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D.C. United 2015 News and Updates
2/25/15 - Major League Soccer has been trumpeting its upcoming First Kick set for early next month; but for D.C. United, a meaningful game is on the calendar this month – Thursday night, in fact. DCU are in Alajuela, Costa Rica, outside the capital of San Jose to resume CONCACAF Champions League play, in the first leg of the quarterfinals, against Costa Rican club power L.D. Alajuelense.
11/4/14 - They were the top side in the Eastern Conference, but D.C. United finds themselves in a 2-0 hole in their battle with New York to advance to the MLS conference finals. DCU will have to not only put the ball in the back of the net when the two teams meet for the return leg at RFK Stadium, but also take care not to allow the Red Bulls to score, as away goals are being used as a tiebreaker this year.
10/28/14 - The final week of the regular season was a good one for D.C. United – both in and out of Major League Soccer. DCU claimed the top seed in the final eight of the CONCACAF Champions League, and clinched the top seed in MLS’s Eastern Conference as well.
10/23/14 - Is it a sign of improvement for Major League Soccer overall? When D.C. United traveled down to Panama for a CONCACAF Champions League tilt against Tauro F.C., a group of mostly reserves emerged victorious, 1-0.
9/25/14 - D.C. United continued their strong form in CONCACAF Champions League, knocking Panamanian side Tauro F.C. out of the competition with a 2-0 victory, which also guaranteed their advancement to next spring’s quarterfinals along with fellow MLS side Montreal, as well as clubs from Mexico (C.F. Pachuca) and Costa Rica (Club Sport Herediano). United welcomed Chris Pontius back to the lineup; he had been out since late in 2013 with a hamstring issue, and early in the second half, he headed home a cross from teammate Samuel Inkoom. Eddie Johnson, who started the second half as a substitute, doubled the lead for DCU in the 53rd minute with his second goal in as many CCL games. This weekend the Red-and-Black return to MLS action, as nearby Philadelphia comes to town.
9/18/14 - It was back to CONCACAF Champions League action for D.C. United last week, as the Red-and-Black headed to Kingston, Jamaica to square off in the return match with Waterhouse F.C. Even though the scoreline was slightly different, the result was the same as the first time the two sides met in Washington, as D.C. emerged victorious 2-1 through the strength of a pair of goals by Fabian Espindola. The Argentinian international opened the scoring late in the first half, and put away an insurance goal a few minutes into the second – a goal that would be needed later, when a D.C. defender was red-carded for pulling down a Waterhouse midfielder in the penalty area, resulting in a penalty kick which was converted successfully. This weekend United will head to Chicago to take on the Fire in MLS action, before hosting Panamanian side Tauro F.C. at RFK Stadium in more CCL action.
9/10/14 - Winning on the road is never particularly easy in soccer – unless you’re a supersquad. Still, to get a point on the road is a good thing, and D.C. United got one from Vancouver this past weekend, in a 0-0 draw with Whitecaps F.C. The point from the draw increased DCU’s lead in the Eastern Conference over Sporting Kansas City to five points, with United having a game in hand over SKC. Both teams had opportunities in the first half, with D.C.’s Fabian Espindola having a pair of looks, one of which was tipped over the goal, the other going over on the fly. The second half failed to produce many opportunities for either team, though United netminder Bill Hamid was forced to tip a Vancouver shot over his goal late in the half. DCU will be busy in the weeks to come, with a midweek trip to New Jersey to take on the New York Red Bulls, after which the squad heads to Jamaica for the return match against Waterhouse F.C. in the Jamaican capital of Kingston early next week.
