With this back line in place - including Emiliano Dudar in the middle and Daniel Woolard on the left - D.C. United has given up exactly one goal in its last three matches. That goal came off a fluky mistake that could have been costly for this team in any other week, but fortunately wasn't very costly last week.
A 0.33 goals against average is really good. Its even better when you consider that it came against teams with proven goal-scorers like Eric Hassli, Sebastien Le Toux, Blas Perez, Fredy Montero, and David Estrada.
We thought that this United team would be improved from last year, but still involved in too many close but high-scoring contests. That hasn't really been the case so far. You've read here and in other places many times already this season that United will need time to gel in 2012. The offense could still some more work, but at least the defense seems to be fully gelled already.
What They're Saying
AMT: The big battle coming into the night was Dwayne De Rosario against Seattle d-mid Osvaldo Alonso. I think it's safe to say that for the first hour or so, defense won that battle. I mean that going both ways: DeRo was mostly quiet due to Alonso's strong marking and on-ball defending, while Alonso had no space to set the tempo for Seattle's attack thanks to DeRo's tireless pressure.
Tenorio: Several giveaways in the middle of the field and a shaky connection between the midfielders and front line had D.C.’s attack sputtering. Seattle looked to close down United’s wing play that had been so effective against Dallas, and neither team had much rhythm for the first hour.
Chamberlain: The visitors had a chance to steal the points in injury time when shot was punched into the path of former United man Marc Burch, who seconds earlier had been serenaded with chants of "DC reject" by some of the 15,651 at RFK. But Burch's header hit the post and the game ended shortly after.
Hund: Hamdi Salihi continued his pattern of getting a half-decent chance, but not making it count. There’s a conundrum here. Are you disappointed that the guy on DP bucks couldn’t bury that one presentable chance or are you concerned that he’s not getting more than one look per game? The onus has to be on the rest of the attack to give him more chances. When those come, I have little doubt the goals will follow.
Webb: Second-half substitute Chris Pontius should have given United the lead just five minutes later when sent in by Santos on a lovely back heel pass. Pontius glided into the box and his shot from the left side of the goal area skittered harmlessly through the goal mouth and wide of the far post.What I'm Saying
Last week against FC Dallas, United was able to take back RFK. That was their goal going into the match, and that's what they accomplished. Even though a draw was all that was in the cards on Saturday night against the Seattle Sounders, I'd still say that RFK is ours. United has proven that no team can come here and expect to leave with points.
All chances must be earned through hard work or guile. They will not be given cheaply. If you want points, you're going to have to fight for them.
United fought hard against a good team in this match, and a draw was ultimately a fair result. United had a few good chances that went without finishing, while limiting Seattle to just two shots on target, both falling into the capable hands of Joe Willis.
United proved in this match that they can play against the best teams in the league. Seattle is one of them. Despite a poor effort last week, Dallas is too. But can United also play against the weaker teams in the league? The effort that we've seen from D.C. the past three weeks should net no less than a draw against the New England Revolution and Montreal Impact. But an improvement in the attacking third might be required to earn the full six points.
That's what we should expect.