The Black-and-Red made history in their win over the Montreal Impact, not sure if it was the good kind or not depending on which team you ask. It is D.C. United’s third consecutive win, also their third consecutive trade after the Saborio trade.Bill Hamid tied a career high in saves in his first game back since surgery, Chris Rolfe continued his goal scoring streak and United leaves Canada with a win. This win was far different from the last two however, more like the United team before the Sabo trade. Some of the lack of offense may have had something to do with Fabian Espindola’s absence, he didn’t make the trip due to a knee injury.
“Three points in the bag, difficult place to play. We continue to climb the ladder and make it difficult for the east coast teams to catch us. ” – Bill Hamid
D.C. has struggled with their starts as of late, they wouldn’t in this match. They avoided giving up the typical early goal they’ve struggled with and held firm on the back end. The injury to Espindola gave Jairo Arrieta the start up top with Sabo. Montreal made sure that Sabo wouldn’t cause them any trouble, he was accompanied by the two centre backs almost everywhere. Early in the game, he got a few touches near the box, but they didn’t result in shots as the Impact defenders were able to dispossess United players before they could take a shot.
That would change in the 13th minute, United’s Chris Korb threw the ball in and it was headed towards Arrieta. A Montreal centre back got to it first, he passed tried to pass it upfield, but was jumped by the pressure of Jairo and Rolfe. The ball squirted loose, creating a race for the ball. Arrieta slid to beat a diving Impact defender to the ball, and won it by getting it to the on running Rolfe. Chris found himself 20 yards out with no one in front of him but the keeper. He took his time bearing down on the net, forcing the keeper to come out and make a decision. Rolfe calmly played the ball to the left corner for the goal, he had kept the keeper honest and was left with the shot he wanted.
From that point on, it was all Montreal. Dominic Oduro was a one man wrecking crew, he found and created pockets of space routinely throughout the game. New comer Johan Venegas proved to be troublesome for United as well, he was able to make runs when in possession of the ball as well.
Montreal made several changes to start the second half, all of which were for offensive purposes, bringing on Duka and Jackson-Hamil. While it helped put even more pressure on United, the shots were either off target or stopped by the wall named Hamid. He was spectacular at times, he ended up in horrible situations against attackers. In several cases he was 1v1 with Impact attackers and won every single duel, it was nothing short of remarkable.
” Honestly just felt like another match. Just trying to put yourself in the right position to make saves that you need to make” – Bill Hamid
After the game, Hamid didn’t go into great detail but when told he looked as if he was at 100% in terms of health, he simply said “I’m not.” It would have been simple for him to have been mad at the guys in front of him for subjecting him to that type of pressure, but that’s not they type of character this team is made of. He felt as if it was his duty to make those saves and he was just doing his part.
While some can walk away from this game saying things would have been different had Drogba played, the same can be said for Espindola for United. The two matches before this one, showed that he and Sabo are a very dangerous duo and what impact they have on United’s attack. Montreal has a week off before hosting the Philadelphia Union on August 22, while United will be guests to New York City FC on Thursday.
- Mentally tough. The D.C. side is just a strong bunch, not many teams could win a game like that and they didn’t seem flustered at any point throughout the match
- Amazing. Bill Hamid who wasn’t at 100% proved why he is the best keeper in the league, by leaps and bounds. The Impact could have easily left that game with three to four goals, they left with none. There were big opportunities created, Hamid just calmly shut the door on all of them
- Streaking. United has now won every game since ‘the trade” for Sabo. They are now 3-0 in the last three matches
- Class. Chris Rolfe is in a great place right now, he scored his ninth goal of the year (most since 2008). He’s been consistent all year for United, no matter who’s been out, if he was on the field they were okay. He’s a large reason that they are still in first place in the East and have the best overall record in the league