No referee to pin this one on; referee Allen Chapman actually had a pretty decent game. No, this loss is all on D.C. United being outplayed by a better opponent. Tonight, that opponent was the Seattle Sounders, who managed two remarkably similar goals through Obafemi Martins, one in each half. In the 19th minute, Seattle gained control of a D.C. goal kick, the ball eventually finding its way to Brad Evans just inside United's half. His throughball cut out James Riley and Ethan White, allowing Martins to pass the ball past Joe Willis on his first touch. In second half stoppage time, Shalrie Joseph beat Alain Rochat to Chris Korb's forward header within D.C.'s half, and Joseph's header was misjudged by Ethan White. The ball fell to Martins, who somehow managed to elude James Riley in close quarters before finishing past Willis to provide the final margin.
Nobody stood out for United in any positive way, but a few players distinguished themselves with dubious honors. Lionard Pajoy managed to find himself whistled offside at least five times on the night, and flubbed his best chance as a Rochat cross cleared every defender in the box only to hit Pajoy in the chest on the back post - the ball went behind harmlessly for a goal kick. Former Sounder James Riley may have forgotten which team he plays for, he seemed to be passing to the green shirts so frequently. Riley also appears to be at least partially at fault for both goals, a familiar refrain this season. Chris Korb has taken a major step backward since last season, most obviously in his crossing and his decision-making. For the second consecutive game, the Akron product managed to cross the ball behind is teammates while under no defensive pressure himself. Mostly, though, guys wearing Black-and-Red were invisible for too much of the night - Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Alain Rochat, Ethan White... These are all guys you may have forgotten played 90 minutes in this one. Joe Willis really wasn't at fault on either goal, and he managed to make a couple top notch saves to keep the game close.
Feel free to share your reactions to the loss in the comments. United will be back in action on Sunday night in Commerce City, Colo. to take on the Colorado Rapids. That game will again be on Comcast SportsNet (live, with commentary live from Bethesda), with a 9:30 pm kickoff.