The Washington Post

D.C. United rewind: 3-0 win at Toronto FC

Before we look back, let’s look ahead:

Thursday night at RFK Stadium, D.C. United will host the New York Red Bulls — a nationally televised rivalry match between clubs coming off 3-0 victories Saturday night.

A marquee player scored for United (Charlie Davies). A leading man struck for the Red Bulls (Thierry Henry). United received two goals from an unlikely source (Chris Pontius). New York turned to an improbable figure for a brace (Luke Rodgers).

It’s very early in the season, but the first United-Red Bulls confrontation should be fun.

As for DCU’s conquest of 10-man Toronto FC on Saturday, Davies formed an effective partnership with Josh Wolff, and Pontius and Fred were influential on the flanks. United’s high pressure early set the tone and led to the widest victory margin on the road since a 4-0 rout at Dallas in September 2007. (Ben Olsen scored twice that night.)

Read my match report.

Watch the video package.

For much more, including a flu watch and bonus quotes.....

*Late in the match, Olsen employed three rookies on the four-man backline: Ethan White, Chris Korb and Perry Kitchen.

“I just realized that when we were sitting around” in the coaches’ room after the match, Olsen said. “All three seem to be up for the challenge every week. Ethan had another good day; he’s a beast. All three of them play a little older than they are. They’ve been in some real games, real pressure moments. This isn’t like your typical college kids and throwing them in.”

*A flu bug is making its way through the club. Kitchen was stricken upon his return from Guatemala. Andy Najar was scratched from the game-day roster Saturday. Dejan Jakovic was under the weather, Olsen said, and Davies said he was coming down with something.

“They were dropping like flies this week,” Olsen said. “It’s been going around. Hopefully it will be out of here Monday or Tuesday.”

*While Pontius was the man of the match, Fred offered a quality performance running at defenders, distributing the ball and chasing players up and down the flank. It’s the best I’ve seen him in a long time.

*Davies has five goals in four matches. Over the entire 2010 season, Najar and Danny Allsopp shared the team lead with five.

*Davies, on his partnership with Wolff: “It went well. It’s really comforting to know there’s a guy like him with so much experience. He knows where you want the ball, when to hold it, when to go forward, where to put the ball. We’re starting to form a good bond, and that’s important for this team. If we can form good chemistry, the sky is the limit for this team.”

*Toronto Coach Aron Winter: “Today was an off day. The way we lost, I didn't like it. ... I’m upset the way we lost. It was a shame.”

*United and Toronto will tangle in a reserve match Sunday at 11 a.m.

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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