D.C. United had no time to dwell on the 3-0 thumping administered to them by the Sounders on Saturday, and immediately shifted focus to their next game: a home date with Chivas USA on Wednesday night.
“When you're in a playoff race like this, you can't sit on these too much,” head coach Ben Olsen said after the Seattle game.
The loss, combined with a number of other unfavorable results on the evening, bumped DC out of the wild card spot for the time being.
However, the team has still played two fewer games than every other side in the league. But as a result, they’ll have a busy schedule down the stretch, including two homes games this week, with a Real Salt Lake coming into town on Saturday following the Chivas game.
They’ll head into those games with a strong desire to move on.
“Throughout a season, you're going to have some games like this where a team makes a couple mistakes and you get punished,” Olsen said. “Again, we are in no position to sit and dwell on things and I think they know that, that there's games coming up that are very important.”
Starters pulled early
Trailing by two goals at the break at CenturyLink Field, and with an eye towards the heavy number of fixtures, Olsen was quick to pull two of DC’s marquee attackers on Saturday.
Charlie Davies was taken off in the 52nd minute, while Dwayne De Rosario came off 10 minutes later for Josh Wolff, shortly after Seattle had scored their third goal of the game.
“We've got a lot of games,” Olsen said. “Dwayne looked like he was hobbling a little bit and we wanted to see some other guys get some action.”
It did give Wolff a chance to make his first appearance since Aug. 21 against Sporting KC. The former Wizard had been battling a hip flexor injury and looked dangerous in his 30-minute shift.
Ngwenya goes 90
Getting a chance in the starting lineup for the first time since July 16 was Joseph Ngwenya, who ended up playing 90 minutes and getting a number of good looks at goal.
“I thought Joe was very busy tonight, as usual,” Olsen said on Saturday. “His running is very good. So I really felt he put in a good shift.”
One of DC’s best chances of the game fell to Ngwenya in the second half. He forced a Seattle defender into a turnover that bounced straight to Wolff, who played it right back to his forward partner, but Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller saved Ngwenya’s well-struck shot.
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.