Sunday, March 30, 2014

MLS: DC United 2 Chicago 2

Fabian Espindola (r) scores United's first goal

United Snaps Scoreless Streak, Earns 2-2 Tie

It was hardly a picturesque setting at venerable RFK Stadium yesterday; but DC United broke its scoring drought, and came within a stone's throw of ending their now team-record 15 game winless streak... ultimately securing their first point of the season in a 2-2 tie with the visiting Chicago Fire before a rain-soaked crowd of 9,445.

Bad weather aside (it was really, really wet) the United faithful were treated to a much-improved offensive attack by the home team: DC (0-2-1) outshot Chicago 17-13 (including 9-4 on goal) and won time of possession by a narrow 51-49 margin. It was obvious that head coach Ben Olsen wanted more intensity from his team, and he definitely got it.

Perry Kitchen (#23) gave DC its first lead with a goal in the 73rd minute

Unfortunately, that didn't prevent Chicago (0-1-3) from grabbing an early lead on a Jhon Kennedy Hurtados header in the 27th minute. The veteran defender found the top right corner, past United goalkeeper Bill Hamid; and the Fire led 1-0. United rallied to tie on a Fabian Espindola blast, literally off the heels of midfielder Nick DeLeon in the 35th minute. This, after newly acquired Eddie Johnson was taken down just outside the box. The 2012 MLS Comeback Player of the Year was outstanding all day, registering three shots (two on goal) and appears poised for another big season.

Jhon Kennedy Hurtado's header put Chicago up 1-0

The first half ended in a 1-1 tie, with United holding a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal. The second half was equally competitive, before Perry Kitchen scored to give DC a 2-1 lead in the 73rd minute. RFK erupted, temporarily erasing the pains of last season (and the first two games of 2014.) Kitchen's goal came on a rebound of team captain Bobby Boswell's second of back-to-back tries from close range; and it looked like United would win their first game in forever. Unfortunately, Chicago's Quincy Amarikwa zipped a 15-footer past Hamid to tie the game for good in the 82nd minute. Talk about a kick to the gut.

United held 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee (#9) in check

Still, DC United has reason to be optimistic, earning their first point of the season and proving they can score, when they put their minds to it. United will look to build on this momentum next Saturday, when they host the New England Revolution (1-2-1) at 7:00 PM in hopefully drier conditions. Click here to purchase tickets ($25-55.)

Bill Hamid (#28) & Jeff Parke (center) defend vs. Quincy Amarikwa

Click here for yesterday's box score.

Coach Ben Olsen voices his displeasure over a missed call

United GK Bill Hamid

United Backup GK Andrew Dykstra

Eddie Johnson (#7)