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Hapless D.C. United falls 2-0 at FC Dallas

United had one of their worst performances of 2019, and lost Luciano Acosta to a red card to boot

MLS: D.C. United at FC Dallas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

D.C. United stumbled to a 2-0 loss against FC Dallas in a frustrating, foul-filled match. Goals from Santiago Mosquera and Dominique Badji were more than the Black-and-Red could handle, and a red card for Luciano Acosta only made things worse for United, who now have one win from their last seven league matches.

The match started slowly for D.C. United, who struggled to find their initial rhythm on the pitch without regular starters Luciano Acosta (on the bench due to a reported illness) and Paul Arriola (national team duty).

FC Dallas exploited United’s early discomfort, and scored the eventual game-winner quickly. In the 6th minute, a powerful strike from Bryan Acosta forced Hamid to reach for the save. Ryan Hollingshead got to the loose ball first, crossing in from the left, and Santiago Mosquera beat Frederic Brilliant to the service, guiding it past Hamid from close range.

There was no true response to the wake-up call from United, who struggled with Paxton Pomykal throughout the game. Things nearly got worse in the 30th minute, as Wayne Rooney hit Michael Barrios with a high, late tackle after the Dallas winger stole the ball. The incident earned the United captain an initial red card from referee Nima Saghafi, but a long VAR check eventually saw him exchange the red for a yellow.

It wasn’t until the 41st minute, however, that United had their first threatening opportunity of the match. After a great run, Leonardo Jara provided a fantastic deep ball to Rooney, who headed the cross powerfully in the direction of the goal, forcing Jesse Gonzalez into a save. Gonzalez couldn’t control the rebound, though, and only a last-ditch intervention from Matt Hedges kept Rooney from poking it home.

Ben Olsen, desperate to shake something loose in a scrappy game, introduced Luciano Acosta in the 57th minute. However, a dynamic play by the home side saw them double their lead in the 65th minute. Mosquera gained possession on the left, losing Jara quickly before firing in a low cross. Brillant blocked the first ball, but the deflection gave Mosquera a second chance. The Colombian went for goal, only for Hamid to get down quickly for the save. Dom Badji found the resulting rebound, though, and drilled it into the net, effectively ending the game as a contest.

A bad night just kept getting worse for the visitors. In the 73rd minute, Luciano Acosta shoved Pomykal before landing a foot on the opposing player as they both tumbled over. Saghafi went to VAR again after initially just calling a foul, but quickly came back to send Acosta off with a straight red.

Dallas had numerous late chances to add a third, with Hamid making a strong save on Pomykal after Donovan Pines — making his first appearance in six weeks — acrobatically prevented a Badji breakaway. At the other end, Lucas Rodriguez nearly scored very late in stoppage time, but that was the entirety of United’s second half offense.

United has eight days to regroup and get back on track ahead of a visit from the New England Revolution next Friday, July 12.

Box Score

MLS Regular Season (Game 20)
FC Dallas 2 (Mosquera 6, Badji 65)
D.C. United 0

FCD (4231): Jesse Gonzalez; Bressan, Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler (C), Ryan Hollingshead; Brandon Servania, Bryan Acosta; Michael Barrios, Paxton Pomykal (Jacori Hayes 96+), Santiago Mosquera (Bryan Reynolds 89); Jesus Ferreira (Dominique Badji 61)

DCU (4231): Bill Hamid; Leonardo Jara (Donovan Pines 77), Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno (Quincy Amarikwa 81); Ulises Segura, Lucas Rodriguez, Griffin Yow (Luciano Acosta 57); Wayne Rooney (C)

FCD - Hedges 22, Hollingshead 35
DCU - Rooney 32, Canouse 46, Acosta 73 (red), Amarikwa 97+