Preview: De Ro, DC set to host revamped Toronto

D.C. United return home following a rare victory, meeting Toronto FC on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are coming their first victory at San Jose in more than a decade, a 2-0 defeat of the Earthquakes last weekend. Toronto FC ended a four-game league losing skid with a 2-2 draw at Portland last weekend, though they advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League with a midweek win in Nicaragua.

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REFEREE: Jasen Anno. SAR (bench): Brian Poeschel; JAR (opposite): Bill Dittmar; 4th: Andrew Chapin

MLS Career: 28 games; FC/gm: 22.6; Y/gm: 3.0; R: 17; pens: 7

INJURY REPORT: D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); GK Joe Willis (L little finger fracture); DF Jed Zayner (L knee sprain); DOUBTFUL: MF Kurt Morsink (R ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Devon McTavish (concussion); FW Joseph Ngwenya (concussion); MF Santino Quaranta (concussion); PROBABLE: FW Josh Wolff (L hamstring strain) … TORONTO FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba (R knee surgery recovery); DF Adrian Cann (R knee surgery recovery); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); MF Leandre Griffit (abdominal strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Julian de Guzman (L knee swelling); MF Terry Dunfield (R adductor strain); MF Nathan Sturgis (L gluteus strain); MF Gianluca Zavarise (L hamstring tightness)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: DC: Andy Najar (through Aug. 7)

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Austin da Luz, Ethan White … TOR: Danleigh Borman, Terry Dunfield, Ryan Johnson, Javier Martina, Mikael Yourassowsky

HEAD-TO-HEAD

ALL-TIME (11 meetings): United 7 wins, 23 goals … Toronto FC 3 wins, 14 goals … Ties 1

AT RFK STADIUM (5 meetings): United 3 wins, 16 goals … Toronto FC 1 wins, 10 goals … Ties 1

  • Chris Pontius hit for a pair of goals, one in each half, as D.C. United cruised to a 3-0 victory against a 10-man Toronto FC on April 16 at BMO Field in their first meeting this season.
  • United had won their first three home meetings with Toronto FC, before a 3-3 draw in 2009, then the 3-2 TFC victory last year, the first win for the Reds at RFK Stadium.
  • D.C. United has won on their last two trips to BMO Field, after winning in their first two trips to the shores of Lake Ontario, both in Toronto FC’s inaugural season of 2007.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen v TOR: P3 W2 L1 D0 … Aron Winter vs. DC: P1 W0 L1 D0

LAST MEETING

4/16: TOR 0, DC 3 (Pontius 5, 73; Davies 10)

  • United were two goals to the good before the game was 10 minutes old. In the fifth minute, Chris Pontius took advantage of a giveaway and raced in on goal, slotting the ball under a hard-charging Stefan Frei.
  • Then in the 10th minute, after Charlie Davies intercepted a pass, he fed to Josh Wolff. Frei made the initial stop with Wolff in alone, but Davies swept home the rebound.
  • TFC went a man down four minutes into the second half when Dan Gargan was sent off after taking down Pontius as he looked to be clean through on goal.
  • But Pontius got his brace after stepping inside Julian de Guzman and firing a curling shot into the right corner past a diving Frei in the 73rd minute.
  • TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Jacob Peterson, Ty Harden (sent off 49), Adrian Cann (Nana Attakora 12), Danleigh Borman - Julian de Guzman - Oscar Cordon (Dan Gargan 54), Tony Tchani - Javier Martina, Maicon Santos (Gianluca Zavarise 66), Alen Stevanovic.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid – Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic (Perry Kitchen 64), Ethan White, Marc Burch - Clyde Simms - Fred (Joseph Ngwenya 85), Dax McCarty (Branko Boskovic 74), Chris Pontius - Charlie Davies, Josh Wolff.

D.C. UNITED

D.C. United rebounded after a home loss, going to Buck Shaw Stadium and coming away with a 2-0 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening. United have 26 points from 20 games on the year, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • United opened the lead in the 57th minute when Andy Najar's pass from midfield found Dwayne De Rosario in behind the Earthquakes defense, and he curled his shot over a charging Jon Busch, the shot bouncing in off the bottom of the crossbar.
  • Ten minutes later, the visitors doubled their lead when De Rosario played a pass to Chris Pontius on the left flank and curled back into the box for the return pass, sending his first-time shot into the back of the net.
  • United played a man down for the final 20 minutes after Najar was ejected after hauling down Joey Gjertsen, who had slipped behind the visitors’ defense.
  • United coach Ben Olsen made three changes to the team that fell 1-0 to the New England Revolution at RFK Stadium. Dejan Jakovic came in at center back for Ethan White, and Stephen King and Blake Brettschneider started in place of Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-1-3-2): Bill Hamid - Perry Kitchen, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Clyde Simms - Andy Najar (sent off 70), Stephen King, Chris Pontius (Ethan White 89) - Dwayne De Rosario (Brandon Barklage 84), Blake Brettschneider (Austin da Luz 74).

