Missed chances haunt DC United in draw with Dallas

WASHINGTON – In the wake of D.C. United’s 0-0 draw against FC Dallas Saturday night, there was a mixture of reactions as the team processed the result.

On the one hand, after conceding eight goals in a two game stretch earlier in the season, a very young defense picked up its second shutout of the year and neutralized FC Dallas’ attack all night.

But on the other hand, D.C. showed more offensive bite than Dallas, had a couple of chances to score, and at the end of the day, still dropped two points at home.

WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

“I think when we look back it was a game we should have won,” Josh Wolff told MLSsoccer.com. “We didn’t give up a lot.”

“The desire is to get all three points, and we should have won the game,” added Dax McCarty. “And we didn’t. That’s the bottom line, we felt like we lost two points tonight.”

Charlie Davies had a golden chance to open the scoring inside the first 10 minutes. An errant Brek Shea header gifted him a chance, but Davies’s touch was too hard, and Kevin Hartman deflected the ball away. Andy Najar’s follow-up shot was blocked.

“They gifted us a chance in the very beginning,” Wolff said. “And I think if you score that one, maybe you put two or three in.”

Head coach Ben Olsen saw a silver lining in the draw, even if he wasn’t necessarily happy with the result.

“If we’re going to tie at home, I can live with the way we played tonight,” he said. “The commitment was there, the concentration was there.”

The best chance of the night for D.C. came in the 89th minute. Wolff got on the end of a Santino Quaranta pass, and drilled in a low cross in front of Hartman’s goal. Fred made the run, got his head on the ball, but Hartman was equal to the effort, stifling the shot.

“We are a little bit unlucky,” Olsen said. “Hartman comes up with a [heck] of a save.”

At the end of the day, the biggest lesson for a young United team is to finish one of those chances, the difference between three points won and two points dropped.

“It’s still making those one or two plays that give you the win rather than the tie,” Wolff said. “[Finishing] with a win we would certainly be more satisfied.”

Midfielder Andy Najar, meanwhile, was subbed off in the game’s 72nd minute after a collision with Shea in the D.C. United penalty box. A club spokesman told reporters that Najar suffered a bruised foot that wasn’t considered serious, and that he will be re-evaluated Monday.