A second half goal from Jamil Walker was enough to send the D.C. United Reserves to victory over the visiting FC Dallas Reserves Sunday morning at the RFK Training Fields in Washington, D.C. With the win United improves to 4-1 on the season, while Dallas falls to 1-2.
"We fought hard," said United midfielder Shawn Kuykendall of the result. "We were able to get the win, despite coming out a little flat in the first half."
Although they eventually came away with the win, United did not begin the first half strongly, as Dallas controlled the ebb and flow the first 25 minutes. The visitors almost got on the board in the 11th minute when Cassar cleared an outlet up the field that fell directly into the path of a streaking Abe Thompson. Thompson ran onto the ball just outside the goal box, and hit a lofted ball over the charging United goalkeeper, Troy Perkins. Despite the deft touch, the ball landed harmlessly, wide of the goal.
Perkins was up to the task early in the game, corralling a flurry of crosses and corner kicks midway through the first half. The goalkeeper finished the day with four saves and notched his second shutout of the season, while securing the team's fourth win.
As the first half wore on, United saw more possession and were able to create a few chances on goal. Their best chance came minutes before halftime when they were awarded a free kick just outside of the goal box on the right side of the field. Midfielder Santino Quaranta sent in a well-driven, bending ball directly to the head of Walker who drilled a header just over the cross bar.
The 0-0 score would stand at half, as United out-shot the visitors 7-3.
In the second half, the Black-and-Red found their game and were firing on all cylinders. Midfielder Shawn Kuykendall created trouble for the opposing team in the 49th minute when he collected the ball at the top of the box and slid a pass to Quaranta, who hit a shot just over the goal.
Dallas again nearly got on the board in the 54th minute when some confusion in front of goal allowed forward Ramon Nunez to hit a bending, dipping shot towards goal that ricocheted off the D.C. crossbar and back into the field of play.
Walker notched his second goal of the campaign in the 63rd minute when he jumped on a rebound from a 16-yard blast struck by Kuykendall. FC Dallas goalkeeper Jeff Cassar was able to knock down the initial shot, but Walker slid into the six-yard box and easily pushed the ball into the empty net.
Although United created a handful of chances in the final minutes of the game, Walker's goal stood as the lone tally.
"It was a solid win, after a somewhat shaky start," said United assistant coach Mark Simpson. "David Stokes was solid in the back for us. Despite a choppy and difficult field, he stayed composed and turned away numerous Dallas attackers."
The United Reserves will travel to San Jose this upcoming weekend to take on the Earthquakes Reserves in a match that will follow the first team's meeting. The reserve match is set for 10 p.m. (ET).
DC - Jamil Walker 2 (unassisted) 63
D.C. United Reserves - Troy Perkins, Tim Merritt, David Stokes, John Wilson, Josh Gros, Shawn Kuykendall, Kenny Arena, Santino Quaranta (Nick Van Sicklen 77), Jason Thompson, Nana Kuffour (Matt Nickell 45), Jamil Walker
Shots: 14, Fouls: 14, Goal kicks: 6, Corner kicks: 4, Offside: 5, Saves: 4
FC Dallas Reserves - Jeff Cassar, Tim Sahaydak, Alex Yi, Drew Moor (John Pulido 66), David Wagenfuhr (Mario Torres 77), Phillip Sayler, Ty Maurin, Oscar Pareja, Alex Woods, Abe Thompson (Arturo Alvarez 86), Ramon Nunez
Shots: 5, Fouls: 14, Goal kicks: 10, Corner kicks: 3, Offside: 5, Saves: 5
DC - Jason Thompson (caution) 21
FCD - Phillp Sayler (caution) 44
Attendance: 220; Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees