D.C. United took a break from their regular training schedule today, taking on the University of Maryland Men's Soccer Team in a 70-minute scrimmage today. United prevailed 2-0 on goals from Alecko Eskandarian and trialist Nana Kouffor. Doug Warren and Troy Perkins each played a half in the shutout.
United controlled the pace of play throughout most of the first half, with Maryland threatening little. Ronald Cerritos had the first good chance for United in the eighth minute, as Ben Olsen found him on a well-flighted through ball. He pushed his shot wide right, but he would nearly score three minutes later, as Josh Gros found him in the penalty area. Only a stunning reflex save from Maryland's 'keeper would keep United off the board.
Bobby Convey came on in the 30th minute for Olsen, and would make an immediate impact, sending a corner kick into the center of the penalty area. Cerritos touched it to Eskandarian, who turned and torched his shot into the back of the net.
United made several changes at the half, with Kouffor and Dema Kovalenko coming on in the midfield, and Bryan Namoff replacing Brandon Prideaux in the back line. The tempo of the match fell off slightly, and Maryland threatened with a pair of dangerous counter-attacks. Perkins made an amazing stop in the 56th minute, coming well off his line to smother the Maryland attack.
Eliseo Quintanilla entered the match in the 62nd minute, continuing to rehabilitate following his preseason injury. He would nearly get United on the scoresheet in the 63rd as he found a streaking Convey on the right flank.
Another second-half sub locked up the United victory. Jaime Moreno, who had entered the game alongside Freddy Adu in the 50th minute, found Kouffor with a well-placed cross that the trialist drilled home, moments before the full-time whistle.
Several United players took part in light jogging and strength drills with trainer Brian Goodstein alongside the scrimmage. Thiago Martins was also kicking the ball around with his teammates, anxious to return to the practice pitch.
First Half Lineup - Warren; Stokes, Petke, Prideaux; Stewart, Ara, Olsen (Convey 30'), Carroll, Gros; Eskandarian, Cerritos.
Second Half Lineup - Perkins; Stokes, Petke, Namoff; Kouffor, Kovalenko, Convey, Ara, Gros (Quintanilla 62'); Eskandarian (Moreno 50'), Cerritos (Adu 50').
Adu joined the club after a quick trip to New York City last night. Adu was honored by Conde Nast, as a part of the publisher's Never Follow initiative, alongside David Bowie, William H. Macy and Azar Nafisi.