One of the biggest building blocks for D.C. United over the past two years, as they rebounded from the regrettable 2013, was their form at home. Over the course of the two seasons, the Black-and-Red won 22 of the 34 games at home, losing just five times in the process. Contrast that to 2016, where Wednesday's 2-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders was just the latest home hiccup at RFK Stadium for United, who enter the Copa America Centenario break having lost four of their eight games at home.
And in those four losses, United have scored a grand total of zero times.
"Scoring goals would help. How many games were we sitting here saying the same thing," an exasperated Ben Olsen said after the game about how his team can turn around it's home form. "We got to finish our chances. So there's one."
In those 34 home games between 2014 and 2015, United were shut out just five times, losing three of those matches. But through eight home games in 2016, United have failed to score four times, all of which have come in losses. And though United have found the back of the net 10 times at home this season, seven of those goals came in just two games.
Clearly not good enough for Olsen and company.
"It's a loss at home. There have been too many of them this year. When we do get back to work, we'll start trying to fix that," said Olsen.
After seeing out an early push from the Sounders in the first half, United settled in nicely, creating a bevy of chances to open the scoring. But whether it was Lamar Neagle clipping a header wide in the near post in the 4th minute, or Fabian Espindola skipping a shot well wide from outside the box five minutes later, United struggled to get many of those chances on target.
In fact, despite firing 15 shots throughout the 90 minutes, just one of them was actually on target, when Espindola tested his luck from range in the 30th minute. Stefan Frei slid to his left to save the shot, and that was it for testing the Seattle netminder for the remaining 60 minutes of the game.
There was one moment in the first half where United might feel aggrieved to have not been awarded a penalty. Kofi Opare rose up to win a header from Espindola's inswinging corner, beating Frei in the air. But as the ball bounced towards goal, it appeared to strike Dylan Remick's arm. Another corner was given, despite some protesting from United.
After the game, Olsen and Opare admitted that there wasn't much the referee, Jose Carlos Rivero, could have done in the split second that it took from Opare to head the ball until the moment it bounced off of Remick.
"It's tough. It happens quick. I don't know if [Remick] can do anything about it. I don't know what a hand ball is anymore," said Olsen.
"It's so subjective. What's a hand ball? It happens in a split second," added Opare. "From [my] vantage point, I could not tell if it was a hand ball or not. For the referee it's hard."
But that didn't mean that United was destined to fail to get three points out of the game. Scoreless at the break, there was still plenty of time to see out a Sounders side that was missing Clint Dempsey and Nelson Valdez to international duty, and Chad Marshall to a hamstring injury.
"Initially I thought I scored. Somehow, it didn't go in, and that's soccer, said Opare. "If I score the header the game could have been different. We should have found a way to see the game through. At least come through with a point."
Instead, United struggled offensively in the second half, and then were gut punched in a four minutes spell late in the game, when Jordan Morris and substitute Joevin Jones, scored to hand Seattle all three points at RFK.
"It's not the first time in soccer where you don't take your chances and the second half you get punished for it," said Olsen. "The few very good chances we had, we failed to finish off."
"The second half, it's a Wednesday night game. It's back and forth, and someone is going to make a play. We didn't make a play," said Olsen. "We looked leggy, we looked like we had less juice than they did. We had good some performances, and we had some performances that were not that great. Again, something is a little off. Not all the guys were here tonight."