Kitchens Brace Cant Save Late D.C. United Blunders
United's Perry Kitchen headers the ball for score. D.C. United tie RedBulls tie 2-2 during a match at RFK Stadium on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Coming into Saturday night’s matchup, the United were the definition of a second half team. All three of their goals on the year came in the second half for their three wins. This trend could not last forever, scoring in the final 45 and using keeper Bill Hamid as a crutch in the back.
Though Perry Kitchen tallied in both halves, the backfield let him down with two Red Bulls goals in the final 22 minutes for the 2-2 tie.

“There’s disappointment in not getting the result we wanted on the night but it was a good night. I thought overall it was a step forward for us, ironically,” said DC United Head Coach Ben Olsen.

The United were certainly better this weekend than they were three weekends ago in Harrison, New Jersey. In that 0-2 loss, they were overrun from the start and could not find the chances in that one.

After Chris Rolfe picked apart a sluggish New York defense and nearly scored in the first 20 minutes, the United ramped up the pressure. Seven minutes after the near miss, Perry Kitchen jumped up for the Taylor Kemp corner and poked his head right in front of Luis Robles to knock in the first half goal for the United in 2015.

The United kept the tempo, using quick one-two’s and creating chances to create more havoc in the second frame. Again, Perry Kitchen found the magic touch to beat Robles for a 2-0 lead with 23 minutes to go. Chris Rolfe saw Kitchen streaking close to the box and gave it off to him. One touch to prepare himself was all he needed and smashed his shot into the opposite corner. It was all but inevitable that the second Atlantic Cup contest would go to DC.

Sean Franklin of United tries to keep the ball inbound against a RedBulls defender. D.C. United tie RedBulls tie 2-2 during a match at RFK Stadium on Saturday, April 11, 2015. Alan P. Santos/DC Sports Box
That’s when New York revved their engines. The very next minute, Felipe sent in a towering cross into the box on the other side of the field, where Damien Perrinelle got his head onto it and it flew into the bottom corner. No chance for Hamid to stop it. It was game on.

“You have got them on the ropes and then they come down and score so it is a complete reversal,” said United defender Bobby Boswell.

Both sides tried to get the final goal of the match, and it came down to the final minute of regular time. Sacha Kljestan’s free kick took a short hop just before it got to United keeper Bill Hamid, who had four saves at that point, got to the shot in time. But Hamid could not handle the ball and it squirted back in front, just beyond his reach. Lloyd Sam ran up and knocked in the tying goal.

“[Hamid] will be the first person to raise his hand and say that he could have done better. But if I’m keeping tabs, Bill has saved us much more than he has cost us,” said Olsen.

There weren’t many smiles in the locker room after the game. Getting so close to three points and coming away with one it might as well have been a loss.

“That’s unacceptable to give up a two point lead at home. We should have been leaving here tonight with three points,” said United midfielder Davy Arnaud.