D.C. United Second Half Struggle Turns Three Points Into One
Raul Rodriguez (5) from the Houston Dynamo shields the ball from Chris Pontius (13) from D.C. United. The Houston Dynamo tied D.C. United 1-1 during an MLS game at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Jose Arqueta photography
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Another week, another shoulda, coulda, woulda finish for the Black and Red. Chris Rolfe banged the first goal home with a thundering free kick, but the United would not find the magic touch again against the Houston Dynamo, and two of the three points slipped out of their fingers for the second time in seven days.
 
“It just seems like we’re not taking our chances to kill off teams. If you let teams hang around in this League, or any league, teams will find ways to get results,” said United Head Coach Ben Olsen after the 1-1 tie to the Dynamo.

The Dynamo kept the tempo for much of the opening half hour, barely letting DC United get into the attacking third at all. And even then, could not get a good look at goal. But backup keeper Andrew Dykstra was up to the task, taking care of what was thrown his way.

United started to get a good look at goal after the half hour mark, and started to get more aggressive up front. After Jairo Arrieta was taken down right outside the box in front of goal, the goal was so tantalizingly close. They couldn’t waste this opportunity. Chris Rolfe and Taylor Kemp stepped up to position. The whistle demanded a chance. Kemp stepped over to let Rolfe let it fly. And boy did it ever. Right over the wall and into the top right corner. No chance for the keeper to catch up to that one and United were on top at the halftime break.

“I think we have a lot of guys that want to take those and we just walked up, said he would hit it and he did that,” said United defender Bobby Boswell.

Chris Rolfe celebrates his score with team mates. The Houston Dynamo tied D.C. United 1-1 during an MLS game at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Jose Arqueta photography
United kept the pedal to the metal coming out of the break, and nearly doubled their lead two minutes in. Michael Farfan tried a drive from the top of the box, much like Perry Kitchen’s second goal from the week before, but Dynamo keeper Tyler Deric managed to parry it away.

Just as with last week, the men who don’t call RFK home spoiled what could have been three points. And it came off a rebound.

After the Dynamo switched to the 4-4-2, more holes started opening up at the back. Alexander Lopez charged forward and crossed to Giles Barnes. Barnes’ effort beat Dykstra and ricocheted off the right upright. They wanted the other side of the post.

It came the very next minute. Another cross into the box was nearly turned in by Will Bruin. Andrew Dykstra’s reflexes kept the ball out, and right in front of goal. An unmarked Ricardo Clark ran up and tapped it in to get the point. What was supposed to be six points in seven days was reduced to two.

“I think if you hear the guys around the locker room, we feel like the last two games were losses,” said Bobby Boswell.

But fret not. Despite the recent disappointment, these last two games are not an omen of the grind of two years ago. Fabian Espindola comes back into the lineup next week as he finished serving his six game suspension tonight. And in spite of his absence, the United only lost one game and are tied with New York Red Bulls on points for the top spot in the east.