The 2016 season went from bad to worse on Saturday afternoon for D.C. United, as the Black-and-Red were second best for 90 minutes in a 3-0 defeat to FC Dallas. In search of their first win this season, United instead fell behind by two goals in the first half, as Michael Barrios scored his first two goals of the young season.
Maximiliano Urruti added a third for the Hoops early on in the second half, while Fabian Espindola had a penalty stopped by back-up keeper Chris Seitz. Moments later, Marcelo Sarvas was sent off for an elbow that hit Fabian Castillo in the face.
Playing against a Dallas team that was missing seven players due to international duty, D.C. got off to a bright start, though leaving Seitz with little work. A long ball from Taylor Kemp to Chris Rolfe sprang the veteran attacker - staring at a forward tonight - into the box in the first minute, only for Rolfe to be tackled off the ball at the last moment.
Espindola, in his first MLS start of the season, had a free kick blocked in the 4th minute, before Kofi Opare, starting in place of Steve Birnbaum, headed the resulting corner wide of the goal. Rolfe then slipped a ball into Espindola in the box in the 7th minute, but Espindola's effort was blocked out.
Dallas then went ahead in the 14th minute, with what was their first opportunity of the game. A mix-up between Opare and Kemp let a ball that was in United's half drop to Barrios. As the defenders tried to recover, the Colombian got the ball onto his left foot, and curled a shot into the far post, around a rooted Travis Worra.
There wasn't much doing for either side after the goal, as Dallas were happy to defend their lead against a seemingly fazed United. But it only took a small opening in the 28th minute for Dallas to double their advantage, as Barrios found the score sheet once again. United were out of sorts defensively as Mauro Diaz drew in defenders, and then found Barrios on the run through a large channel. Barrios' touch seemed heavy, but Worra couldn't get to the ball before Barrios deftly lifted a shot over the keeper.
United had a couple of looks to end the half with a goal, but poor finishing in front of the goal cost the Black-and-Red a chance to find a way back into the game. From a Nick DeLeon long throw, Patrick Nyarko had a shot blocked, and the follow up attempt from Kemp was sent well over the goal.
In the 36th minute, DeLeon then had an opening, as Espindola was able to knock a Kemp cross down in the box. The ball fell invitingly to DeLeon, who was unmarked, but the midfielder's attempt on the half volley was well over the goal, with only Seitz to beat.
Espindola then weaved his way around a couple of defenders in first half stoppage time, only for his cross to be deflected into Seitz.
It only took until the 52nd minute then for Dallas to fully put the game away. Diaz played a long ball out wide to the pacy Castillo, who found plenty of space with United's back line stretched. Castillo played a ball into the box perfectly for Urruti, who was able to take one touch away from Kemp, allowing the striker to fire in to cement Dallas' lead at 3-0.
Despite the disadvantage, United weren't ready to capitulate, as Espindola fired into the side netting from a free kick from the side of the box. Lamar Neagle then took advantage of a slip in the box by Matt Hedges, as a cross bounced off the defender. Neagle took aim towards goal, but was denied by Seitz.
United did manage any danger from the resulting corner, but Dallas immediately broke, with a four on one going the other way. Urruti carried the ball the entire way, before electing to shot from the corner of the box, bouncing a shot over Worra that smashed off the post that United cleared.
In the 66th minute, United were given in a penalty, in what appeared to be a make up call. Minutes earlier, Nyarko was clearly taken down in the box after getting around three defenders, with no called made. Sean Franklin looked to break in on a DeLeon ball in the 66th, but was clipped on the shins, earning a penalty. Espindola stepped up but failed to convert the spot kick, with Seitz diving down to make the save.
As Dallas moved the ball up the field after the penalty, Sarvas saw a straight red, after having been booked earlier in the game. As Sarvas fought Castillo for a ball, Sarvas' elbow hit Castillo in the face, and Jose Rivero wasted no time in sending off the midfielder.
Down to ten men, United were never going to find a way back into the game, and the last 20 minutes wore down to a grind, as Dallas was able to see out their victory without much danger. Espindola came closest in the 88th minute, but his shot from outside of the box was wide of the mark.
With two points from four games, United will travel to California next week to face off against the San Jose Earthquakes.