With a postseason berth secured an afternoon previous thru different effects, D.C. United arrived at Audi Box on Sunday aiming to toughen its Japanese Convention place and proceed a late-season rebirth.
The defensive effort have been robust of past due, however would the gradual assault come round in time for the MLS playoffs?
Appearing with refreshing taste within the first part and conventional get to the bottom of and potency in the second one, United gave a well-rounded efficiency and defeated the Seattle Sounders, 2-Zero, sooner than a rowdy target audience of 18,489.
The 3rd consecutive shutout victory lifted United (13-10-Nine, 48 issues) into fourth position, which, if the season have been to finish now, would include home-field benefit within the first spherical of the playoffs.
With two weeks left, United is a step forward of the New York Pink Bulls (14-13-Five, 47 issues) and Toronto FC (12-10-10, 46). New York Town FC (16-Five-10, 58), Atlanta (17-11-Three, 54) and Philadelphia (15-Nine-7, 52) take a seat atop the desk.
United will discuss with the Pink Bulls subsequent Sunday sooner than remaining towards league-worst Cincinnati on Oct. 6 in Washington.
“We have been speaking about [home field] all day — it’s the place we want to be and the place we wish to move,” Trainer Ben Olsen mentioned. “The one means to try this is thru New York and [Cincinnati]. If we get the best issues right here, we put ourselves in a great place.”
Lucas Rodríguez scored early within the fit and Frédéric Brillant added a objective early in the second one part as United ended a string of six consecutive defeats and an eight-game winless rut towards the Sounders. The former victory got here in 2011 at RFK Stadium.
“We need to do extra, to wish extra for the membership and for your self,” Brillant mentioned. “Presently, we’re just right however we now have not anything. We need to hold going.”
Brillant and his fellow defenders have been arranged and compact, blockading photographs and proscribing Seattle’s transparent alternatives. And after conceding ball ownership and a lot of photographs within the earlier two suits, United was once crisp and threatening within the assault.
“That has been tricky for us to position in combination, that complete efficiency,” Olsen mentioned. “The ultimate couple weeks we’ve put in combination just right halves. … To maintain this is going to be crucial if we’re going to turn out to be a group that may elevate silverware.”
The Sounders (14-10-Eight) confirmed fatigue of their 3rd recreation in every week. They have been additionally shorthanded: Playmaker Nicolás Lodeiro (seven targets, 12 assists) was once scratched with a again harm, and beginning middle again Xavier Arreaga served a red-card suspension.
United ahead Ola Kamara (3 targets in 4 suits) persevered recuperating from a hamstring ailment and was once now not in uniform.
Olsen didn’t make any adjustments to the lineup: With the playoffs coming near, he has settled on his first-choice body of workers and formation. Accidents and suspensions will regulate the ones plans, in fact.
Wayne Rooney, Paul Arriola, Felipe Martins and Russell Canouse entered on the yellow-card threshold, and through keeping off a warning Sunday, they continue to be eligible subsequent Sunday.
United buzzed with process from the beginning, a promising signal from a unit that has prioritized protection.
The Sounders lacked a hub with out Lodeiro, however they did threaten first as Brad Smith cruised in by myself at the left aspect and smashed a bid off the crossbar. Moments later, Rooney did the similar from 18 yards.
Within the 14th minute, United went forward. Ulises Segura’s deflected pass floated to Rodríguez on the most sensible of the penalty space. The Argentine chested it down and lashed a right-footed shot previous diving goalkeeper Stefan Frei and into the decrease left nook for his 6th objective of the yr.
Frei avoided additional harm, creating a positive reflex save on Arriola’s rasping power. United brimmed with self belief within the assault, transferring the ball temporarily thru one-touch passes and stretching Seattle’s protection through switching the purpose of assault.
It was once as snappy as United had carried out in somewhat a while.
Simply sooner than intermission, Rooney rattled the crossbar once more, this time on a unfastened kick from a number of yards past the aspect of the penalty space.
The second one objective got here on a collection piece 9 mins after the spoil. As a substitute of taking pictures prime, Rooney went low, thumping a unfastened kick into the combination. In part screening Frei, Segura raised his correct foot and let the ball race previous him. The on-rushing Brillant met it for a very simple tap-in and his fourth objective in 113 MLS suits.
“I simply attempted to position the ball into a deadly place and make it tricky for the keeper,” Rooney mentioned. Segura “had an ideal dummy, after which it was once both going to head instantly in or Fred was once going to knock it in.”
Brillant mentioned he didn’t be expecting Rooney to ship the ball low, however he added, “We knew we need to put the presence very as regards to the objective.”
Segura’s effort to finish any lingering suspense clanged off the some distance submit within the 83rd minute.
With United enjoying keep-away within the demise moments, the group chanted “Ole!” with every cross.
“It provides us just a little self belief that offensively we’re a greater group than folks give us credit score for,” Olsen mentioned. “And to proceed with now not giving up a objective continues to be the basis of good fortune for us.”
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