In this weeks analysis of DC United's performance against Toronto FC at RFK Stadium, I'm certainly going to sound like a broken record. Week after week I constantly feel as if I say the same thing: DC United lack leadership, cannot finish their chances, and overall seem content with losing. The current MLS campaign for DC United is just going terribly as nearly none of the members within the ranks are taking responsibility for terrible performance after terrible performance. United's 1-2 defeat to Toronto FC was another one of these instances where throughout the entire match it seemed quite apparent that DC were never going to come away with the three points.
The lack of ambition and ability to finish out games, is simply astonishing for a professional club who made RFK Stadium a fortress last season. Bad referee decisions, lessening crowds and even own goals continue to plague the Black & Red as they near a point of no return. Heading into June, supporters believed that with a "easier" schedule if United could come away with at least 11 or so points from this month, then it would have been a step in the right direction. However, as we now near July – that dream has seem to come and gone much too quickly.
At half time, manager Ben Olsen must have ripped into his side for a terrible first half performance and their inability to keep a lead, kills them. As Lionard Pajoy and Dwayne De Rosario both had fairly good scoring chances in the first half, that both went begging, it comes to question who is going to bring the killer instinct in front of net? Although De Rosario netted the only goal of the game for DC United via a spot-kick it was Nick DeLeon who should truly be praised for his heart in the 19th minute where he galloped through the midfield. The passion within that run was only a short glimpse into what exactly DC United need to be successful. As DC United gained their first lead of a match since March 9th, a sense of pride and passion erupted throughout RFK Stadium, but that goal would be about the only positive this past weekend. Who knows, if DC are lucky, Ben Olsen will come out of retirement and show his side what true passion is. Well, we all know that wish won't come true.
Olsen told The Washington Post "It's a roll of the dice every game. It sounds like sour grapes, right? Yeah, we're in last place, here's a coach yelling about the referees. But man, I am not the only one who sees it. I don't want to make this about the referees. We're not in this situation because of the referees." Conceding two goals off of set pieces is absolutely absurd especially as Daniel Woolard contributed to another own goal allowing TFC to gain the 2-1 edge. It's quite upsetting that as we near the heart of the summer, hopelessness continues to take over the club as there seems to be no momentum, at all.
Despite gaining the game's opening goal, former Cardiff City frontman Robert Earnshaw netted the equalizer off a set piece. Off of poor marking from Brandon McDonald, Earnshaw was able to tally his sixth goal of the season – and showing again why Ben Olsen has left out McDonald from the starting XI in recent weeks. DC have lost all patience in front of net, and supporters have lost all patience with the team itself. On the day, Nick DeLeon was the most positive of all of the Black & Red because of his early runs and his tireless work ethic on the flanks; however, none of this teammates rallied behind in especially in the second half where DC just seemed to fall of the match. De Rosario ran of of gas early in the second half, and put in an anything-but captain like performance.
For Toronto FC, according to Soccer By Ives, Ryan Nelsen (who was a former teammate of Olsen) indicated that although his side have also struggled this season, their record is no indication of what their capable of. Nelse said ""It's really hard because the performances have been really good during the season." Throughout the entirety of the match despite DC's early tally, it was Toronto who deserved to come away with the three points as their was purpose and intent about their play.
DC United now fall to 1-11-3 which has to be some record, right? Losing so many games is disheartening and as it looks fairly certain that this side will not make the MLS Playoffs this year, the US Open Cup may be their only hope at some sort of positive this season. Overall, Brandon McDonald's statements after the match described it perfectly according to Soccer By Ives "What the hell?"