Preview: DC, 'Caps meet for first time in East-West clash

D.C. United and Vancouver Whitecaps FC meet for the first time when the clubs face off in an interconference matchup Saturday evening at RFK Stadium. United are coming off a wild 3-3 draw with Toronto FC last weekend at home, while Whitecaps FC put an end to a lengthy winless skid with a 4-2 home win against the Chicago Fire last weekend.

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REFEREE: Hilario Grajeda. SAR (bench): George Gansner; JAR (opposite): Paul Scott; 4th: Mark Declouet
MLS Career: 50 games; FC/gm: 25.0; Y/gm: 3.7; R: 11; pens: 8

INJURY REPORT: D.C. UNITED – OUT: MF Branko Boskovic (L ACL tear); DF Jed Zayner (L knee sprain); PROBABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (R ankle sprain); GK Joe Willis (L little finger fracture) …

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC – OUT: FW Atiba Harris (R knee surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Alain Rochat (L adductor strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: DC: Bill Hamid (through Aug. 14)
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: VAN: Alain Rochat
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Austin da Luz, Dwayne De Rosario, Ethan White … VAN: Jeb Brovsky, Camilo, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey, Jonathan Leathers

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME: First meeting.
RETURN MATCH: 10/12: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. D.C. United, 7 p.m. PT
•    Coaches record: Ben Olsen v VAN: first game … Tom Soehn vs. DC: first game

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United came back to secure a point in a wild game at RFK Stadium, getting a late equalizer in a 3-3 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday night. United have 27 points from 21 games on the year, sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    The game was just seven minutes old when United went a man down, Bill Hamid sent off after colliding with Eric Avila well out of the area. But D.C. still took the lead in the 19th minute when Dwayne De Rosario fired home a long-range effort after a quickly taken freekick.
•    Seven minutes after the break TFC leveled the score, when goalkeeper Steve Cronin's attempted punched clearance came back off his own defender and substitute Peri Marosevic simply tapped it into an empty net.
•    United regained the lead in the 64th minute when a Pontius cross wasn’t cleared and De Rosario was there again, rounding goalkeeper Stefan Frei and scoring his second. But TFC equalized again in the 69th minute from a long-range blast by Julian de Guzman, a sequence that eventually saw United coach Ben Olsen ejected.
•    The visitors took the lead in the 86th minute when Danny Koevermans sent a shot goalward from a corner kick that Andy Iro and goalkeeper Steve Cronin both swiped at before it rolled into the net. But from the ensuing kickoff, Iro fouled Austin da Luz in the box as he latched onto a rebound of his own shot, and De Rosario converted the spot kick for his third goal.
•    United coach Ben Olsen made two changes to the team that came away with a 2-0 victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium. Santino Quaranta started in place of the suspended Andy Najar and Josh Wolff returned to the team for Blake Brettschneider.
•    D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid (sent off 7) - Perry Kitchen, Brandon McDonald (Ethan White 69), Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard - Santino Quaranta, Clyde Simms, Stephen King, Chris Pontius - Dwayne De Rosario, Josh Wolff (Austin da Luz 60).

TEAM NEWS
•    Dwayne De Rosario has scored all six goals D.C. United has scored since his arrival on June 27. All of the goals have come against his former clubs (1 vs. NY, 2 vs. SJ, 3 vs. TOR).
•    “It was a good feeling to help my team get points,” De Rosario said. “Whether it’s against Toronto or not, that doesn’t really matter to me. I try to play every game with the same mentality.”
•    De Rosario moved into a tie for fourth place in the MLS Golden Boot standings, behind Landon Donovan (LA) and Thierry Henry (NY) with 10 and Hassli (VAN) with nine.
•    Called into the U.S. national team for the first time for this week’s friendly vs. Mexico, United goalkeeper Bill Hamid will miss the Vancouver match after he was sent off after just seven minutes vs. Toronto.
•    “I think we made an error on that play and we have to learn that that kind of play can kill a game,”said United boss Ben Olsen. “It’s too early in the game and we have to be tuned in every play whether it’s three minutes in or late.”
•    Making a second consecutive start after being kept out of the first XI for five matches, Stephen King went off when Steve Cronin came on for the ejected Hamid. De Rosario was in attack for a second consecutive match after playing as an attacking midfielder in his first three games with United.
•    “Unfortunately, Stephen King was the [player] we brought off five minutes into the game. I thought everybody on [D.C. United] gave everything they had and I’m proud of that,” Olsen said. “But, that play haunted us. We made a silly play early in the game and it haunted us.”
•    For Cronin, it was his first competitive action of the season. Hamid had started and played every minute of United’s first 20 league games and the first U.S. Open Cup match; current goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad played the second Open Cup tie.
•    With Andy Najar suspended, Santino Quaranta made his first appearance since May 14, and just his third start of the season – his first since April 9. Quaranta lasted the entire 90 minutes, nearly the entirety as United played a man short.
•    “We didn’t know how long [Santino Quaranta] could go. Obviously, making an early change postpones any later substitutions, especially on a night where you’re playing down a man,” Olsen said.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC put an end to their winless run after six games, defeating the Chicago Fire 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Empire Field. Whitecaps FC have 17 points from 23 matches, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference.

