WASHINGTON, D.C. - After a scoreless first half, the D.C. United Reserves struck for four goals in the second half to defeat the Chicago Fire Reserves 4-1 on Sunday morning at the RFK Auxiliary Field. Tim Merritt, Nana Kuffour, Clyde Simms and Eliseo Quintanilla scored a goal apiece, while second-half substitute Freddy Adu notched two assists. Forward Nate Jaqua countered for the visitors' lone tally in the match, which marked the first contest for both sides in this year's inaugural Major League Soccer Reserve League.
United controlled play early in the game, maintaining nearly constant possession. Near misses by United Reserves Nick Van Sicklen and Jamil Walker allowed for a 0-0 score at halftime. Fire 'keeper Matt Pickens, who made his first-team debut with the Fire in last evening's 1-1 draw at nearby RFK Stadium, would marshall the penalty area in the first half before giving way to David Mahoney at the interval.
Adu made his presence felt in the 54th minute, when he collected a ball near midfield and fed a through ball to a streaking Merritt, who slid past his defender and beat Mahoney for the game's first score.
Minutes later, Kuffour slid past Fire defender Samuel Caballero, who saw his first official minutes of the season for Chicago in the match, and tracked down a loose, bouncing ball. Kuffour collected the ball, maneuvered around the charging Mahoney and easily scored on the Fire's open net.
In the 69th minute, the Black-and-Red struck again, as Simms controlled a loose ball and drilled a 25-yard shot into the lower left corner of the goal past the diving Mahoney.
The Fire Reserves got one back in the 74th minute, when Jaqua, a second-half substitute, ran down a loose ball, snuck around United defender Kenny Arena and beat goalkeeper Andrew Terris with a well-placed shot on a breakaway to move the score to 3-1.
The United Reserves would add another, however, just before the final whistle, when a long through ball sprung Adu down the right side of the field. Adu moved past the Fire Reserves defense toward goal and slid the ball across the six-yard box to a streaking Eliseo Quintanilla, who easily put the ball in the back of the net.
The Fire Reserves will have an opportunity to put today's loss behind them quickly, as the squad will return to action in just one week's time. The Fire Reserves will play their first-ever home contest next Sunday, Apr. 17 at 10:30 a.m. CT at Flames Field, located on the campus of the University of Illinois - Chicago, against their counterparts from the San Jose Earthquakes. The senior teams of Chicago and San Jose will square off one night prior on Saturday, Apr. 16 at 7:30 p.m. CT, in what will be the final home opener for the "Men in Red" at Soldier Field.
DC - Tim Merrit 1 (Freddy Adu 1) 54
DC - Nana Kuffour 1 (Unassisted) 57
DC - Clyde Simms 1 (Nana Kuffour 1) 69
CHI - Nate Jaqua 1 (Unassisted) 74
DC - Eliseo Quintanilla 1 (Freddy Adu 2) 90
D.C. United Reserves (3-5-2) - Troy Perkins (Andrew Terris 45), Shawn Kuykendall, Kenny Arena, Tim Merritt, Nick Van Sicklen, Clyde Simms, Eliseo Quintanilla, Nana Kuffour, Jason Thompson, Santino Quaranta (Freddy Adu 45), Jamil Walker (Brandon Prideaux 80). Head Coach Tom Soehn
TOTAL SHOTS: 10, SHOTS ON GOAL 6, FOULS: 17, OFFSIDE: 10, CORNER KICKS: 4, SAVES: 2
Chicago Fire Reserves (4-4-2) - Matt Pickens (David Mahoney 45), Jared Montz, Samuel Caballero, Jack Stewart, Gonzalo Segares, Leonard Griffin, Scott Buete, Logan Pause, Hollis Donaldson, Chad Barrett (Nate Jaqua 61), Will Johnson
TOTAL SHOTS: 5, SHOTS ON GOAL 3, FOULS: 11, OFFSIDE: 1, CORNER KICKS: 3, SAVES: 2
DC - Shawn Kuykendall (caution) 47
DC - Nick Van Sicklen (caution) 81
Weather: Sunny, 63 degrees