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Three things we learned from D.C. United’s disappointing 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire

In a game that D.C. United badly needed, they came up frustratingly short

MLS: D.C. United at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

In a game that D.C. United desperately needed, the came up short. After scoring a goal off of an indirect free kick to open the game, they gave up two goals in quick succession; despite another late goal to tie the game, they came up short of the full three points. With Orlando City playing Columbus Crew SC tomorrow, they now have the chance to go three points clear of D.C. United with five games to play. Two of the games are against Orlando City, but that is a lot of ground to make up over a short period of time.

  1. Defensive marking: D.C. United had a heck of time trying to mark Chicago players on set pieces, and Luke Mishu was especially to blame. He lost his man completely on the first goal, giving him a clear header that beat Bill Hamid. Steve Birnbaum could have done better on the second goal, but he also got left out to dry by the entire rest of the defense, who all decided to shut down at the same time. Bill Hamid also probably wishes he could have done better on that too.
  2. Midfield ineffective: The central midfield was completely anonymous throughout the entire game, and it led to them not being able to create any offense. Luciano Acosta, back from his yellow card suspension, was unable to create any offense; Marcelo Sarvas was only noticed when collecting the ball from the defense, and was anonymous in the attacking third. Rob Vincent was actually the most effective central midfielder offensively, with his goal off of the indirect free kick. Without their central midfield firing on all cylinders, they never had a chance.
  3. Finishing, finishing, finishing: In a story that has been a problem all year long, D.C. United still comes up short in front of goal. Patrick Mullins missed a shot in the first half from 6 yards out, and a few minutes later Lloyd Sam rolled a shot just wide. Both could have been goals, and needed to be goals for a team that is in the playoffs. Bobby Boswell’s header was powerful and on point, but D.C. United has been relying too much on non-attackers for goal scoring this season.