The Black-and-Red would fall to Fort Lauderdale in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. It took extra time, followed by a shootout to get the result. The Strikers won the shootout 4-3 to advance to the next round, handing D.C. United a ticket out of the tournament. During the shootout, D.C. United had one shot go high and another blocked after jumping out to a 3-1 lead. Fort Lauderdale’s keeper, Diego Restrepo came up big for his team.
It was a sloppily played match from both sides, with the Black-and-Red having several prime opportunities to score. Only each time a Striker defender was on the goal line to keep the ball from going in the net. Alhaji Kamara had several headers that were saved by a defender at the last moment.
There were also instances in which D.C. United were one pass away from finishing, but that final pass was extremely lacking. The Black-and-Red had 21 shots in the game, putting 10 on goal.
With an MLS game on Saturday, D.C. United used this match to get minutes for players who don’t usually get them. Their was only one true starter or regular player in the starting XI for this match, Sean Franklin. Alhaji Kamara got his first start of the season and logged 120 minutes, which is outstanding for a player who could barely go 10 minutes about a month ago. 16-year old Chris Durkin made his debut after being signed 24-hours ago, Luke Mishu and Jalen Robinson got their first action of the season. As did Andrea Mancini.
Durkin: The young midfielder didn’t look out of place at all, the stage fit him just fine. He was quick and decisive whenever he was on the ball, playing at his pace and didn’t let anyone speed him up. It was definitely a solid outing for the 16-year old, lots of positives from his debut
Kamara: It was the first time seeing Kamara at full strength from a fitness standpoint. He impressed in the runs he was making, his ability to hold up was on display as well. Unfortunately, his teammates didn’t do the best of jobs finding him on those runs. It wasn’t until Acosta came on late in the second half that the ball found Alhaji on runs. Despite that, he showed promise and that he is exactly what D.C. United needs up front.
Buescher: Given extended minutes, I still don’t see him as a forward.Would like to see him in midfield, maybe underneath a forward. Still, he made solid contributions during the match. He looked confident and comfortable.
Final 3rd: Always a bit off either early or late, especially when targeting Kamara. A ton of opportunities were wasted, Coach Olsen alluded to such after the game when talking about Haji’s performance. With different players around him, he could of and probably would have been awarded
Acosta: As soon as the diminutive playmaker came on the field, things opened up for the Black-and-Red’s attack. Similar to Kamara, teammates took a little too long to find him in pockets and especially out wide.