D.C. United have placed a strong emphasis on putting a good run of games together at this late point in the season.
But instead of keeping up momentum toward a playoff spot in Seattle on Saturday night, they were thoroughly outclassed by a hot Sounders side, suffering a 3-0 loss of their own at Century Link Field.
“It’s a tough one for us to swallow at this point because we’re obviously making a push for the playoffs,” midfielder Stephen King told MLSsoccer.com by phone after the match. “[Winning two games in a row] is something we talked about because I don’t think the club’s done it for about two years. It’s something we’re going to have to do to be successful, string together multiple wins in a row.”
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With Bill Hamid, Santino Quaranta and Chris Pontius all missing from the starting lineup, getting three points against a high-flying Sounders side was always going to be an uphill battle.
DC were able to hang with the dangerous Seattle midfield for the game’s first 30 minutes, something they were hoping to do in order to put in a strong, 90-minute shift.
“We wanted to fight for 50-50 balls, win those battles and try to quiet the crowd a bit,” midfielder Clyde Simms told MLSsoccer.com. “For the most part, we did a good job of that. They caught us on a couple of our mistakes to get the two goals.”
But after conceding two goals in a 10-minute span before halftime, the game quickly escaped DC. For most of the second half, they were chasing the game, ultimately conceding a third goal to quash any hopes of a second straight win.
Despite losing by the heavy score line, United were not ready to hit the panic button.
“We’ve been on the other side of games where the score doesn’t really show how the game went, and we end up winning 3-0 or 4-0 when it was a much closer game,” midfielder Clyde Simms told MLSsoccer.com. “We feel the same way being on the losing game tonight. It’s a tough atmosphere, always a tough place to play.”
There’s no time to dwell on the loss, as DC look to bounce back quickly against Chivas USA in four days.
“We’ve got to put it past us real quick because we have a big game on Wednesday,” Simms said. “If we get some points there, we’re right back where we need to be.”
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.