Tampa Bay Sports Day

DeRosario and team heroics salvage short-handed tie 3-3

DC United had not won a league home game since May 4th and Toronto FC had not won a road game since defeating United in last year’s finale. So something had to give as the two squared off in the humid and heavy air of RFK Stadium on Saturday, right? Nope. Not this year.

The 3-3 draw was a combination of each team’s altruistic ways and a heavy dose of unwanted chaos and drama. Dwayne De Rosario scored all three of United’s goals including the game tying goal on a penalty in the 88th minute that preceded 8-minutes of stoppage time and an earlier chaotic substitution situation that led directly to Toronto’s second equalizing goal.

“I don’t know what just happened,” said United Coach Ben Olsen, who did not want to discuss the substitution incident. “It was a pretty eventful game…Dwayne DeRosario should be the story and the heart of that group out there that got (jobbed) every which way tonight, didn’t get a call all night but they found a way to get a point and should have been three.”

De Rosario has scored all of United’s goals (6) over their last five games and with tonight’s tallies, he has scored against all three of his former teams (New York, San Jose, and Toronto) that United have played since his arrival.

The impending drama started just 7-minutes into the match and altered the game significantly as United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was ejected for a wild and reckless challenge on Eric Avila. With Avila’s last touch a bit heavy on a run down the right flank, Brandon McDonald had already cleared the ball away when Hamid inexplicably slid out with his legs slightly up, flipping the recently acquired midfielder head over heels and hard to the turf.

After briefly consulting with the Assistant Referee directly in front of the play, referee Jasen Anno decided to dismiss the young goalkeeper.

“The initial play with Bill is not good enough. We made a meal of that play and we have to learn that that play hurts everybody. It kills the game and makes the guys do a lot of work,” Olsen said. “It’s too early in the game and we have to be tuned in every play whether it’s three minutes in or late. That play haunted us.”

Steve Cronin came on to man the pipes and midfielder Stephen King was removed. With the recent run of injuries among the forwards and players logging heavy minutes, including DeRosario, Olsen certainly did not want to use a substitute that early.

With Santino Quaranta making his first appearance since May 14 and the nagging left hamstring injury to Josh Wolff, the early red card put Olsen immediately in the trick bag. Austin Da Luz did come in for Wolff in the 60th minute but Quaranta played the full 90 despite Olsen’s intentions to limit those minutes.

“No,” said Olsen if he planned on playing Quaranta the entire match. “We didn’t know how long he could go so obviously making the early change postpones that second and third change especially when you are playing down a man.”

Regardless of the manpower situation, United took the lead as the rain had just started to fall in the 19th minute. DeRosario received a simple free kick from Quaranta, took one touch and cut loose a right footed blast from 25-yards out that got through Stefan Frei and into the upper left corner to give United the unexpected lead.

As the half progressed however, United settled at least eight, and often nine, men behind the ball in hopes of shutting the game down and getting into the break with the lead.

Toronto got the break they were looking for in the 52nd minute when Cronin’s punch of an Ashtone Morgan cross from the left flank deflected off McDonald to an unmarked Peri Marosevic, who tapped the ball into the wide open net to equalize.

De Rosario was the beneficiary of Tornoto’s Andy Iro’s benevolence, gifting United the lead again in the 64th minute. Iro let a dreadful Chris Pontius cross from the right flank skip right through his legs at the edge of the penalty area directly to DeRosario, who simply stepped around a committed Frei and slotted it home for a 2-1 United advantage.

The lead did not last long however as Toronto equalized on a goal similar to DeRosario’s first goal in the 70th minute but off a throw-in. Second half substitute Julian de Guzman took a simple ball from Morgan, near where Quaranta delivered the ball to DeRosario, and hit a right footed shot that Cronin got his hands on as well, and probably should have knocked away, that slipped into the left corner.