9/4/14 - The last time D.C. United won MLS Cup was 10 years ago, in 2004, and on a day when the club honored that team on the 10th anniversary of that win, this year’s edition of the Red and Black sent the faithful home happy in every way, shutting out their rivals from New Jer…err, York 2-0 this past weekend, to move four points clear of second-place Kansas City in the ongoing story of the United turnaround from the disaster that was most of 2013. The first goal featured a rarity – an assist for the goalkeeper, Bill Hamid, who was credited with the secondary assist on Luis Silva’s 52nd-minute goal. The other DCU goal was scored by Eddie Johnson, who came on in the 66th minute, and then ran onto a long pass from Perry Kitchen to chip it just past the Red Bulls’ goalkeeper. United will soon embark on their most congested part of the schedule, first with a cross-country visit to Vancouver.
8/28/14 - It’s becoming one of the great turnarounds in Major League Soccer history. A year after D.C. United were becoming equated with futility – a U.S. Open Cup win the highlight of the 2013 season – the Red and Black have returned to the top of the MLS Eastern Conference standings after a weekend 3-0 crushing of Sporting Kansas City in Kansas. Playing just days after their first appearance in CONCACAF’s Champions League in five years, DCU got their three tallies in an eight minute stretch in the first half, starting with Fabian Espindola’s goal, his ninth of the year, in the 24th minute. Chris Rolfe found the back of the net minutes later, like Espindola assisted by Luis Silva; then Rolfe set up teammate Perry Kitchen for the final goal of the half and the game. This weekend DCU hosts their top Eastern rivals, the New York Red Bulls.
8/21/14 - It’s been a busy time for D.C. United this week. After dispatching Colorado 4-2 over the weekend, the Red and Black hosted Jamaican side Waterhouse F.C. in their first CONCACAF Champions League match since October 20, 2009, when United drew Deportivo Toluca of Mexico 1-1. DCU rode an early goal from Eddie Johnson, and then held off Waterhouse’s offensive pressure in the second half to get their first CCL win since a 5-1 home win over Trinidad and Tobago club side San Juan Jabloteh in that same 2009 Champions League campaign. United will not play another CCL match until next month, but head to Kansas City this weekend where they will attempt to close the two-point gap between themselves and Sporting Kansas City.
8/15/14 - After several positive outings, D.C. United fin themselves on a temporary downswing, dropping their second straight match in a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake last weekend, a match that gave RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando – the third netminder on this year’s U.S. World Cup squad – the Major League Soccer record for shutouts in a career. United, normally a team that creates plenty of chances, never really challenged Rimando, a former member of the Red-and-Black; who made his first save against DCU in the 70th minute; a second opportunity for DCU was saved 16 minutes later. Still, United remains just two points behind Eastern Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City, with a game in hand. Next week, United begins their first CONCACAF Champions League campaign since the 2009-10 edition when they host Waterhouse F.C., from Kingston, Jamaica on August 20; followed just three days later with a league visit to Sporting KC.
7/31/14 - Keeping up the pressure on Sporting Kansas City, just one point ahead, D.C. United put even more clearance between themselves and third place Toronto F.C., themselves trying to write their own comeback story from a disastrous 2013. DCU got goals in each half, plus an own goal by TFC to claim a 3-0 victory in a midweek game at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. United forward Eddie Johnson headed home the first goal for the Red and Black in just the eighth minute of the game, being in perfect position just at the edge of the six-yard box to redirect a cross from teammate Perry Kitchen. Chris Rolfe put away the second DCU goal at the hour mark, playing the advantage given by the referee on a foul in the box that could have resulted in a penalty kick. Just a few minutes later, some assertive attacking play forced TFC into a mistake which resulted in an own goal. D.C. heads to Houston for their first match of August this weekend.
7/24/14 - Three players, three goals, one win. That’s the formula D.C. United, one of the hottest sides in Major League Soccer at the moment, used to cool off an equally hot side in C.D. Chivas USA last weekend, by a scoreline of 3-1. The DCU goals were scored by Eddie Johnson, who opened the scoring by converting a penalty kick around the quarter-hour mark of the game; Perry Kitchen, who drove a low, hard shot past the Goats’ keeper at the hour mark; and finally Luis Silva, who added the insurance goal just 10 minutes later at the end of a string of possession which saw DCU complete 14 passes. United, who currently sit just one point behind Sporting Kansas City for top of the Eastern Conference table, head to EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. this weekend for a friendly against English Premier League side Fulham F.C.; United’s next league match falls in the middle of next week, when Toronto F.C. come to RFK Stadium.
