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DC United took the field with the memory of winning the US Open Cup Final on Tuesday fresh on their minds. DC will have a huge role in the Eastern Conference playoff race beginning with Friday’s night 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire. With their win, the Fire temporarily moved into the fifth and final playoff spot.
DC United fielded a makeshift backline including two midfielders (Nyassi, Kitchen.) Five minute into the match, Conor Doyle almost opened the scoring for DC after some interplay between him and Silva. The Chicago Fire immediately responded. The fire played a ball across the box that fell to Mike Magee just in front of the DC United goal, but Joe Willis was there for the huge stop right at the goal line. Shortly after, Jared Jeffrey launched another rocket off the post nearly opening the scoring for DC; Conor Doyle grabbed the rebound, but put his shot directly to Sean Johnson for an easy save. DC United continued to create great chances, but could not seem to finish any of them. The Fire would make them pay.
Chicago opened the scoring after Juan Luis Anangonó provided a great assist to Jeff Larentowicz who put the ball past Joe Willis from a tight angle to make it 1-0 in favor of the visitors. Chicago quickly added a second goal two minutes later in the 26th minute of play. The Fire played a ball into the box from a set piece, the ball bounced around and fell to an unmarked Bakary Soumare who put away his first MLS goal with a nice finish(into an empty net) to make the match 2-0. The two quick goals from the fire was a heartbreaker for DC who started the match with confidence in their attacking play. DC midfielder, John Thorrington, would go off injured in the 42nd minute of play. Chris Pontius would make an early entrance into the match to replace the injured Thorrington.
The second half continued to be back and forth with both teams creating chances, but no one could take advantage of their opportunities in the early stages of the second half. DC United continued to dominate the possession battle with the hard work and smart passing of their midfielders. DC United had several players go down with injuries throughout the closing stages of the second half including Sainey Nyassi, Daniel Woolard, and James Riley. The Fire’s Quincy Amarikwa would end up adding a third goal for the Fire on an assist from Duka in the 89th minute of play. Sean Johnson proved unbeatable on the night with eight saves to keep the clean sheet.
Jared Jeffrey was a bright spot in DC United’s 3-0 thrashing at the hands of the Fire. Jeffrey looked lively and eager to make an impact throughout the match and held the midfield in check. Despite the score line, DC United dominated stat line including the possession with 67%, led in shots taken, and in corners taken. DC United move to 3-22-5 (15 points) on the season with the Chicago Fire moving into fifth place in the Eastern Conference and a 12-12-7 (43 points) record. DC United will face the Philadelphia Union next Saturday at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C.