Loudoun United played their fourth game in two weeks Wednesday night and have yet to score more than a goal in any of them. While it continued tonight, it wasn’t for a lack of trying as they drew 1-1 with the Birmingham Legion in front of 1,007 at Segra Field.
The game started with both teams short staffed; Loudoun dressed 17 and Birmingham 16 as they were missing several players to injury and yellow/red cards incurred in their game Sunday. In a pleasant nod for the youngster, former D.C. United player Akeem Ward was given the captain’s armband for the opposition by former D.C. (and current Birmingham) coach Tom Soehn. In the 19th minute, Carlos Alvarez sent in a Loudoun free kick near the Legion net/end line that Kyle Murphy was able to put a head on, but his attempt hit the post and came out, and Collin Verfurth’s rebound attempt sailed over the bar. It would prove costly later as Legion forward J.J. Williams would be part of a odd man counter attack with Brian Wright, who fed Williams for the tap in and a 1-0 Legion lead in the 32nd minute.
The second half started as Loudoun wanted, as Ward misplayed a ball that Christian Sorto intercepted, and fed it to Kyle Murphy for the tying goal in the 47th minute. Following a 60th minute Birmingham goal that was disallowed (Williams was offside), Loudoun had a chance of their own in the 63rd, as Murphy beat Matt Van Oekel in the area, but his angle was too acute and his attempted shot crossed the goal mouth. It was the last time that Birmingham’s defense would falter and the game ended in the deadlock.
“I’m proud of the guys,” Coach Ryan Martin said after the game. “We controlled the game, dominated play, and created more than enough chances to win, but really proud that the guys were able to step up and get an equalizer. We’re happy with where we are now from where we were last game.”
While Birmingham’s unbeaten streak extends to eight, Loudoun’s winless streak extends to six and combined with Memphis’ win over Atlanta United 2 Wednesday night, drops them to 15th of 18 Eastern Conference teams. At 5-12-6, they will host North Carolina FC Saturday night at Segra Field at 7:30pm.