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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1LA
0SEA
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Leg 2
11/30 9:20pm
SEA
LA
ESPN
Western Conference Championship
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Leg 1
11/23 FINAL
1NY
2NE
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11/29 3:00pm
NE
NY
NBCSN
Eastern Conference Championship

United offense finally starts to click in big win over Dallas

WASHINGTON – It seemed like it took an eternity, but everything finally fell into place for D.C. United on Friday night.

They used a dominant second half against FC Dallas to cruise to a 4-1 victory in front of 13,169 at RFK Stadium. Not only was it their first victory since September 24 of 2011, but it was an offensive explosion that salved the wounds of having scored just one goal in the first three games this season.

OPTA Chalkboard: D.C. run rampant in 2nd half

“Overall, the chemistry was unbelievable tonight,” said midfielder Danny Cruz, who scored the third United goal. “We were really prepared, and we are really proud of everybody. Three points was very important.”

In addition to Cruz, United was spurred on in particular by the play of Nick DeLeon and Maicon Santos, who combined to score the team’s other three goals.

It nearly wasn’t to be, though. Despite Santos’ stunning goal in the first half, United found themselves level at halftime following a big defensive letdown that gifted Blas Pérez a goal. It was an all too familiar scene for United, and one that they have failed to recover from plenty of times in recent years.

Instead of folding, United came out to play in the second 45, creating numerous opportunities before scoring thrice to stun the visitors.

“In the second half, I thought we were pretty good,” manager Ben Olsen said after the game. “I thought we executed some of the things we talked about all week very well.”

Olsen was exceptionally pleased with the output of Cruz, who had only started once in D.C. colors coming into the night.

FULL LINEUPS AND BOXSCORE

“Danny is just a pain in the ass,” Olsen said. “I would hate to play against him. He is a really competitive guy, and he just doesn’t quit.”

Olsen also made special note of the contributions of his keeper, Joe Willis. The second-year man, filling in for the injured Bill Hamid, made two critical saves in the opening stages of the game – saves that had a profound impact on the rest of the contest.

“Without Joe Willis, this game is 2-0, and looks a whole lot different,” Olsen said. “He was the Most Valuable Player, hands down, in this game. You don’t make those two big saves, the game is done.”

HIGHLIGHTS: DC vs DAL