D.C. United MLS 

Acosta, Stieber score as D.C. United beats New England

The goal this week for the Black-and-Red was to get nine points out of the three matches they played. A 2-0 victory over New England capped of their week with them meeting their goal. The win keeps D.C. United in eighth place, but it cuts the points in which they trailed the Revolution from five to two. Luciano Acosta continued his torrid pace of play, scoring the game’s opening goal in the 13th minute and Zoltan Steiber capped things off with a tally in the 89th minute.

The crowd of 20,198 were treated to several quality buildups by the home team, only to see them fall apart with the final touch. Paul Arriola had several chances, but he did create the space and provide the service to find Acosta for the goal that put D.C. United up 1-0. The ball was played out wide to Paul, he beat a defender before sliding a ball across the box. It looked as if no one would be on the end of it, but a late run by Acosta resulted in a goal from a tough angle.

It was a chippy match, much of the contact initiated by the Revolution it seemed. Still, the home side dealt with it and in the 73rd minute New England’s Scott Cladwell was sent off with his second yellow card. The Revolution never really threatened with a full eleven, those opportunities didn’t get better when they lost a man. 

New England started the half strong in terms of activity, but the chances they created versus what D.C. United created were night and day.

The Black-and-Red continued to create chances in the second half, a couple which were breakaways. Acosta found Rooney with a nice through ball, but the veteran striker couldn’t get the ball on frame. Stieber came on for Arriola and he was the beneficiary of a nice ball from Moreno. Zoltan just had the keeper to beat and he took his time and capitalized by beating Turner to the near post.

It was a very good week from a results standpoint, but Ben Olsen isn’t worried about his team getting off track by reading their press clippings. “The standings are the standings. That’s a good constant reminder” said Olsen. Another reason is a word he used when talking about a couple of players and the team overall. Mature. This team has grown a lot over the past year and a half and having Rooney and Hamid back certainly doesn’t hurt them from a leadership standpoint.

Up next, D.C. United travels to New York to take on the Red Bulls.

 

Observations

Fisher. His play during this stretch shouldn’t go overlooked. Fisher has become a big part of the attack, his pace allows him to be an option out wide when the team wants to switch fields. He’s very calm on the ball and its really helped this attack, opposing players can’t just rush him for the fear of him running by them. Despite playing a bigger role in the attack, he’s still doing his job on the defensive end.

Canouse. He provides a sense of calm for the Black-and-Red in the middle of the field. He routinely wins challenges and does a good job when on the ball as well. Olsen credited him in his post game comments by saying that “he puts out fires” and it’s very true. Russell does a lot of the dirty work, the team has definitely benefited from him regaining his health.

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