As D.C. United continue their drive toward home-field in the postseason and defending their MLS Cup title, they are winning games in bunches. They made their case clear as they came into Rice-Eccles Stadium and dominated Real Salt Lake 3-1 on Wednesday night.
The win was a crucial one for United as they try to catch New England, but it was the first 10 minutes of the second half where the Black-and-Red scored twice, including a highlight reel goal from Freddy Adu that defined the game.
In the 50th minute Christian Gomez found Adu in the center circle. Adu brought the ball down with his chest and then headed over and spun around Brian Dunseth. Adu carried toward goal, building up speed as he went. He blazed by Nelson Akwari and picked his spot in the far side netting past a diving D.J. Countess.
"Great ball from Christian," said United head coach Peter Nowak. "Christian found a spot and went directly to Freddy which opened a spot for him to go directly at the defender."
Having Freddy run at the RSL defense is what Nowak wanted all night. It wasn't happening in the first half. Adu was dropping back too deep into the D.C. half to receive the ball, much to his coach's chagrin.
"We didn't create much in the first half because we didn't play forward," said Nowak. "Freddy stayed too much as a second playmaker -- we needed him to be up top so he can use his speed and his ability to go at people."
Then two minutes later Adu led the charge on the counter attack. He found Jamil Walker out on the right wing, who quickly returned a cross to Gomez, who swept home his 11th goal of the year to effectively kill off the game.
"(Nowak) wanted me to play up top a little bit more and I did that in the second half and it worked out great," said Adu.
Scott McAllister is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.