Dealing with a two-game suspension from play in MLS, Eddie Johnson needed a boost. In Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League opener for D.C. United at R.F.K. Stadium, Johnson helped himself and his club in a 1-0 win over Jamaica’s Waterhouse FC.
Johnson was the only regular starter among United’s first eleven and he provided the goal in the fifth minute with assists from Conor Shanosky and David Estrada. The season has not been an easy one for Johnson with inconsistent play and flashes off frustration, but he provided the score that has United on top of Group 4 in the CCL.
Johnson had emphasized recently that he believed United was in the midst of creating “something special” and he backed up his belief by coming through during a challenging stretch. Head coach Ben Olsen selected Wednesday’s lineup with consideration to Sunday’s 4-2 win over Colorado and a road test against Sporting Kansas City set for Saturday.
It was also encouraging to see Estrada involved in Johnson’s goal. Against the Rapids Estrada provided the assist on Fabian Espindola’s goal. Less than a month into his career with United, Estrada is already showing the quality that helped him to five goals with Seattle in 2012.
It was not the easy night at the office that United might have hoped for, but it was mission accomplished with three points in the standings. Waterhouse FC came into the match confident after a road win against Panama’s Tauro FC and made United fans uncomfortable as it dictated play for stretches of the game.
Kofi Opare, acquired in a trade with the LA Galaxy, made his United debut on defense. Injured last month in a friendly against Fulham, Kyle Porter was active and provided two of United’s six shots.
Bottom line---a win and a goal from Eddie Johnson...call it a good night and get ready for the weekend.