United aim to stave off complacency as good times roll on
WASHINGTON – After D.C. United’s most recent triumph, a 3-1 win over Toronto FC at RFK Stadium on Saturday night, Canadian international Dwayne De Rosario warned his teammates against complacency, with another home game on the horizon this weekend.
HIGHLIGHTS: DC 3, TOR 1
United, coming off their second consecutive win, which moved them to second place in the Eastern Conference, are now playing with a confidence that hasn’t been seen by the Black-and-Red in years. And De Rosario wanted to make sure his teammates understand.
“It’s good to play with confidence,” De Rosario said. “It’s a good mentality to have, but we can’t get complacent and comfortable right now.”
His boss has different ideas though. Manager Ben Olsen, who has played, coached, and managed with United during their four-year playoff absence, argued the United players have not even earned the right to be complacent yet.
“We are in no position to be complacent,” Olsen told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “We haven’t made the playoffs in a few years. We are doing what in my mind, [what] D.C. United should do – winning games and putting teams on their heels.”
Earlier this season, United broke a sorry streak of 89 games in which they had gone without back-to-back wins in the league. Now having accomplished that feat twice in the past month, there is reason for optimism amongst the ranks in the nation’s capital.
The seven wins United have accumulated this season are only two short of the amount of wins from the entire 2011 season. And with five wins at home already this campaign, United needs just two more from nine games to match the seven home wins from their previous two seasons.
“We have to stay focused. It’s been a good first part of the season,” Olsen added. “I would like to end this tough two-month stretch with three wins at home. I think the focus and the mentality should be fine, and we are looking forward to this weekend.”
To finish off the quick three-game home stand, which also included a 2-0 win against the Colorado Rapids, United host the New England Revolution – a side they defeated away from home 2-1 last month.
With three games in ten days Olsen has had to utilize his squad as injuries and fatigue took their toll. His side came through that testing stretch with flying colors and got the wins they needed. Although he admits the injuries sustained to several starters isn’t ideal, the opportunities those ailments opened up for others to fill in has been invaluable.
“I think it’s been a blessing – I hate to say that – in a lot of ways that we have had minor injuries,” Olsen said. “Guys have had to come in and do their part, and for the most part they have done really well.”