In front of 12,396 fans at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, the Black-and-Red got their first win of the season. They beat the Columbus Crew 1-0 behind a very early goal from Ulises Segura. He scored at about the 45 second mark into the game, it was a nice dsiplay of passing that led up to the tally. Paul Arriola played the ball back to Nick DeLeon, he played the ball up to Luciano Acosta right outside of the box, Lucho used a backheel to get the ball back to Paul and he sent he ball in to Segura who one timed it past the keeper.
From there, the home created a few more chances, but nothing of substance as the final pass was a bit lacking. Columbus hadn’t gotten a quality look in the first half, expect for a Santos shot off a set piece. Fortunately for D.C. United, the ball hits the post. The Crew dominated possession, but failed to generate chances in a consistent fashion.
Everything changed for the Black-and-Red in the 51st minute when Arriola was called for a foul and issued a yellow card. The play was reviewed and he was issued a red card in the 53rd minute by referee Ismael Elfath.
The Crew instantly starting being more aggressive in attacking after Arriola was sent off. Steve Clark got the nod in goal for D.C. United and he earned his keep in the second half with five big saves. Ben Olsen went all defense with his subs, he sent in Durkin at the start of the half then Oniel Fisher and Kofi Opare. That left D.C. United with just two midfielders on the field with no forwards, but they did their job and bunkered in on the defensive end and held on for a much needed result.
Up next, the Black-and-Red will visit Philadelphia for a game against the Union on April 28.
Creativity/Personality. There’s been so many new faces added to this roster, talented faces at that. As expected, it’s taken some time for things to click from an attacking standpoint. This match may have been the first this season where there seemed to be some comfort, Acosta and Asad were really combining well. Their ability to create was on full display, mostly in the first half when they had their full complement of players on the field. The same could be said for Segura as well, he was taking players off the dribble as well and moving the ball as needed. While the Black-and-Red didn’t capitalize on all of the chances they created, there is definitely positives to be taken away from he team taking steps in the right direction in this regard.
Durkin. He continues to prove he belongs on the field. Almost immediately after entering the game, he places a gorgeous pass down the right sideline with enough touch that allowed Arriola to run underneath it. He makes quick decisions when on the ball and has the requisite touch to distribute the ball anywhere on the field. He, like several others did a great job late in the match of marking and getting the ball out of their end when possible.
Selfless. The backline did a solid job on the night, especially after the team went down a man. Birnbaum, Brillant, DeLeon played the entire 90 and the late subs played their role as well. There was more than enough size as literally three center backs were on the field (Birnbaum, Brillant, Opare) and that allowed D.C. United to deal with the heavy dose of services by Columbus that were played in the air.