Tonight's D.C. United match pitted them against a Chivas USA squad who had been stealing some results on the road and was stingy on defense, though tonight D.C. were miserly with the goals against tonight and had a minor offensive explosion of their own, with a 3-1 victory in front of 13,732 at RFK.
For a game that pitted MLS's biggest team turnaround against owner of the longest current unbeaten streak coming into the game, the affair started in a manner reminiscent of each team's 2013 performances. Things improved for United in the 24th minute, when Chris Rolfe was shouldered off the ball in the area by Oswaldo Minda for a penalty kick, which Eddie Johnson disposed up high and to the right of Dan Kennedy for a 1-0 D.C. lead. A cross field pass from Chris Korb to Sean Franklin almost resulted in a goal minutes later but Kennedy smothered the ball. This was not the most serious attack on the Chivas net, as Johnson headed one off the crossbar in the 42nd minute, and in stoppage time Eriq Zavaleta attempted to head a clearance away that also went off the bar. Yet despite having advantages in passing accuracy and possession, the lead remained one.
The second half started with some more offense by Chivas as they brought it Nathan Sturgis for Minda, but D.C. absorbed the attack and in the 58th minute, a free kick into the Chivas area was headed down by Johnson to a trailing Perry Kitchen, who beat Kennedy on his left with Kitchen's left foot for the brace. In the 70th, Korb put the ball into Luis Silva who curled the ball around Kennedy for a third. Mauro Rosales was "fouled" in the box by Steven Birnbaum in the 83rd minute, and Erick Torres' penalty kick attempt both redefined the stutter step and helped give the Goats a goal back, but D.C. clamped down for the balance of the match.
D.C. United (10-5-4) stays in second place in the Eastern Conference, a point and game fewer than current leaders Sporting Kansas City. They do not play a League match until July 30, but they play Fulham F.C.
at a scoreboard unveiling in a friendly in Jacksonville, Florida on Saturday. Chivas USA (6-8-5) stays in eighth in the West, one point and one game in hand against the Portland Timbers. Their next game is on the road against the Colorado Rapids Friday.