DC United just cannot seem to pull it together in league play as the Black & Reds fell once again on Saturday to the Vancouver Whitecaps, 1-0. It was Camilo who stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the game’s only goal past Bill Hamid. The entire organization has been left to wonder why their current squad cannot put a 90 minute performance together like they have been doing in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
With questions still remaining about the future of the clubs current roster and even coaching staff, it is fair to say that DC United have certainly been on the wrong end of a few referee decisions this season. Nonetheless, Ben Olsen’s squad neglect to attack with regularity and furthermore, are at times confused when they do enter the final third.
And now, who is left to blame? After a hard fought performance on Saturday against the Whitecaps, Olsen laid into referee Matthew Foerster who made a questionable call on Bill Hamid. The anger from the entire squad continued off the pitch as well as Olsen addressed the media exclaiming:
“It’s a joke. We get the same clown show every weekend. They all even out, they all even out.’ [Expletive]. They don’t even out. Not this year they haven’t. Again, nobody wants to hear that. But I’ve got a group of men in there that have fought their tails off today. And they’re gutted, because I asked them to give me everything this week.”
The call in which Olsen was referring to came just two minutes after halftime as Matt Watson entered Bill Hamid’s penalty area. The DC goalkeeper made contact with the ball before tripping up Watson, and felt the referee’s decision was a bit harsh. Hamid told MLSSoccer.com:
“I just saw me make full contact with the ball. I actually beat the guy there to the ball and honestly, I didn’t even know he went down. The guys worked hard for it. Tactically, it was a great game by us. To have two calls like that, I feel sorry for my teammates right now.”
In the end, Hamid did the right thing by discussing his feelings concerning the call, and recognized that once again DC United were close – but no cigar. Yet, Hamid’s displeasure would not stop there as he ventured forward late into stoppage time in search of tying the match.
From an onslaught of attacking pressure from corners in the dying stages of Saturday’s match, Hamid connected with a cross in which saw his redirection his the hand of Vancouver’s defender Brad Rusin – and unfortunately for the hosts, no call was made.
With an excellent performance midweek against a resurgent New England Revolution side in the US Open Cup, it seemed likely that Olsen’s men would come out of the gates at RFK Stadium on Saturday guns blazing, and they did. However, Olsen does have a reason to be upset as his men did work hard on the evening to unfortunately come away with no points, again. And once again, the spot kick was what decided the match as the Whitecaps went on to win 1-0.
The leaders for Martin Rennie’s side were once again Nigel Reo-Coker who featured quite well in his right back position as he normally plays in the center of midfield. In the midfield, Jun Davison featured in the midfield and had a fairly decent match at RFK. Overall, the fortress that once was RFK Stadium has now fallen to shambles – with a dismal record of 2-7-1 at home.
The most disheartening about another loss for DC, is we know what their capable of. Moments of brilliance throughout the match as Chris Korb’s willingness to run was apparent on numerous occasions while Ethan White provided a spark as he returned from injury. And just when Chris Pontius seemed to be heating up with a few goals to his name, he quickly quieted down against Vancouver.
Not surprisingly, DC United packed on the pressure in the first half but were unable to find twine. The league’s worst offense continued to struggle which is strangely peculiar with their recent showing against the Revolution in the Open Cup. Dwayne De Rosario has been lethal in the cup competition; however, when focus is shifted back to the MLS he seems nearly non-existent. With the loss, DC United falls to 2-12-3, and remains in terrible position to qualify for the MLS Playoffs.
(image courtesy of dcunited.com)