D.C. United had to come out of RFK Stadium with 3 points over Orlando City SC in order to have any sort of place in a discussion about a red line and their place above or below it. And things started nervy but ultimately they did what they had to do in order to secure three points in a 4-1 win over the Lions from the land of Florida.
And with that, let’s take a look at some moments from the game, shall we? The first is from Luciano Acosta. Muscled off the ball by Kevin Molino, he comes back into Molino, presumably still with a rush of blood to his head, and earning a yellow for his troubles. I’m not sure whether it’s Lucho’s temper that’s making him do this or if he trusts that others on the field in Black-and-Red will do it for him, but as he becomes a veteran, his revenge hacks are going to need to look less obvious:
Next is Lucho on Antonio Nocerino. I didn’t get a chance to see how Lucho got past Noce from where I was, but boy howdy was this pretty:
In terms of thoughts on the above, well, I’ll let Matt Doyle take over:
How in god's name is that not a yellow card on Nocerino? Grabbed Acosta to stop the breakaway - literal definition of a professional foul.— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) September 24, 2016
Next is the first goal from Patrick Mullins. Of particular note is Patrick Nyarko’s back heel to Taylor Kemp who is on his run, and the OCSC defender sliding to block the cross, thus keeping Mullins on, which gave us a surrender cobra from Save of the Week King Joe Bendik (and later a halftime yellow card to OCSC coach Jason Kreis):
Next is this early second half attack by D.C. which forces Bendik to make a save on Bobby Boswell. Notice, a couple strides back his center back partner Steve Birnbaum, and Luciano Acosta to the side. If there is an Alias-type show I could get these 3 in, I would:
Next, with D.C. up 3-1, Nocerino tries to inexplicably hip check Lloyd Sam. Seconds later, Nocerino and Sam were still jawing at one another, up close, 20 yards into OCSC territory. It’s like Sorin Stoica could have managed this situation by tossing out a yellow card at any time or something:
Next up, the red card of course. Stoica three minutes earlier gave Nocerino the sign that he wouldn’t tolerate another foul. So, rather than give Nocerino a yellow for persistent infringement during one of at least two other occasions shown in the posts above, he gives Nocerino a violent conduct red. Not saying that the call wasn’t right (and Nocerino doing this 10 feet away from Stoica gave him little wiggle room), but it was the cherry on the cake of a bad night for Stoica:
And finally, well, let’s just call this your Moment of Zen (or, as I called the file, Antonio Nocerino is garbage):
So...what did you like from the game?