My mother always told me, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." But I was never very good at listening, and we need a recap, so here goes. On Wednesday night at RFK Stadium, D.C. United played a truly horrible game of soccer, which was fully reflected by the 4-0 scoreline in favor of the visiting Houston Dynamo. United, as it has in each of the last few games, led in several statistical categories - possession, shots, shots on goal, open play crosses, corner kicks - but failed to score while allowing an unacceptable number of goals into their own net.
Also like recent games, United's goals against on the night weren't the result of patient build-up or moments of brilliance by the opposition. Players were switched off, or momentarily lost their sanity, or were distracted by a passing butterfly at critical moments. And they were punished for it. Unlike the Columbus loss, though, tonight's goals can't all be pinned on one player having a bad night - everybody involved in each of the goals has reason to be embarrassed.
Houston's first goal came after 9 different United field players - along with three on the bench and assistant coach Chad Ashton - appeared to trip over their own feet, springing Will Bruin 1v1 with Bill Hamid in the process; Bruin finished cooly, chipping over the onrushing Hamid. The second was more a comedy of errors starring Hamid and Dejan Jakovic. The Canadian center back (centre back?) initially did well on the play, winning a foot race to the ball in United's penalty box. Rather than clearing, though, he played the ball back to Bill Hamid, who misplayed his clearance - a theme on the night for the home side - right to Will Bruin, who squared by Giles Barnes, who put his shot into the back of the net, putting Houston up two at the break.
I won't go into detail on the second half goals, which were each a product of United pushing to pull a goal back late in the game, leaving Houston to counter against the exposed defense.
Stephen will be in tomorrow to bring us the Last Word on tonight's match, but in the meantime, give us your thoughts on the debacle down in the comments.