LAST MATCH
•    Whitecaps FC and Hassli opened the scoring after just 33 minutes, after Yamith Cuesta failed to deal with a bouncing ball hit up the field and Hassli made no mistake as his rocket of a shot found the top right corner.
•    Dominic Oduro was the beneficiary of a nice touch from newly acquired midfielder Sebastian Grazzini and fired past goalkeeper Jay Nolly from close range to bring the Fire level in the 23rd minute, but Gershon Koffie bounced a long-range effort past Sean Johnson not a minute later to put Vancouver back in front.
•    Just before the break, Whitecaps FC missed a glorious chance to add to the lead when Hassli saw a penalty saved by Johnson, but Camilo did make it 3-1 three minutes into the half when turned his marker before slotting a low hard shot into the corner.
•    Hassli added his second of the match in the 72nd minute, scoring on the second effort from a free kick after initially hitting the post. Orr Barouch added a consolation goal in the 80th minute with a smart finish past Nolly’s right.
•    Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn made three changes to the team that went down to a 4-0 defeat by the LA Galaxy at Empire Field. Jay Nolly came in between the posts for Joe Cannon, and John Thorrington and Peter Vagenas came into the side in place of Davide Chiumiento and Mustapha Jarju.
•    VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FC (4-4-2): Jay Nolly - Jonathan Leathers, Alain Rochat (Russell Teibert 56), Michael Boxall, Jordan Harvey - John Thorrington (Davide Chiumiento 46), Peter Vagenas, Gershon Koffie, Shea Salinas - Camilo, Eric Hassli (Jeb Brovsky 84).

TEAM NEWS
•    A week after conceding an MLS club record four goals in the loss to the LA Galaxy, Whitecaps FC matched the club’s MLS mark for goals in a game, matching the 4-2 victory they posted in their inaugural match vs. Toronto FC on March 19.
•    “We obviously did enough to create opportunities, but it was the latter part of the focus in putting them on target,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Tom Soehn. “Good things happen when you put shots on target, and today, we were rewarded for that."
•    Eric Hassli scored two goals in a game for the fourth time this season, hitting for a brace in the 4-2 win against Chicago. The MLS record for multiple-goal games in a season is eight, set in 1998 by Stern John and 2000 by Mamadou Diallo.
•    “I was just concentrating on getting the ball into the right position to make the great shot,” Hassli said. “It was my pleasure to score those great goals. To win at our field is very important to us, for the fans especially. They deserve it.”
•    While Whitecaps FC allowed multiple goals for a fourth consecutive game, they did win for the first time in nearly two months, and for just the second time in league play since the season-opening triumph.
•    "We spent this week really focusing on commitment to defending, and not just the backs, the forwards as well," said Soehn. "Camilo and Eric (Hassli) did a fantastic job of pressuring and then winning balls to help us out in the middle of the park. Defensively, it was a much better commitment to what we need to do to win games.”
•    John Thorrington made his first competitive start for Vancouver, on the right side of midfield. He had made just one previous appearance for Vancouver, on April 6.
•    “It was great get John back in. He’s an emotional leader. He’s got a lot of experience in MLS and anytime you get someone like that back he makes guys around him better,” Soehn said. “We’ll continue to push his minutes. We were pretty calculated with how long we played him for today. It was hard to take him off but it was great for him to get his feet wet again.”
•    Alain Rochat suffered an injury early in the second half, and Russell Teibert came on in his stead. It was the first league appearance for Teibert since June 29, who started five games, all wide on the left of midfield.
•    “Russell comes in and you never want to lose Rochat, who’s been so steady for us, but Russell comes in and does a fantastic job as a left back,” Soehn said. “When one comes off it opens the door for someone else and I thought Russell did a real good job today covering for him.”
•    Jay Nolly also returned between the posts for the first time since June 29. “We just wanted to make sure that we keep competing and that we’re offering up any solution to what we were going through,” Soehn said. “It’s no disrespect to Joe [Cannon]. In the LA game he made some fantastic saves for us. Those two are the utmost pros battling hard against each other day in and day out and it was time to give Jay a shot.”