Upon further review: improved play leads to draw with Chicago

Upon further review: improved play leads to draw with Chicago
March 30, 2014, 1:30 am
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(Paul Frederiksen-USA TODAY Sports)

For D.C. United on a rainy Saturday afternoon at R.F.K. Stadium the start against the Chicago Fire was bright. There was real bite in the attack. The offense flowed and goals followed.  Sadly for the home team the result matched the weather with a 2-2 draw.

Against the backdrop of a 0-2 start after a three-win season, one point in the standings for United is progress. Still, United dictated the flow in this match and was in position to see it through for the full three points. Instead United failed to close and conceded a goal in the 82nd minute to allow the Fire to also grab a point.

Conclusions:

  1. United’s improved attack on paper came to life on the field. In the first 20 minutes of the match United had four quality chances. Eddie Johnson was active and it was his aggressiveness that led to Fabian Espindola’s goal on a free kick in the 35th minute that tied the game at one. By halftime United had nine attempts on goal with five shots on target. There was an understanding and connection between Johnson and Espindola. The outside backs, especially Sean Franklin, were involved in creating opportunities. 
  2. The midfield was better. Perry Kitchen scored United’s second goal and his header on goal was part of United’s promising start.  Kitchen was a physical presence who helped United to a 52 to 48 percent edge in possession. Davy Arnaud did not start, but came off the bench and was part of a second half attack that was unlucky not to add a third goal.

Perry Kitchen:

“I think it just comes down to not changing how we play. As soon as we went up, I felt that we started to play a little more direct. I think we just need to continue doing what we were doing, what was making us successful and seeing it out.”

Nick DeLeon:

“It’s getting better. We created a ton of chances, more today than we have in the past two games. It’s just about putting those chances away, but I think we’re definitely moving in the right direction. We should’ve had two more goals, but unfortunately we didn’t. I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

United is justifiably disappointed in not getting a win, but the team is starting to come into focus. Remember last season it took seven games for United to score two goals and that was in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia.

There is quality in this side and there should be confidence to match going forward.

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