D.C. United MLS Soccer 

Improbable rally leads to Atlantic Cup win for D.C. United

The Black-and-Red didn’t play very well yesterday against their rivals, but were able to steal a draw on the road and win the Atlantic Cup. They got a few lucky bounces, shots that hit the post the few times that it got behind Bill Hamid. D.C. United scored two goals in the last six minutes, including the fifth and final minute of stoppage time.

While the draw did help bring the Atlantic Cup back to the nation’s capital, it didn’t do much for the visitors in the standings. They still remain a couple of points below the red line. They are tied with the Revolution with 33 points and trail Orlando City by one point. At some point and soon, the Black-and-Red need to start getting results.

Heading into that game without their best player not named Hamid, there was concern as to how D.C. United was going to create chances. Luciano Acosta is where more of their chances are created, he’s the facilitator and he wasn’t available due to card accumulation.

For the second time in three games between the two teams, the Red Bulls got out to a 2-0 lead over D.C. United. Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his 18th goal of the year in the 54th minute. He’s been trouble for the Black-and-Red every time he’s seen them this year. Gonzalo Veron started things off in the 35th minute with a goal.

It was all Red Bulls for most of the game, dominating possession and creating more chances than the visitors. As has been the case this season, New York couldn’t finish the job. They have a penchant for giving up two goal leads and leads in general this season. That issue reared it’s ugly head yet again yesterday.

Credit the visiting  bunch, D.C. United for continuing to fight. Steven Birnbaum added to his scoring tally this season, scoring his third goal in the 89th minute. This time he did it with his feet, his previous two scores were headers as he scored from 18 yards out.

The officials said it would be five minutes of stoppage time and for the second time in two weeks, Lamar Neagle scores a stoppage time goal. This time, off a corner kick as he poked the ball in the far post.

Again, not a good showing from D.C. United, but can’t knock them for playing until the final whistle and stealing a point on the road. There is much work left to be done if they wish to make the postseason.

Observations

Bill Hamid. This is a recurring observation every match, where would this team be without him in net. He kept the two goal lead from growing to 4 or 5, those saves give confidence to a team that is struggling to maintain possession. The save on BWP was spectacular, it was a point blank opportunity and he cut off the goal, got big and made a ridiculous save to his right.

 

Mental Toughness. Stealing a point after being outclassed for much of the game isn’t something that should be applauded, but credit must be given to D.C. United for fighting through it. With how their season has gone, how that game was going, they easily could have went in the tank mentally. They didn’t, to that, I applaud and give them credit for.

BWP. He’s been amazing this season, his 18th goal of the year. Every team he faces looks to contain him and he does a great job of picking his spots to finish chances. I love how he times his runs, routinely drawing center backs to sleep before eating up the space between them and getting 1v1 chances with keepers.

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CEO/Founder of My Mind on Sports For More Information on Wilson, check out his Bio in the "Team" Section Follow Wilson on Twitter: @Willietspeaks

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