year and said, ‘Look, take us! Take us to the playoffs.’ And he tried. And he did a pretty unbelievable job at it. We said in the offseason that we can’t rely on one guy. We need to get help around him so we don’t have to rely on Dwayne. Dwayne in the midfield is doing a lot for us and we’re going to continue to score goals with him in the midfield. Dwayne doesn’t care [about the goals]. Of course, we always want goals and assists. We all have egos. Ultimately, you’ll see a smile on his face. He wants to win. He’s got a lot of individual honors. His trophy case is just fine. But he wants more team stuff.”
*I asked Olsen what the conversations were like with Pontius while he worked to return to the lineup:
“There wasn’t much communication; there was enough, from my end. He was patient to a point, then he was chomping at the bit. We had a good meeting and expressed some things. With all the subs who want to get on the field, you have to take advantage of your opportunities. He comes into the New England game and makes the most of it.”
*Pontius had a three-assist game last September against Chivas USA — the night he broke his leg. Two years ago, he recorded a hat trick at Seattle, but a day later, one goal was credited to a teammate.
*Pontius, on United’s first-half display: “That was some of the best soccer we’ve played all year.”
*Midfielder Marcelo Saragosa, who has missed three matches following his father’s death, will rejoin the club this week.
*Third-choice keeper Andrew Dykstra, who last week played twice for the Charleston Battery, will return to the third-division club this week for a month-long loan, General Manager Dave Kasper said.