Its good to get the monkey off our backs finally, but no one should be surprised that this 2012 D.C. United team would earn back-to-back wins at this early point in the season. Even though winning two straight games isn't something that this team has done in three years, I fully expect United to do it several more times this season.
United topped the Houston Dynamo 3-2 tonight at RFK Stadium in a wet but wildly entertaining match between two of the favorites to reach the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this year. With the win, United remained in front of the New York Red Bulls at second place in the wide open east.
United's attack is clicking, and the rest of the league has been put on notice.
The Dynamo deserve a lot of blame for giving up the early goal to United. Geoff Cameron misjudged Brandon McDonald's long ball, and Tally Hall really had no business charging to the corner of the box against the speedy Chris Pontius when the forward didn't have a good angle to shoot. But United took advantage through patience and intelligence as Pontius accurately placed a cross right onto the throbbing member atop Maicon Santos' shoulders. It was the first of two goals that he would score with his head tonight, giving Santos six goals now for the team lead this season.
Dwayne De Rosario also scored his first goal of the year while cleaning up a corner kick from outside the box as Pontius created a distraction in front of Hall. It was all a part of United's second win in six days.
The loss of Emiliano Dudar just before halftime was just so painful for United though. Within the first five minutes of Robbie Russell being moved to center back and Perry Kitchen being moved to right back, Houston attacked those exact two players and made United regret Dudar's injury very quickly. In a position he hasn't played in roughly seven months, Kitchen was too slow to help close down Corey Ashe on the cross, and Russell lost track of Will Bruin on the finish.
But United showed its resilience once again, responding twice to tying goals from Houston's Bruin. United is a team that knows how to win. Pushing hard for a goal in the minutes immediately following a goal from the other team - that's a trait that has described United's opponents far more than its described United in recent years.
Its great to see the tides turning.
For the first time all year, United was able to overcome a poor performance from its defense. Because let's be honest: that was our worst defensive performance since the LA Galaxy loss. It wasn't long ago that our back line was the main reason we were escaping from games against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders with points.
Things are different now.
No longer are we making excuses that United's offense hasn't gelled yet. The chemistry is there, and so is the finishing prowess. So what if its coming from different players than we would have expected. So what if it took this long for one of our three designated players to finally score a goal.
So what if the seven points United collected from its three-game home stand didn't include three against the Montreal Impact.
Now if D.C. can continue that pace on the road, we'll really have something special brewing.