Sunday, August 22, 2010, 4:34 PM
By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington---Finally for DC United tension and frustrated was replaced by pure joy. Two goals from Danny Allsopp lifted United to a 2-0 win over the expansion Philadelphia Union and ended the teams run of eight games without a win.The victory put a positive exclamation mark on a week that included a heated exchange at a training session between Santino Quaranta and assistant coach Mark Simpson. The disagreement between player and coach probably underscored the level of concern for the teams plight and then was reflected in the commitment on the field against the Union.On the opening kickoff the Union played the ball back to their half of midfield, but United forward Pablo Hernandez quickly forced a turnover and then fired a shot from 25 yards out that was easily handled by Union goalkeeper Chris Seitz. While harmless, it seemed to set the tone.United for a change was able to dictate early possession and was able get both Quaranta and Andy Najar involved on the flanks. Still despite its bright start United was in trouble almost six minutes into the match.Former United midfielder Fred was able to start an attack from his own defensive third. Having committed numbers forward United was in a vulnerable position as Fred raced up the right wing and was able to find the high scoring Sebastian Le Toux at the top of the penalty area. Le Toux was able to collect the ball and fire a shot from 16 yards out, but United goalkeeper Bill Hamidmade a reaction save with his right hand that was then cleared by United defender Julius James. It would turn out to be the Unions only real threat from the run of play in the first half.In the 21st minute United enjoyed a breakthrough moment. From the center circle defender Dejan Jakovic sprayed a ball wide to Najar and then Najar crossed a beautiful ball to the six-yard box that was misplayed by defender Danny Califf.Allsopp had made a good run to get in position andwas ready when the ball ricocheted away from Califf. From 12 yards out Califf placed the ball perfectly into the side netting for his first league tally since he scored two goals against Kansas City in the sixth game of the season.Later in the half United was troubled by a Union corner kick. Califf had a chance to atone for his mistake when he placed a strong header toward the frame, but it was denied in traffic in front of Hamid and allowed United to get to half-time with the one goal lead.With Branko Boskovic and Pablo Hernandez playing in their sixth game with United there seemed to be more coordination and understanding in the midfield. Possession increased in Uniteds favor and in the 55th minute Quaranta almost scored on a bending ball fromthe top of the box on the left side.Much needed security for United arrived in the 62nd minute when Allsopp scored his second. The Union play attractive attacking soccer, but this time their left back Jordan Harvey got caught forward on a turnover.Najar took advantage of the space left open by the advanced Harvey and raced up field. Najar, like he did on the first goal, crossed a beautiful ball into the box. Hernandez made a dummy run and allowed Allsopp to finish.There was real chemistry between Allsopp and Hernandez. Allsopp credited Hernandez for keeping defenders occupied to free him up to score. It was a welcome sign for a team that has tried six players at forward and has been shut out 13 times.To the delight of the home supporters, United used Jamie Moreno as a late substitute to help keep possession and secure victory. Moreno also came close to scoring but more importantly Hamid earned his first career shutout.