DC United vs. Toronto FC | MLS Match Preview

D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, August 24, 2013

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D.C. UNITED vs TORONTO FC
BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.
August 24, 2013 (WEEK 26, MLS Game #236)
7 p.m. ET (SNet 360)

D.C. United and Toronto FC meet for a second time this season when the Eastern Conference foes face off at RFK Stadium on Saturday evening. The two clubs prop up the Eastern Conference, United in 10th place following their 2-1 loss at Montréal last weekend, and TFC in ninth after a 2-0 loss at Columbus. TFC took the first meeting this season, a 2-1 win in Washington in June.

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REFEREE: Chris Penso. AR1 (bench): Matthew Kreitzer; AR2 (opposite): Matthew Nelson; 4th: Mark Kadlecik
MLS Career: 44 games; FC/gm: 22.8; Y/gm: 2.8; R: 13; pens: 15

DISABLED LIST: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: DC: Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington … TOR: Richard Eckersley, Matias Laba
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: DC: Daniel Woolard, Chris Korb, Kyle Porter, Dennis Iapichino … TOR: Gale Agbossoumonde, Darel Russell, Doneil Henry, Reggie Lambe, Justin Braun
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (16 meetings): United 10 wins, 33 goals … Toronto FC 4 wins, 20 goals … Ties 2
AT RFK STADIUM (8 meetings): United 4 wins, 23 goals … Toronto FC 2 wins, 16 goals … Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 9/28: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 1 p.m. ET (TSN, RDS)

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. A goal from Robert Earnshaw and an own goal led Toronto FC to a 2-1 victory June 15 at RFK Stadium.
  • The win was the first for TFC vs. D.C. United since Oct. 23, 2010 at RFK Stadium.
  • United have won on their last four visits to BMO Field. In eight games all-time in Toronto, D.C. has won six.
  • Coaches record: Ben Olsen v TOR: P8 W5 L2 D1 … Ryan Nelsen vs. DC: P1 W1 L0 D0

LAST MEETING (MLS)
6/15: DC 1, TOR 2 (De Rosario 19 – Earnshaw 30; own goal 41)

  • United opened the scoring. Nick DeLeon was clipped by Toronto defender Gale Agbossoumonde after a run and fell into the box, and referee Hilario Grajeda immediately pointed to the spot. Dwayne De Rosario converted United's first penalty kick of the season in the 19th minute, giving D.C. its first lead since March 9.
  • But the score was level on the half-hour. Steven Caldwell delivered a free kick into the area from the right flank at the halfway line, and Robert Earnshaw beat defender Brandon McDonald in a duel to head the ball by United ’keeper Bill Hamid.
  • Toronto took the lead for good in the 41st minute when Luis Silva floated a free kick into the box that deflected off the head of Daniel Woolard and by Hamid for United’s third own goal of the season.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Alain Rochat - John Thorrington (Taylor Kemp 56), Perry Kitchen - Sainey Nyassi (Casey Townsend 61), Dwayne De Rosario (Rafael Teixeira 70), Nick DeLeon - Lionard Pajoy.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-1-1): Joseph Bendik - Ryan Richter, Steven Caldwell, Gale Agbossoumonde, Darren O'Dea - Jonathan Osorio, Matias Laba, Jeremy Hall, Bobby Convey (Reggie Lambe 77) - Luis Silva (Darel Russell 87) - Robert Earnshaw (Jeremy Brockie 80)

D.C. UNITED
D.C. United suffered a third consecutive loss on the road, falling 2-1 to the Montréal Impact on Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. United are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference with 13 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • Montreal took the lead in the 43rd minute. Justin Mapp crossed low to the penalty spot from the right flank, and Felipe's dummy fooled United’s center backs, leaving the ball for Marco Di Vaio to curl a right-footed strike into the top corner of Bill Hamid’s net.
  • United drew level in the 81st minute when Conor Doyle pounced on a Luis Silva through ball on the outside left and beat Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins at the far post.
  • But the home side were back in front two minutes later. Patrice Bernier fed Di Vaio on the right of United’s penalty area and  he once again curled a beauty past a powerless Hamid.
  • United head coach Ben Olsen made six changes to the team that fell 2-0 to Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
  • Daniel Woolard and Dejan Jakovic came into central defense in place of Conor Shanosky and Ethan White, and Nick DeLeon, John Thorrington, Luis Silva and Dwayne De Rosario all came into the team for Jared Jeffrey, Collin Martin, Taylor Kemp and Conor Doyle.
  • D.C. UNITED (4-4-2): Bill Hamid - Chris Korb, Daniel Woolard, Dejan Jakovic, James Riley (Dennis Iapichino 89) - Nick DeLeon, John Thorrington, Perry Kitchen, Kyle Porter (Conor Doyle 71) - Luis Silva (Lewis Neal 83), Dwayne De Rosario.