7/10/14 - Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United bounced back from a loss to West leaders Seattle with goals from Nick DeLeon and Perry Kitchen in the second half to defeat Toronto FC 2-1 at the host’s home ground of BMO Field. While the first half of the match was mostly uneventful for both sides (TFC had U.S. national teamer Michael Bradley back in their lineup), it was the second half which had the more significant action. DeLeon opened the scoring for DCU in the 55th minute, forcing a turnover and sliding a shot past the Toronto netminder. However, after Toronto leveled the score shortly thereafter, D.C.’s Kitchen headed in a cross from the wing to give the Black and Red the lead and ultimately the win. DCU are back on the road this weekend, headed cross-country to play San Jose.
6/19/14 - In the middle of a dark and dismal 2013 season for D.C. United stands a clear point of light: the franchise’s third U.S. Open Cup victory, a shocking 1-0 upset of Real Salt Lake in Utah, giving United entry into the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League. This year, however, DCU are one and done in Cup play, losing 1-0 to third division USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos in New York. United fielded a squad consisting mostly of reserves against Rochester, who made the current Cup holders pay in the 13th minute when the Rhinos’ forward, Colin Rolfe, managed to put a foot on a cross from the left flank and send the ball past DCU keeper Andrew Dykstra. Things went from bad to worse in the second half for D.C. when Steve Birnbaum, a center defender, was shown his second yellow card of the game, resulting in his ejection. The game was also delayed twice by torrential rain. While Rochester continues in the Cup, the Red and Black will host Seattle back at RFK Stadium on June 28th.
6/16/14 - Top of the charts. That’s where D.C. United finds itself these days, as the league breaks for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Two points clear of now-second place New England, DCU collected a point when they faced off last weekend with Eastern Conference rivals Columbus, as part of a doubleheader with an international friendly featuring Spain and El Salvador at suburban FedEx Field. While Spain, winners of the last World Cup in 2010, would win the opening match 2-0 over the overmatched Salvadorians, the follwing match between United and the Crew would end in a 0-0 tie, with DCU frontman Fabian Espindola failing to convert a late penalty-kick opportunity, awarded when a Crew defender committed a handball foul in the penalty area. Espindola’s PK was the single best scoring opportunity taken by either team in the match, though United outshot the Crew 14-10, with a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal. DCU will take to the road for their U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match, heading to Rochester, N.Y. to take on the Rhinos of third-division USL PRO on June 17. The Rhinos are the only non-MLS side to ever win an Open Cup in the MLS era which started with the league’s inception in 1996, doing so in 1999 as a second-division side (the former A-League) at the time. United’s next league match is June 28 at R.F.K. Stadium against Seattle Sounders FC.
6/4/14 - After traveling to New England and taking a tough 2-1 loss to surprise Eastern Conference leaders New England, D.C. United came roaring back the following weekend and claimed a much-needed three points from Sporting Kansas City, as Fabian Espindola scored the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 win at venerable RFK Stadium. Even though Sporting were without three of their key players, out on national-team duty, they still presented a formidable challenge, yet in the 28th minute, Espindola sent in what appeared to be a cross that the SKC goalkeeper misjudged badly as it curled its way into the goal netting. The DCU defense kept Kansas City from getting very many good looks at goal, and those that carried any danger were handled by Black and Red netminder Bill Hamid. D.C. are back at the home of the bouncing stands again this weekend, as they take on visiting Columbus Crew.
