D.C. United lost yet again, this time to FC Dallas, in the same way that they have lost most of their games this season: giving up an early goal and then being forced to chase the rest of the game. When your team is pressing for over an hour each game, more goals for the opponent are often the result. Can D.C. United climb out of this funk and at least play some respectable soccer the rest of the year?
-Steve Goff, Washington Post: Two minutes after Townsend hit the right post, United conceded a goal inside 30 minutes for the ninth time in five matches. Eric Hassli collected the ball in front of Dejan Jakovic, pulled it away from defender James Riley and slipped a pass to Jackson Goncalves in a pocket of space in the heart of the penalty area. Goncalves lifted a left-footed shot into the left upper corner for his third goal of the year.
-Thomas Floyd, Soccer by Ives: When Michel’s 77th-minute corner kick whipped in, bounced inside the goal box and ricocheted off Watson’s chest into the net, the sequence seemed inevitable. Those types of plays tend to benefit first-place clubs and go against those sitting in the cellar.
-Ben Olsen, dcunited.com: We lost the game. But, I was proud about the overall commitment and the way they went about things tonight. The spirit was good. They looked like a team that cared and wanted to dig themselves out of the situation they we’re in. That’s important. But it’s also important to make teams earn goals. We’re still slipping at the key moments. We’re still giving up set pieces. These have to stop.
-Matt Barbour, mlssoccer.com: The score continued trends for both teams –United lead the league in early goals surrendered, this being the fifth they’ve allowed in the opening 15 minutes of a match, while Dallas have scored first in 10 of eleven matches this season.
This loss marks the first time ever that D.C. United has gone 7 games without a win or a tie. Forget the streak of not winning two games in a row that haunted the team through 2011 and the beginning of 2012, United is threatening the longest losing streaks in MLS history. The 1999 MetroStars lost 9 in a row if you count shoot-out losses as ties; I'm not sure if those are the longest, but that MetroStars team is one of the worst in league history (If you are uncharitable and count shoot-out losses as losses, their losing streak balloons to 12).
But as we all know, the schedule does not get any easier from here. A 5:00 pm Sunday game against Sporting Kansas City looms next weekend, with Portland visiting RFK Stadium the weekend after. My heart wants to tell me that United can at least tie those games, but the recent results give me no reason to believe that could be true.
The Last Word
This season is starting to resemble the 2010 season in more than just the losing ways of D.C. United. That team would always seem to be in every game, but a late mistake or what seemed to be a brilliant play from the other team would always doom them. We keep saying that United's talent level is too high for them to be this bad, but now we need to see it on the field; perhaps sticking with the kids is the right answer. This team hasn't quit on Ben Olsen, and even if they don't make the playoffs, playing for pride and for the fans is worthwhile. Just get to at least 23 points.