The Black-and-Red continue their inconsistent play to start the year, after falling 2-0 to the Seattle Sounders sans Clint Dempsey, they have a record of 4-6-4 through 14 games. Their loss to the Sounders at RFK, they’ve already lost more home games this season than in last.
Their issues over the past two seasons haven’t changed much, they have a penchant for turning the ball over at the worst times. Often into midfield or in a great position for the opponents. The second biggest issue is their trouble clearing the ball in their back end, more often than not poor clearances lead to goals for D.C. United opponents. It happened in this game when Seattle’s Jordan Morris scored, after a Bill Hamid block, Bobby Boswell didn’t get enough on his header and the ball practically landed in front of Morris who blasted it past Hamid in the 79th minute.
Joevin Jones would score just four minutes later off a turnover in which D.C. United’s back line was was spread thin, he got behind the defense and finished for the second goal of the match.
This isn’t to say that the Black-and-Red didn’t have their chances, even though mostly all of them came in the first half. This game wouldn’t be without controversy after Kofi Opare got his head on a service off a set piece that would have beat the keeper if it weren’t for a Sounders defender’s arm/elbow. The replay drew ire from the crowd of 15,000 at RFK and each time shown thereafter became an eye sore for fans. Former Sounder Lamar Neagle had two quality chances as well, but he was unable to finish. The home side would take 10 (15 in the game) shots in the first half, but struggled to put them on frame as many of the shots wound up just wide. They would place just one of the 15 shots on target, Seattle’s Stefan Frei only had to make one save.
After a promising first half, it was all Sounders. They were the clear cut aggressors in the second half, it paid off with two goals and the three points that come with a win. Below are a few observations from the match.
Lucho’s playmaking. The young Argentine bounced back from his worst performance of the season two games ago and might of delivered one of his finest. From the start he was flying around pressing the Seattle players and was magic on the ball in a few sequences. More importantly, he took his deft touch and time on the ball to create runs for teammates. Dropping pin point passes, but those passes wouldn’t result in goals.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) June 2, 2016
Jeffery’s activity in the middle. Yet again, when called on Jared Jefferey stepped up to the plate. With both Nyarko and Rolfe out, he was called on to play inside with Marcelo Sarvas. He had a solid outing, again his activity is what stood out. No matter the situation, Jeffery’s work rate is high.
Kofi’s battle with Morris. The two were inseparable for much of the first half. Jordan had the speed advantage, but Kofi had the edge in physicality. Morris struggled to win battles in the air with Opare. He would at times gain separation, but Kofi would take the perfect angle to cut him off. It was definitely fun to watch the two go at it. Jordan’s goal came when Opare was making someone else.
Morris. The young Seattle striker stepped up when needed for his side, the Sounders got their first win on the road at RFK. Morris is more physically imposing than I thought, he didn’t shy away from the battle with Opare.
Bad habits. This is just the latest example of D.C. United’s struggles with consistency. Had they finished just one of those chances, not even counting Opare and the handball situation, they might have got the result they wanted. The breakdowns on the backline aren’t constant, but when it happens it’s always costly. While the team struggles to put it’s best XI out on the field, it’s imperative that it doesn’t beat itself.