TEAM NEWS

  • United remained winless away from RFK Stadium with the loss at Stade Saputo. At 0-9-3 on their travels, they are the only team without a road win in MLS this season. Four teams have gone through an MLS season without a road win, last Vancouver in 2011.
  • “It was a little bit heartbreaking for us,” said United assistant coach Chad Ashton. “I felt like we played well, created enough chances, especially on the road, to get out of here with some sort of result, so it is disappointing. But we are very happy with our team’s effort and thought we played a very good game.”
  • Olsen will not be on the touchline for the Toronto FC after he was dismissed from the field following an altercation with Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum.
  • “I hate to make this about me because we all have learned a lot from an organizational standpoint,” Olsen said. “Players, coaches, maybe front office, fans, we all have gone through this together. And that is what I’m proud of is that we’re still hanging in there and we’re still trying to get better each day and we found ourselves in a final, still.”
  • United’s Conor Doyle scored his second MLS goal in the Montréal loss. Doyle has been involved in each of United’s last three goals, with two goals and an assist.
  • “I think we put ourselves back in the game, had a few chances, didn’t take them. ... Then we were able to get back into the game 1-1 and gave away another goal late on to make it 2-1,” said Doyle. “But I thought we played really well for the most part and I thought we deserved at least one point out of this game.”
  • Luis Silva continued his quality run of form since coming to United from Toronto FC, recording his first MLS assist with the club after three goals. He has been involved with five of United’s eight goals in all competitions since he came to the team. Silva did not feature in the Philadelphia match due to concussion-like symptoms.
  • Midfielder Perry Kitchen recorded his second assist of the season, both coming over the last five matches.
  • Dennis Iapichino made his United debut, coming on in the final minute as a substitute against his former club, who had released him just days earlier.
  • Lewis Neal made his first appearance since March 23, coming on as an 83rd-minute substitute.
  • “We can certainly rest guys easier now than if we were in a playoff race,” Olsen said. “But we still want to get these guys out there. We still need to build rhythm and get better. I think we’ll be OK. I hope for the rest of the summer and fall we continue to get our numbers right and find the rhythm that will help us through the finals.”

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC suffered a second consecutive defeat, falling 2-0 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday evening at Crew Stadium. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 20 points from 24 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Crew opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Chad Barson found Bernardo Anor with a cross, and he fired a shot into Toronto 'keeper Joe Bendik. The rebound popped out to Federico Higuain and he slotted home past the displaced goalkeeper.
  • Higuain and the Crew hit for the double in the 67th, when he sized up Bendik, who was only steps off his line, and floated a perfectly placed chip over the Toronto goalkeeper.
  • TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen made two changes to the team that lost 2-1 to Seattle Sounders FC at BMO Field. Alvaro Rey came in on the right flanks for Reggie Lambe, and Robert Earnshaw started up top in place of Andrew Wiedeman.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Richard Eckersley, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, Ashtone Morgan - Alvaro Rey (Reggie Lambe 55), Jonathan Osorio, Matias Laba (Jeremy Hall 79), Bobby Convey - Robert Earnshaw (Maximiliano Urruti 65), Jeremy Brockie.

TEAM NEWS

  • Toronto FC were shut out at the attacking end for the 10th time this season. They have scored 21 goals, third-fewest in MLS, ahead of D.C. United (14) and Chivas USA (20).
  • “It’s an accumulation of not being able to keep the ball and giving it away in really poor which means defenders have to make decisions that can be tough decisions. We live and die on those decisions. The rest of the players didn’t really help out,” said TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen. “Our defenders were not really treating the ball with respect and keeping it. When we did keep it for like four or five passes, generally something half decent happened. We weren’t at the office. I’m not going to single out anybody but I think everybody, from one to eleven, wasn’t that great.”
  • TFC’s latest signing, Designated Player Maximiliano Urruti, made his MLS debut as a 65th-minute substitute.
  • “He hasn’t really hasn’t done much in a while. He got some valuable minutes that he needs to get,” Nelsen said.
  • With Urruti’s addition to the side late, TFC finished the match with nine of 11 players aged 25 or younger.
  • “We are a very young team and we are still learning how to deal with certain things like this,” Nelsen said. “We’ll learn from it and we will move on and try to get better. We have to grow through these kinds of pains.”
  • Jeremy Brockie started for a ninth consecutive league match up top. The D.C. United match will be the final match of his loan spell before returning to Wellington Phoenix in Australia’s A-League.
  • “This week didn’t really click for us and we were sort of just sniffing up half-chances. I think it just goes back to the team performance and we know that wasn’t good enough and we have to get over this one pretty quickly,” Brockie said.
  • Robert Earnshaw made his first start since July 17, after having come on as a second-half substitute the weekend before. Earnshaw came off at halftime of the July 17 match with a hamstring strain.
  • On Wednesday, the club announced midfielder Matias Laba will be out 4-6 weeks after suffering a fractured toe in the Columbus match. Laba had started every match since May 4.