D.C. United took care of business yesterday against the Charleston Battery in the team's first game of the 2011 Carolina Challenge Cup.
United's performance really showcased the team's newfound speed. Both goals came on quick on quick strikes. The only goal conceded by United came on a penalty kick that was the result of a foul in the box by Joseph Ngwenya, on a challenge that didn't look all that harsh to me in the brief highlights. Ngwenya made up for it anyway though, scoring the winning goal with a first time shot, thanks to a perfect assist off a visionary pass from Josh Wolff. And the first goal was scored by Chris Pontius as the speedy winger got behind the Battery defense, made a move to bypass the goalkeeper, and put away a Dax McCarty setup.
Reading too much into this victory is obviously discouraged. Keep in mind that D.C. won 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup too, and then went on to win only six games all regular season. The Battery also made 10 substitutions at halftime, which hints to me that United probably scored its winning goal against the reserve squad for a USL-Pro team.
A 2-1 win is about what we should have been expecting. Which means that United so far has met, but not exceeded expectations. A win Wednesday night against the Chicago Fire would be exceeding them, at least in my opinion.
Click through for the highlight package.