Saturday, April 9, 2011 9:46 p.m.By Sebastian SalazarCSNwashington.com
D.C. UNITED PAGE D.C. UNITED VIDEO
On a crisp night at RFK, D.C. United nearly wasted a decent defensive effort and a raucous homefield advantage, but second-half sub Charlie Davies drew a late penalty kick and converted it himself to give United a 1-1 draw against the visiting Los Angeles Galaxy.
"I saw an opportunity to get the ball and go against the defense," said Davies after the match. "I saw Omar Gonzalez and I was one-on-one with him, and I thought this is my bread and butter, I have to go at him. I did a step over and was able to get by him, but he put his hands on me and I was able to get a penalty."
Los Angeles took the lead in the first half, as United's struggles in defending set pieces continued. David Beckham hit an in-swinging corner, and Mike Magee rose above a disorganized D.C. defense to head home from close range. United rarely threatened to tie for the remainder of the first half, coming closest 32nd minute when Chris Pontius stung a low drive that proved to be of little trouble for Galaxy goalie Donovan Ricketts. Playing without star Landon Donovan, Los Angeles looked poised to double their lead in the 35th minute, but United defender Ethan White, earning his first MLS start, cleared a low shot off the line.
"I thought he was a stud," Ben Olsen said of White. "The guys as athletic as you are going to see and he seems to be a guy that when you give him a stage he does well."
United pushed forward aggressively in the second half, clearly in search of the equalizer. D.C. found little room to operate in the attacking third as the Galaxy shut down passing lanes extremely effectively. Davies entered the game in the 52nd minute and was quiet right up until his 90th minute heroics.
"I know hes chomping at the bit to get the start. I wouldnt be happy either if I wasnt getting the start," Olsen said of Davies. "But give him credit, he came in and gave us a big play and thats what hes been doing for us off the bench.
The draw pushes United's record to 1-2-1 on the season, and keeps the Black-and-Red unbeaten at home in 2011. D.C. returns to action next Saturday with a road game at Toronto.