“It kind of dances all over the place on me and got by. That one I definitely regret,” said Cronin. “He hit a knuckle ball and if it’s wet at all, this ball does a lot of funny things. It’s a ball I should save.”

Prior to the throw-in however, drama gave way to chaos when Ethan White, a United defender, was coming on for the cramping McDonald. White was apparently waved on by Anno, who allowed play to continue without giving White ample time to get properly and fairly situated in a reasonable position. A boiling and incensed Olsen was subsequently excused from the bench after a vociferous tirade aimed at the referee.

“The play has to stop on a sub. It was unbelievable,” said White. “The fourth official is screaming at him to stop play and I just sprinted on the field because play hasn’t stopped. I took it upon myself to run on the field and by the time I took three steps the ball was already in the back of the net.”

“These are the decisions that continually impact games. I’ve never seen a referee ever flag on a sub without blowing the whistle and stopping the play and letting the defender get into his position,” added De Rosario. “I definitely didn’t hear a whistle and you could tell by our reaction we didn’t hear a whistle. You wait for a defender to get into his position — that’s just sportsmanlike and he (Anno) didn’t.”

It was Cronin’s turn to reciprocate the benevolence as he let a harmless bouncing ball get through his legs to give Toronto a surprising 3-2 lead in the 86th minute. Danny Koevermans took the innocuous shot and was given credit for the goal but the ball took a subtle deflection off Iro standing near the top of the 6-yard box.

Toronto’s lead lasted all of two minutes however as Da Luz broke free in the penalty area and was knocked down by Iro for the penalty. De Rosario easily converted the kick to get United back to level terms.

De Rosario could have capped the final scene of the night with a shocking game winner a few seconds later as he collected a long Cronin punt, took on a Toronto defender before playing it inside to the onrushing Pontius, who was taken down at the top of the box leaving the fans hoping for another penalty. After the penalty was rightfully denied however, De Rosario collected the loose ball only to have his low shot skitter just wide of the far post.

Scoring Summary:
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 7 (Santino Quaranta 1) 19
TOR — Peri Marosevic 2 (unassisted) 52
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 8 (Chris Pontius 3) 64
TOR — Julian de Guzman 1 (Ashtone Morgan 1) 69
TOR — Danny Koevermans 3 (Joao Plata 4) 86
DC — Dwayne De Rosario 9 (penalty kick) 88

Toronto FC — Stefan Frei, Richard Eckersley (Matt Stinson 51), Doneil Henry (Peri Marosevic 46), Andy Iro, Ashtone Morgan, Torsten Frings, Eric Avila, Terry Dunfield (Julian de Guzman 55), Joao Plata, Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson.

Substitutes Not Used: Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Eddy Viator, Milos Kocic.

TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Joao Plata 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Danny Koevermans 2, Joao Plata 2); FOULS: 12 (Andy Iro 3); OFFSIDES: 4 (4 tied with 1); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Joao Plata 3); SAVES: 5 (Stefan Frei 5)

D.C. United — Bill Hamid, Perry Kitchen, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald (Ethan White 69), Daniel Woolard, Santino Quaranta, Stephen King (Steve Cronin 9), Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff (Austin Da Luz 60).

Substitutes Not Used: Brandon Barklage, Blake Brettschneider, Marc Burch, Charlie Davies.

TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Dwayne De Rosario 7); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Dwayne De Rosario 4); FOULS: 6 (Dwayne De Rosario 2, Santino Quaranta 2); OFFSIDES: 4 (Dwayne De Rosario 3); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Santino Quaranta 3); SAVES: 4 (Steve Cronin 4)

Misconduct Summary:
DC — Bill Hamid (ejection; Serious Foul Play) 7
DC — Dwayne De Rosario (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 79

Referee: Jasen Anno
Referee’s Assistants: -Brian Poeschel; Bill Dittmar
4th Official: Andrew Chapin
Attendance: 11,684
Time of Game: 1:56
Weather: Cloudy-and-84-degrees