DC United 2-4 San Jose: Earthquakes Capitalize on Shaky United Backline
In what was supposed to be a great homecoming for DC United, it turned out to leave a sour taste in the mouths of the home fans after they watched their beloved DC United give up four goals for the fourth time this season. Steven Lenhart picked apart a dire performance from the young back line as well as beating Bill Hamid to a ball in the air that the keeper should never have gone for to score 3 and assist on one. Even without Chris Wondolowski, the Earthquakes looked the better side on attack and are heading home with three points.
It was Andy Najar bobble head night at RFK and the fans were ready to see a side that had come home from a promising away trip and would continue that streak. Even with the energy buzzing around the stadium, it was San Jose who piled on the pressure to start the game. DC was forced to defend en masse for the first ten minutes as the Earthquakes looked for that opening goal that they hoped would define the game. It was the red and black, however, that opened the scoring in the 13th minute. Andy Najar prodded home a great pass from Josh Wolff that passed four Earthquake defenders before it found the Honduran. The goal was Najar’s first of the season and would lead to one of the few strong performances from a DC United player. Fans were silenced only moments later when miscommunication between Perry Kitchen and Ethan While allowed Lenhart to beat the offside trap and easily beat Bill Hamid for the equalizer. San Jose would then take the lead in the 22nd minute when Hamid couldn’t keep the ball from a shot outside of the box and with no defender there to clear the danger, Lenhart got his second by poking the ball into the net. The scoring frenzy continued when 12 minutes later Chris Korb found rookie Blake Brettschneider and the 4th round draft pick made a great individual move to hold off his defenders, turn and shoot into the near post eluding the San Jose keeper. Even though both teams were looking for that go ahead goal in the final 10 minutes, the half time whistle blew with both sides wanting more.
Fans hoped that DC United would fix their defensive mistakes at half time and bring on Charlie Davies and Dax McCarty to pull away from the Earthquakes. While Davies and McCarty did make appearances, it wasn’t until after the home side had already gone behind due to more mistakes that weren’t fixed during the break. Not even 4 minutes into the start of the second half Simon Dawkins, who was just subbed into the game, played a nice one two with Lenhart to again beat a confused back line and finished solidly to give the visiting side an early lead. To finish off DC’s disappointing performance, in the 60th minute after a suspect call to give San Jose a free kick, a poor clearance brought the ball back into the mix of things. Hamid came off of his line to the surprise of everyone, but was too late and Lenhart completed his hat trick by heading the ball over the keeper and into the net. United coach Ben Olsen made some very aggressive substitutes, but it wasn’t enough to get DC back on the score sheet and at the final whistle it was San Jose 4, DC United 2.