D.C. United vs Toronto FC 06-15-2013 - Preview

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MLS Regular Season
June 15, 2013
7:00pm EDT
RFK Stadium
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DC United vs. Toronto FC | MLS Match Preview

D.C. UNITED vs TORONTO FC
RFK MEMORIAL STADIUM, Washington, D.C.
June 15, 2013 (WEEK 16, MLS Game #137) 7 p.m. ET (CSN-DC; TSN2)

D.C. United will be looking to put a halt to the longest winless run in the club’s storied history when Toronto FC come to RFK Stadium on Saturday evening. United have now gone 12 league games without a victory after their scoreless draw at New England last weekend, though they advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a midweek win against Philadelphia. Toronto FC are riding an 11-game winless streak of their own, their last match a late 1-1 home with Philadelphia at BMO Field.

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REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. AR1 (bench): Chris Strickland; AR2 (opposite): Scott Kachmarik; 4th: Kevin Terry Jr.
MLS Career: 85 games; FC/gm: 24.3; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 15; pens: 12

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: TOR: Doneil Henry (through June 15)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Perry Kitchen … TOR: Doneil Henry, Darren O’Dea
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (15 meetings): United 10 wins, 32 goals … Toronto FC 3 wins, 18 goals … Ties 2
AT RFK STADIUM (7 meetings): United 4 wins, 22 goals … Toronto FC 1 wins, 14 goals … Ties 2
RETURN MATCHES: 8/24: D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m. ET; 9/28: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 1 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS)

LAST YEAR (MLS):
5/5: TOR 0, DC 2 (Pontius 55; Salihi 75)
5/19: DC 3, TOR 1 (De Rosario 1, 43; Salihi 73 – Koevermans 71)
10/6: TOR 0, DC 1 (Salihi 88)

  • D.C. United have a two-year undefeated streak alive against Toronto FC. United won all three meetings last season, winning twice at BMO Field; TFC’s last win in the all-time series came Oct. 23, 2010 at RFK Stadium.
  • United have won on their last four visits to BMO Field. In eight games all-time in Toronto, D.C. has won six.
  • It’s the first game for TFC coach Ryan Nelsen against the club where he played and served as captain from 2001-04, playing the final three seasons alongside United coach Ben Olsen.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen v TOR: P7 W5 L1 D1 … Ryan Nelsen vs. DC: first game

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United saw their winless streak extended to a club-record 12 matches, reaching a scoreless draw with the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 6 points from 14 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was credited with four saves for the visitors, also seeing a shot by Chris Tierney in the 67th minute bounce off the post and carom to safety.
  • New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was called upon to make one save in recording his fourth consecutive clean sheet, extending his shutout streak to 395 minutes.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that suffered a 2-0 defeat by the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Bill Hamid came back in between the posts in place of Joe Willis, Ethan White started in the back four for Conor Shanosky, and John Thorrington came into the team in place of Dwayne De Rosario.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-1-1): Bill Hamid - James Riley, Ethan White, Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb - Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington (Sainey Nyassi 70), Kyle Porter (Casey Townsend 82) - Chris Pontius - Carlos Ruiz (Dwayne De Rosario 75).

TEAM NEWS

  • United saw their winless streak extended to a club-record 12 matches. It was the third draw during the winless run.
  • “It’s been a tough three months, I’m not going to lie. For the guys to keep grinding and fighting together to get a result tonight, I was very happy with that and I was proud of them,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “… When you’re in this position, you’re looking for baby steps and this is something that maybe we can build off of.
  • United were also shut out for a third consecutive match, the fifth time in seven games and the ninth time this season. They have gone 295 minutes without scoring a goal, the sixth-longest streak in MLS this season and the eighth-longest in club history.
  • “Some goals would help. We put our defenders under such stress because of not being able to put the ball in the net. I’m constantly harping on defense to shut out zeros and then point the finger at the offense and tonight they did that,” said Olsen “ … The final ball has to be better. Last week, we worked on getting numbers forward and having enough guys in the box when we’re getting good opportunities. We did that. We were committed. The final ball just wasn’t good enough tonight and that’s been haunting us.”
  • Goalkeeper Bill Hamid returned between the posts after missing the Chicago match and recorded his first shutout since March 16, making four saves.
  • “I think we’re just tuning in as a unit,” said Hamid. “As long as you stay tuned in for the whole game you won’t give up any silly goals or make any silly mistakes. There’s still stuff to work on – we know that and we’re very aware of that but the heart was there today from the team and you can’t deny that.”
  • Carlos Ruiz made his third consecutive start as the spearhead in attack for United, with Dwayne De Rosario relegated to the substitutes’ bench for the second time in three games, coming on for the final quarter-hour.
  • “Hopefully we can start finishing our chances going forward and continue to keep a clean sheet. Everyone knows, once you keep a clean sheet anything is possible,” said De Rosario. “We just have to create and finish our chances now. The defense did a good job, now it’s up to us as offense to start creating chances and burying the ball in the back of the net.”
  • John Thorrington made his first start since March 9, the second game of the season, coming into a central midfield role and playing 70 minutes.
  • On Wednesday, D.C. United reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 win against Philadelphia Union at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Dwayne De Rosario hit for a hat trick, scoring in the 24th, 75th and 85th minutes. United will now play host to the New England Revolution in a quarterfinal on June 26.
  • Here’s the United side: Joe Willis, James Riley (Brandon McDonald 63), Ethan White (Lionard Pajoy 67), Daniel Woolard, Taylor Kemp, Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington, Chris Pontius (Sainey Nyassi 46), Dwayne De Rosario, Casey Townsend.

