Our beloved soccer team suffered another loss this weekend. This time at the hands of the New England Revolution. The game was meaningless, and DC United has just one more tune up game before facing off against Real Salt Lake in the only game left on the schedule that matters, the US Open Cup Final.
In this game, United headed into halftime up 1-0 after Revs midfielder Scott Caldwell put one into his own net. United would hold that lead until Diego Fagundez put one past Bill Hamid in the 58th minute, and then United lost it all when Lee Nguyen connected on a PK with around seven minutes to play.
Saying that the refereeing was questionable would be a huge understatement. Still, United lost, so people talked about it...
- Steven Goff (Washington Post): "Bill Hamid rose to the occasion, smothering Nguyen's bid. But a moment later, Diego Fagundez latched onto a through ball behind the D.C. defense. It was a close play and, on slow-motion replay, Fagundez appeared a shade offside. The assistant referee's flag remained down. The 18-year-old attacker beat Hamid with a low shot to the far corner for his 11th goal of the season."
"United's 20th defeat equaled the club record, set in 2010."
- Taylor Twellman (Former player, ESPN):
One of the worst penalty calls I've ever seen and the assistant ref had no guts to tell the ref bad call #NEvDC— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) September 22, 2013
- Head Coach Ben Olsen (dcunited.com): "What do you want me to say? We had stretches (in the first half.) We had chances. We were going up against too much today. Take that for what it's worth. It has not been a great season. I don't know if that play (Matt Reis' 81st-minute save) sums it up. I don't want to sum up the hard work that our group's done and our organization's done on one play."
- Midfielder Chris Pontius (dcunited.com): "I thought, in the first half, we had a little bit of momentum, created some opportunities, but in the second half they threw a lot of numbers at us. When we did win the ball, we weren't clean enough with it, coming out of it. Then you get heavy legs and make it even harder on yourself. So we just weren't able to do the simple things in the game to really pressure for ourselves."
"I just think we did a lot of little things wrong tonight and it added up."
- Midfielder Dwayne De Rosario (dcunited.com): "We're playing away, so I think in certain parts of the second half, we had control and then some parts we didn't. But, again I think some questionable decisions led to the 2-1 result. Not to take anything away from New England but you give a penalty shot and then what looks to be offside goal and then we have opportunity and the ball grabs the net or its on the line so that's pretty much our season."
"It's very difficult to play on a field like that. You know it's terrible, it's unacceptable. I think this is a great stadium but the pitch is a disaster."
- Obviously some big calls were missed in this game and well, that sucks. But as I always say with any game, in any sport, you can't expect to come out on top when you leave the game in the hands of the refs. Ultimately, that's what United did. They didn't play their best game, they were unable to score goals, and they were unable to hold a lead. So, the game fell into the hands of the refs and DC got screwed.
- Bill Hamid played a solid game and was probably one of the better players on the field in Foxboro. Stopping Nguyen's first PK was huge. As for Fagundez's strike after? Well, there was really nothing Hamid could do about that. Hamid guessed in the same direction on Nguyen's second PK and whiffed. Still, this loss shouldn't totally fall on his shoulders.
- DC United desperately needs a new home, but the team due for a new stadium after DC? Definitely the Revs. That field is horrible.
- DC played a lot better against the LA Galaxy last week, who are a much better team than the Revs are. Let's hope that United can find that groove again before the USOC final.
The Last Word
This is a game that DC United was positioned to win but, with the help of some bad calls they threw away a chance at a win. They didn't play like we wanted them to and we're all a little pissed off about it. But the fact of the matter is that this game had no meaning to DC United. Would we have liked to have won this game? Sure, but does it affect whether or not United makes the playoffs? No, that ship has sailed, and it's time for this loss to sail on too. Remember, the only meaningful game left on the Black & Red's schedule is the USOC Final versus RSL. Tuesday, October 1st, 2013, 9pm EDT.
And one more "tune-up" game for it. Look for Olsen to give the starters a rest and give the youngsters and reserves some quality minutes when United faces off against Toronto FC this week.