5/23/14 - In two matches last week, the Red and black of D.C. United grabbed four points to move up to second place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference, just two points behind leaders New England Revolution after 11 games. DCU earned a point with a 1-1 draw against Montreal Impact on May 17, then followed that with a solid 2-0 win over Houston Dynamo on May 21. Forward Eddie Johnson, somewhat controversially left off the U.S. national team’s preliminary World Cup roster, slotted home the equalizer against the Impact in the 85th minute, neatly redirecting a cross from teammate Fabian Espindola to tally his first goal of the season. It would be Espindola and Chris Rolfe working together to defeat the Dynamo four days later, as each assisted on the other’s goal, while Bill Hamid registered a clean sheet for DCU. D.C. heads north this weekend for an important Eastern Conference showdown with New England.
5/16/14 - At 14 points through nine games played, DC United are well ahead of the woeful pace the Black-and-Red were setting in last year’s campaign; they’re just three points (with a game in hand) behind Eastern Conference co-leaders Sporting Kansas City, and the surprising New England Revolution. DCU have been rallying around a disappointed Eddie Johnson, who was recently passed over by national-team coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the U.S.’s preliminary 30-man World Cup roster. Johnson, who has yet to score for DCU, provided significant efforts during the final Hexagonal qualifying in CONCACAF play, including the goal that put the U.S. permanently in front during a September match with archrival Mexico. DCU takes on Montreal Impact at RFK Stadium this weekend.
5/9/14 - After finishing April unbeaten (three wins, one draw), D.C. United headed across country to Portland last weekend and allowed the Timbers their first three points of the season, falling 3-2 on a stoppage time goal by Portland’s Maximiliano Urruti. United’s Davy Arnaud tallied his second goal of the season in the first half, and Portland defender Futty Danso was given an own-goal in the second half which brought DCU back level. Forward Fabian Espindola leads the Black-and-Red with four goals and three assists in eight games; four others – defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin, midfielder Perry Kitchen, and forward Chris Rolfe – have each found the back of the net once this season. Boswell has also assisted twice, and midfielder Nick DeLeon joins Espindola with three assists also.
It's been a few seasons since the stands at venerable RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. bounced with the fervor of the Barra Brava and Screaming Eagles supporters groups of D.C. United... but folks have reason to be optimistic in 2013, after a 2012 Major League Soccer campaign that saw United make its first playoff appearance since 2007. Leading the charge for the Black and Red — for many years the most decorated side in MLS (four MLS Cups; four MLS Supporters Shields for the league's best record; two U.S. Open Cup wins; plus one CONCACAF Champions Cup in 1998, and one win of the former Copa Interamericana, also in 1998), until the Los Angeles Galaxy joined them as four-time MLS Cup champions — are forwards Chris Pontius and Dwayne De Rosario, arguably DCU's most potent strike tandem since the days of Luciano Emilio. While Honduran midfielder Andy Najar left for Europe this offseason, they added former two-time MLS scoring champ Carlos "El Pescadito" ("The Little Fish") Ruiz; the Guatemalan international returns to MLS from a brief stint in Mexico. Defensively DCU is anchored by goalkeeper Bill Hamid, along with outside backs Chris Korb; and veteran Croatian-born Canadian international Dejan Jakovic. While United started the season on the wrong foot, dropping their season opener to Houston, there is still plenty of room for optimism that 2013 will bring much success.
How far the mighty have fallen in Washington, D.C. Once Major League Soccer’s lone four-time champion, D.C. United have fallen on hard times of late, winning just three matches in 2013 after having the league’s third best record in 2012. Still, fan favorite Ben Olsen remains DCU’s head coach; and despite the lowlights through most of last season, United claimed its third U.S. Open Cup, and a spot in the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League. The face of the team continues to be forward Chris Pontius; he will be joined up top by Argentine forward Fabian Espindola, last with New York but best known for his time with Salt Lake.
As one of the most successful clubs in MLS, you'd expect DC United tickets to be one of the most expensive in the League. Instead, the average DC United tickets are just $2 more than the League average of $48. The only relatively expensive match at RFK Stadium will be played in September against the other most successful club in MLS, the Los Angeles Galaxy. The average Galaxy vs United tickets are $80, about double the cost of the average DC United tickets. All other games at RFK Stadium average between $38 and $48.