TEAM NEWS

  • United boss Ben Olsen was forced to run out an all-new strike pair, after Charlie Davies was slowed by inflammation in his left knee and Josh Wolff unavailable because of a left hamstring strain.
  • “I was just told we hadn’t won here in 13 years. This was a good thing. We got that monkey off our back. It’s always a tough place to play. In this league you get teams that are down on their luck with injuries. They (the Earthquakes) have a lot of them and you have to take advantage of it in this league,” Olsen said. “I was just happy we took advantage of a team that’s down on their luck. I was proud of the guys. Dwayne is obviously in a very special place.”
  • Dwayne De Rosario played as a striker for the first time since coming to United on June 27, and since arriving at the club, has scored all three goals the Black-and-Red have netted in that time.
  • “He’s a special player,” defender Dejan Jakovic said. “I was really excited when I first heard we got him because I know what he’s capable of doing, and that’s exactly what he did.”
  • Rookie Blake Brettschneider made his first start in six weeks, since facing Real Salt Lake on June 18 which was the last of four consecutive starts.
  • Dejan Jakovic returned to the starting lineup for the first time in league play since May 29, after which he suffered a hamstring injury while on national team duty with Canada.
  • Jakovic and Brandon McDonald formed the central defensive partnership for the first time. McDonald had been obtained from San Jose on June 27.
  • “He’s been great. He and Dwayne and Austin Da Luz were our three additions and I think all of have contributed in one way or another, in particular Dwayne tonight,” Olsen said of McDonald. “Brandon did good in back. He and Dejan (Jakovic) both worked very hard back there. They were very physical with Alan Gordon, who is always a handful. But overall, a pretty good night for us.”

TORONTO FC

Toronto FC stopped their losing skid at four games, coming back in dramatic fashion to claim a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening at Jeld-Wen Field. TFC has 19 points from 22 games on the season, sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH

  • The Timbers opened the lead midway through the first half. Sal Zizzo flicked the ball to Diego Chara in the midfield, and he quickly found Eddie Johnson, who let fly from outside the area with a shot that beat a diving Stefan Frei.
  • Portland made it 2-0 12 minutes after the halftime restart when Jack Jewsbury converted from the spot after Chara was dragged down by Toronto defender Andy Iro in the box.
  • Toronto's first goal came in the 71st minute when Peri Marosevic -- making his TFC debut -- pounced on a loose ball well outside the area and let fly with a shot that took a slight deflection on its way to goal.
  • Eleven minutes later, TFC completed its unlikely comeback when Plata sent a cross into the box that Koevermans right-footed past a diving Troy Perkins for his second MLS goal.
  • TFC head coach Aron Winter made four changes to the team that fell 4-2 at Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park. Ty Harden and Ashtone Morgan came into the back four for Eddy Viator and Mikael Yourassowsky, and Julian de Guzman and Joao Plata came into the team for Maicon Santos and Gianluca Zavarise.
  • TORONTO FC (4-1-2-3): Stefan Frei - Richard Eckersley, Andy Iro, Ty Harden (Javier Martina 69), Ashtone Morgan - Torsten Frings - Ryan Johnson, Julian de Guzman (Terry Dunfield 62) - Joao Plata, Danny Koevermans, Nick Soolsma (Peri Marosevic 46).

TEAM NEWS

  • The full makeover of the Toronto FC squad continued, when Ashtone Morgan made his first MLS start, after coming off the bench four times previously in league play.
  • “Of course, we have a completely new team and you need some time to practice with each other but I'm very satisfied about it,” said TFC head coach Aron Winter.
  • In his first game with the club after being signed following his release by FC Dallas, Peri Marosevic came off the bench and scored his first professional goal.
  • "Words can't really describe that. First of all, I've got to thank Toronto FC for giving me that opportunity, having that trust in me and taking that chance,” Marosevic said. “ … This team has great character and it showed – we worked hard for each other and we never gave up and it showed in the second half."
  • Newcomer Danny Koevermans scored for a second consecutive match, in his third consecutive league start since coming to MLS.
  • “We don't mind the point, when you are 2-0 down and you get a point you have to be happy,” Koevermans said. “I think (we are getting better). The first 25 minutes were so bad, it was like hell, but after that you could see that we can play football. Even when we went 2-0 down we kept our heads up and we deserved the point."
  • To kick off the week, TFC made yet another trade, sending one-time club captain Maicon Santos to FC Dallas in exchange for Eric Avila.
  • “We are very happy to add Eric Avila to our club, he is an attacking midfielder that fits into our immediate and long term plans,” said Winter. “All of the trades that we have made in the last few weeks have been to acquire players who fulfill a specific need for our team or fit into our style of play philosophy.”
  • On Tuesday, TFC advanced to the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, defeating Real Estelí FC of Nicaragua 2-1 away, winning the tie 4-2 on aggregate. Ryan Johnson scored goals on either side of halftime to send the Reds into the tournament proper.
  • Here’s the TFC team: Milos Kocic - Andy Iro, Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Torsten Frings, Danleigh Borman (Danny Koevermans 71), Terry Dunfield, Ryan Johnson (Ashtone Morgan 59), Javier Martina (Matt Stinson 34), Peri Marosevic, Joao Plata