We wouldn't have been surprised to see a bit of a letdown tonight from this young D.C. United team, playing just three days after an important team victory over the Seattle Sounders. That's not what we saw though.
With Ben Olsen managing minutes and resting veterans Josh Wolff, Clyde Simms, and Marc Burch, there was no letdown. But there wasn't much to get too incredibly excited about either. At least not offensively.
But that defense. Oh man that defense. They shut down every FC Dallas opportunity, which there were more of than I'd like. Every cross. Every corner kick. Every free kick from a threatening spot. Even every long throw!
Olsen spoke after the game about achieving consistency in defense, and I think this team is starting to see it. He also mentioned commitment and concentration. The moves made this week to start Daniel Woolard and Perry Kitchen as the outside backs instead of Burch and Chris Korb was apparently deliberate.
They're defenders first. Woolard's been great. Perry's playing probably out of position, but you wouldn't know it.
Well tonight, I thought Kitchen earned the No. 23. Woolard earned a place in the regular starting lineup. Ethan White earned a spot on my Twitter background. And Dejan Jakovic earned the right to not be derided by us for at least a couple weeks.
This was a good result. Four points in a week is acceptable and deserved. But it could have been so much more. All 11,504 in attendance were ready to erupt when Kevin Harman snatched the ball off Fred da Silva's noggin as it was heading into the net. The full points were within our grasp, against a defense that was "very very difficult to break down" according to Dax McCarty. It could have been more, but we'll take it.
Full recap here. More quotes below. Player ratings tomorrow (hopefully).
Olsen clearly had some mixed feelings about United tonight. That was evident in his press conference.
I never like to tie at home. But if we're gonna tie at home, that's the way I want to play ... The positive is a good performance after a good performance on Wednesday.
There's that consistency thing again.
Olsen also mentioned that Charlie Davies is "making strides everyday. He's starting to feel at home up there." We spoke with Davies about the progress that he's making.
I'm back to being the person I want to be. The player I want to be.
We're coming together. I'm glad we had those bad losses against New York and Houston. We're bouncing back, finding our identity. We know how to get results.
The result, unfortunately, was just a single point though. But you might not have been able to tell it by talking to some of United's defensive players. Take Stephen King for example, who earned his first start of the season after earning his first 10 minutes on Wednesday night.
We were a little unfortunate not to get a goal, but we're happy with the shutout. I thought we had a good week.
A good week, and a consistent effort. But not anything that Ethan White plans to get overconfident about.
We'll see if it continues. We're a young club.