Tampa Bay Sports Day

DC United washes out Red Bulls 2-0

Rainy weather proved to be an equalizer at RFK, but not enough to save the Red Bulls from yet another loss to DC United. Only 15 days earlier, in a game of mutual reserve squads, United demonstrated superior depth and ran away with an easy 5-3 win in a U.S. Open Cup play-in game.

Last night the rain lowered the level of pretty play despite the use of first squad players. DC United again prevailed, this time 2-0, a score belied by the tension and doubt that was only relieved by a Jaime Moreno penalty kick during added time.

While the earlier game showed United’s greater depth in quality players, last night’s game showed the quality of United’s training. That is because shape and mutual support are especially important when the field is wet and Tom Soehn’s DC United continues to improve its overall team discipline.

Soehn was clear that the game was not really well played while allowing that the conditions may have played a part, noting that, “We didn’t create our normal chances but at least we were opportunistic when we did.”

His remark applied particularly well to the excellent sequence that put United ahead in the 36th minute. After Luciano Emilio cleverly flicked a header into the path of an overlapping Fred, the Brazilian took the ball to the end line, danced around his defender and pulled a perfect pass into the path of Tino Quaranta.

The young veteran timed his run perfectly and put the ball neatly away. Fred’s run was particularly dazzling because it combined fierce determination with cool calculation. He mastered slippery conditions which would normally dictate a simple shot.

“You never want to defend against him because you never know what he’s going to do.”, said Soehn. Clearly, Quaranta understood him well enough. Had he arrived a fraction sooner or later the pass might well have been wasted.

As rain runs up the error rate, the value of good communication increases. Keeper Josh Wicks, who made several stellar stops and parries, was especially pleased with that aspect of the game, “It’s great. It’s improving every day. Today, I feel there weren’t any mental lapses at all.

“From the back line to the outside mids to the center backs, the communication for switching players and tracking runners, the communication from me to them, I think was spot on today. Once again, everything is going right for you and even if you have a couple bad bounces, you still come out on top.”

Both Fred and Quaranta worked hard on defense as well. Soehn praised Fred, saying, “He made a couple of great defensive plays that turned into chances going the other way.”

For about 10 minutes late in the game, Soehn had Chris Pontius move to forward and Quaranta to midfield, trading youthful energy for wisdom to support the defense. As the Red Bulls turned up pressure in the final few minutes, he put Devon McTavish in for the tiring Quaranta to refresh the defense, a timely and appropriate final adjustment.

Both coach and players continue to improve their mutual understanding just enough to stay ahead of their opponents. The long rest before the team takes on the Chicago Fire on June 13 should help Soehn further refine that understanding.

Match Facts

Scoring Summary:
DC — Santino Quaranta 2 (Fred 3, Luciano Emilio 2) 36
DC — Jaime Moreno 4 (penalty kick) 93+

New York Red Bulls — Jon Conway, Carlos Mendes (Nick Zimmerman 46), Kevin Goldthwaite, Mike Petke, Danleigh Borman (John Wolyniec 79), Jeremy Hall, Albert Celades, Seth Stammler, Jorge Rojas, Juan Pablo Angel, Dane Richards,

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Cepero, Juan Pietravallo, Luke Sassano, Khano Smith, Sinisa Ubiparipovic

D.C. United — Josh Wicks, Bryan Namoff, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, Chris Pontius, Fred, Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace, Luciano Emilio (Jaime Moreno 63), Ange N’Silu (Christian Gomez 46), Santino Quaranta (Devon McTavish 88),

Substitutes Not Used: Andrew Jacobson, Greg Janicki, Thabiso Khumalo, Milos Kocic

Statistical Summary:
D.C. United / New York Red Bulls
Total shots: 12 (Chris Pontius 3) 9 (Juan Pablo Angel 2)
Shots on goal: 5 (5 tied with 1) 5 (5 tied with 1)
Fouls: 16 (Rodney Wallace 6) 10 (Mike Petke 2,
Dane Richards 2)
Offsides: 1 (Chris Pontius 1) 4 (Dane Richards 2)
Corner kicks: 4 (Santino Quaranta 3) 6 (Jorge Rojas 4)
Saves: 5 (Josh Wicks 5) 3 (Jon Conway 3)

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Clyde Simms (caution; Reckless Tackle) 27
DC — Luciano Emilio (caution; Reckless Tackle) 60
DC — Luciano Emilio (ejection; Abusive Language) 64
NY — John Wolyniec (caution; Goalkeeper Interference) 94+

Referee: Terry Vaughn
Referee’s Assistants: C.J. Morgante; Corey Rockwell
4th official: Andrew Chapin
Time of game: 1:51
Attendance: 11,226
Weather: Rain -and- 61 degrees