The black-and-red knew they had a big opportunity heading into their matchup with Orlando City FC. Both teams were tied in the standings with 34 points, a draw would do neither any good. The home team stepped up in a big way, playing with a sense of urgency and setting a tone early on that was maintained through much of the game. The D.C. United attack would create a multitude of chances, finishing four of them on the evening as they won a much needed game in their quest to make the postseason. The 4-1 victory over Orlando means that D.C. United takes sixth place in the East, for now.
Orlando won the possession battle, but didn’t do much with it. One of their best chances came early in the first half as Kaka played a ball across the mouth of the goal, but the running Cyle Larin was a step behind it.
The home side started the game rather fast from an attacking standpoint, but they’d only take a 1-0 lead into the break. Taylor Kemp hooked up with his former college teammate Patrick Mullins for the first goal of the night.
“Taylor continues to get better with this club and puts consistent minutes in as an undervalued player for our team. I’m happy for him” – Ben Olsen
The visitors were already struggling, so when Antonio Nocerino elbowed Patrick Mullins in front of the official, it certainly didn’t help matters. Nocerino was issued a red card and Orlando had to play the remainder of the game a man down.
The second half was more of the home team showing it’s ability to score. D.C. United’s attack has been a work in progress this year, from a tactical and personnel standpoint. With the new additions fully settled in and the playmaking duties handed over to young Luciana Acosta, their attack has taken off.
— Steven Streff (@streffsoccer) September 25, 2016
So while many have different opinions on the moves that have been made, the changes have played a big role in the number of goals scored. D.C. United would make it 3-0 with back-to-back goals in the 51st and 53rd minute. Kemp would get his second assist on the night as he played a ball into the box that Lloyd Sam finished with his head. Two minutes later it was Patrick Nyarko finding Mullins for his second of the night, Patrick scored on a soft shot that beat the keeper far post.
Orlando would get their only goal off a set piece, as Julio Baptista beat Bill Hamid. D.C. United rookie Julian Buescher would cap the scoring on the night with a goal in the 90th minute, scoring his first career goal in the MLS.
It was a big win for the Black-and-Red, but it means nothing if they can’t perform like that consistently. Not so much in the number of goals scored, but in making the most of those scoring chances and taking care of business on the back end. All in all, a good night for the Black-and-Red. Their next game is against Columbus at home on Wednesday.