It may not have been the long-sought second win in a row, but D.C. United come away pleased with the 0-0 draw on the road against a tough FC Dallas squad.
Playing in searing heat, with kickoff temperatures hovering at triple digits in Frisco, chances were few and far between for both sides, as D.C. tied Dallas for the second time in 2011.
Although consecutive wins have proven elusive this season, United will take the result, having collected four points – including a 1-0 win in New York – on a two-game road swing for the second time this season.
“We’re looking at it as a point on the road against good opposition,” midfielder Clyde Simms told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “Dallas, they play some good soccer and this is a tough place to play with the weather.”
It was a game that Dallas dominated for stretches. Boasting one of the best records in the league heading into Saturday’s matchup, they were led by the red-hot Brek Shea, the team’s leading scorer, and outshot D.C. on the evening 14-4.
Bottling up Shea and Jackson on the wings was no easy task.
“It was tough,” left back Daniel Woolard said. “They do have speed, good wing play. We kept our shape and were able to handle it for the most part.”
Woolard and D.C.’s other outside back, rookie Perry Kitchen starred for D.C. throughout the evening, part of a team effort that blanked the fourth best offense in the league.
And while the defensive effort was steady, D.C. struggled to maintain a cohesive attack throughout the evening, with their best opportunities coming on set pieces. Defender Brandon McDonald had a good look in the second half with a free header off a corner kick, but couldn’t get it on target.
“It was tough for us to get going offensively,” Simms said. “They’re pretty good with the ball and took a lot out of us when we were on defense.”
But despite not finding the back of the net, there were plenty of positives to take away from this game. D.C. got their second shutout in a row, something they hadn’t accomplished yet this season. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid had another impressive outing in goal.
For a club that struggled on defense earlier in the season, D.C. United continue to improve in that department, which bodes well for the remaining 16 matches.
“You’re going to have bad days offensively,” Simms said. “But as long as we’re getting shutouts we’re going to keep our team in the game.”
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter: @travismclark.