WASHINGTON – Two of the hottest teams in MLS took the pitch at RFK Stadium on Saturday evening, with Chivas USA riding a four-game winning streak and D.C. United having won three of four.
Neither team seemed particularly eager to get on board in the game’s opening quarter of an hour, and it was only a defensive mistake that opened up the floodgates. United’s Chris Rolfe found himself at the top of the box and pivoted, badly fooling Ecuadorian international Oswaldo Minda, who awkwardly took Rolfe down.
Referee Fotis Bazakos pointed to the spot without hesitation, and Johnson smashed the ensuing penalty to Dan Kennedy’s right for the opener.
The goal seemed to energize United, and Johnson nearly doubled his side’s lead minutes from the whistle. His thumping header in the 43rd minute would miss by inches, caroming off the underside of the crossbar.
In the 60th minute, United doubled their lead on a restart. Rolfe struck a bending ball into the area from 30 yards out which Johnson coolly nodded into the path of an onrushing Kitchen, who laced his effort low and towards the near post to leave Kennedy no chance.
The Goats were punished further in the 70th minute when United outside back Chris Korb played former TFC man Silva in for United’s third, a curling effort struck across the face of goal and into the far side netting coming at the end of a 14-pass movement.
Chivas found their only goal five minutes from time after United center back Steve Birnbaum brought down midfielder Mauro Rosales in the box. Erick “Cubo” Torres calmly converted the ensuing penalty – his 14th goal of the year – but Chivas simply never looked able to mount a comeback.
D.C. will travel to Jacksonville, Fla., for a friendly against English side Fulham on Saturday evening before returning home to face Toronto FC the following Wednesday. Chivas USA will regroup before facing Colorado on Saturday evening.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Eddie Johnson||Got the PK goal and generally terrorized the Chivas defense all day. His hold-up play was stellar as well.|
|2||Perry Kitchen||Even without the goal he'd be on this list. Bossed the central midfield and looks the part of a future US international.|
|3||Chris Rolfe||His playmaking from the flank has changed this season for D.C. Was involved in everything until coming off late.|