READ: US Open Cup - Dwayne De Rosario authors legendary response to weekend benching

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC saw their winless run stretched to 11 games in their last league match, hauled back into a 1-1 draw with Philladelphia Union on June 1 at BMO Field. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 8 points from 13 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Toronto FC went a man down in the 41st minute when central defender Doneil Henry was sent off for earning his second yellow card of the game after a foul on Philadelphia midfielder Danny Cruz.
  • TFC took the lead in the 66th minute. Freed down the right, Jeremy Brockie sent a dangerous cross through the Union box and Jonathan Osorio got onto the end of it, sending a diving header past goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
  • But Union hit for a second late equalizer against TFC when a cross wasn't cleared and went as far as Jack McInerney on the right side of the area, and he lashed a low shot to the back of the net for the draw.
  • TFC boss Ryan Nelsen made two changes to the team that dropped a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium. Jonathan Osorio and Bobby Convey came into the team, in place of Jeremy Brockie and Reggie Lambe.
  • TORONTO FC (4-2-3-1): Joseph Bendik - Ryan Richter, Doneil Henry (sent off 41), Steven Caldwell, Darren O'Dea - Matias Laba, Jeremy Hall - Jonathan Osorio, Bobby Convey, Luis Silva (Ashtone Morgan 46) - Robert Earnshaw (Jeremy Brockie 61 / Danny Koevermans 86).

READ: Ryan Nelsen - Roster flexibility behind Terry Dunfield's dismissal

TEAM NEWS

  • Toronto FC snapped a five-game losing slide with the late draw against Philadelphia, but still saw their current winless streak extended to 11 games, the fourth-longest in club history. Toronto are now 1-17-9 in its last 27 MLS games, dating back to last July 28.
  • “You can’t fault the players as they were absolutely fantastic,” TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. “Two years ago Toronto lost 6-2 at home against Philadelphia. This year we draw while playing with 10 men for 55 minutes and you want me to have a go at the players? If we had had 11 men with the way the guys played, it wouldn’t have been 1-0. It would have been 2-0 or 3-0 and it would have been very comfortable.”
  • Jonathan Osorio made his first start since April 6 and scored his third goal of the season, the last coming April 27 off the substitutes’ bench.
  • Osorio played wide on the right of midfield with Bobby Convey making his first appearance for TFC since his acquisition from Sporting Kansas City, playing in an attacking midfield role.
  • “I feel very comfortable out there and I feel like I have a lot of time on the ball and a lot of space to cut into the middle,” said Osorio. “Whatever way I can help the team. If I have to play 'keeper, I will play there. I’m comfortable on the side and hopefully I can keep helping the team playing out there.”
  • Danny Koevermans made his first appearance of the season, coming off the bench for the final four minutes of the match.
  • “I wish it would have been different, a comeback should feel great but I have to say it isn’t too good right now,” said Koevermans. “All the work paid off, I finally made my comeback and the crowd gave me a good response and that felt great. Body wise I feel fine.” Said Nelsen: “We know how dangerous Danny can be, so we are really looking forward to having him being part of the squad.”
  • Said Nelsen: “I don’t like to use injuries as an excuse because every team has them, but I think those games that we should have won were matches in which they probably hurt us.”
  • During the week, Toronto FC released midfielder Terry Dunfield, who had not played since Toronto earned a 2-2 draw against the LA Galaxy on March 30 because of a knee strain.
  • “This was a difficult decision to make but our midfielders have been playing well, and there are young players to develop and find minutes for. We felt this was the best decision for both the club and Terry moving forward,” said Nelsen.