This was the type of dominating performance we haven't seen in years from DC United. This was the coming out party for Chris Pontius, who has been playing well all season, creating goals but not quite scoring them himself. This was Charlie Davies doing his usual thing, capitalizing on every opportunity he's given. This was Bill Hamid and his young back-line recording a clean sheet.
This was also against Toronto FC.
But not tonight.
United had just one multi-goal shutout win last season. It came at home in August against an expansion team. This one came on the road, with the season just a month old. And I can almost guarantee you it won't be the only one this year.
Full recap here. Player ratings below.
The man of the match and most dangerous player for United was Chris Pontius, there's no doubt about that. His finishing on both goals was absolutely perfect, and he created the first one all on his own in the midfield. I've often argued that I don't think Pontius played at 100% for a single game last year. Now he is, and he looks to have progressed from the kid who tallied four goals and three assists as a rookie in 2009.
Josh Wolff and Fred da Silva each created goals for United as well. The second United goal came as Davies finished a rebound off a Wolff shot, while the third goal of the night began as Fred won the ball from a TFC midfielder, cut the ball to the inside, and found an open Pontius streaking in from the left. I was really happy with Fred's performance all night actually. He filled the Najar role better than Andy's been doing most of the year, energetically contributing on defense and taking on defenders when the option is there.
Bill Hamid earned his second shutout of his career tonight without having to do too much. But he did combine with Ethan White on making a point-blank save on a TFC shot that was the result from a long throw-in. Why are those so difficult for us to defend by the way? Ah well. With a back-line that included three rookies by the end of the contest, our 20-year old goalkeeper and 20-year old center back helped secure three points.
He may have been absent for long stretches of the match, but Charlie Davies just keeps scoring. He continues to lead MLS with five goals, and has now scored as many goals in 2011 as United's leading scorer in 2010. It was great to see him play all 90 minutes, although maybe he should have been subbed out prior to suffering a cramp, and he was an impressive diving Stefan Frei save away from scoring a second.
Also contributing to the clean sheet were Clyde Simms, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, and Chris Korb. Simms also had an excellent through pass to Pontius on the play that earned Ty Harden a straight red card from referee Mark Kadlecik, who did well in his first MLS match.
Tonight's performance from Dax McCarty makes me wonder what it would take to cause his starting job to be in jeopardy. Branko Boskovic has substituted in for McCarty in each of the past two matches, and could emerge as legit competition for the captain at that position. As we pointed out with photographic evidence in the GameThread, McCarty failed to connect with Wolff or Davies on a 3-on-2 charge into the box. Either would have had a fantastic look at goal with Frei out of position. Instead, McCarty took an extra dribble and lost the ball. Not good, bro.
Doesn't it feel nice to win a match that was never really in doubt?
This sets up a highly anticipated National TV match on Thursday night against the New York Red Bulls in the home leg of the Atlantic Cup. Win, and we're tied with the Philadelphia Union atop of the MLS Eastern Conference standings.
Will we wear the red third jersey in support of our Washington Capitals brethren who also Love Beating NY? I hope so.