DC United did it again, two games, two late goals have given them a two game win streak. In Orlando last night, the Black-and Red were able to leave a very tough match with the result. Orlando City SC has had this happen in both of it’s home games this season, surrendering game winning goals in stoppage time.
Last week, DC’s coach answered a question after the Galaxy game about the status of Luis Silva. Olsen stated that “Silva could have played” and he was given the chance to do so last night as he was sent in as a sub in the 76th minute for Chris Rolfe. Silva hadn’t played a minute this season due to injury, he was the co-scoring leader last year for United. So his being back is huge for a team that is still missing several pieces.
Fast forward to the 91st minute and that turned out to be a brilliant decision, the Black-and-Red were given a free kick from about 25 yards out. Silva stepped up and delivered a beautiful, winding shot off his right foot that snuck in past the Orlando goalie’s outstretched hand near post. That strike gave the Black-and-Red the win.
While that goal from Silva stands out as “the” reason United was able to leave Orlando with a win, it wasn’t. That reason would be the great game played by United’s Bill Hamid.
The man was amazing against an attack that just refused to quit, City’s attack was effective all night except for when they shot due to Hamid. He was able to thwart each and every attack but one, and that shot hit the post due to his outstanding positioning.
City lost a pivotal member of it’s attack when Pedro Ribeiro went down in the first half, he was replaced by Orlando’s first round pick in last year’s Super Draft, Larin. The youngster came in and had some opportunities, KaKa was masterful all night in how he navigated through the defense of DC. He was able to create space to shoot for himself and many chances for his teammates, only they couldn’t finish in a large part to Hamid. City’s Brek Shea had a great game as well, his tantalizing crosses or services were well put into the box, his teammates just couldn’t finish. He also saved a goal on a mad scramble on a huge miscommunication between he and his goalie.
Doyle and Pontius had huge chances to put the ball in the back of the net on that possession but Shea and Rickets were able to stymie them both. United also had another big chance, but a volley from Rolfe went just a little wide. The Black-and-Red spent much of the game on the defense as Orlando pressed them heavily nearly all game.
Hamid recorded five saves and two punches per the box score, for anyone who watched the game, it felt like much more. This is the third clean sheet of the season for the keeper, this game may have been the first this year when he was relied on this heavily and he responded with stellar play when needed.
Even with all the injuries, and the evolving attack, United is in first place in the Eastern Conference with three wins and one loss. The rest of the league has yet to play this weekend so a Red Bulls win could put them back in first, but that would still leave DC in a great place. Last week Olsen said by midseason, when the team gets all of it’s players back he’d just like to “be in the playoff picture.” At this point and according to Olsen’s goal, United is right on schedule.