WASHINGTON – For the first time since March, D.C. United finished two consecutive road games with nothing to show for it.
After losing 3-2 at Philadelphia on Thursday, D.C. couldn’t hold a 1-0 halftime lead against the Columbus Crew on Sunday, coughing up two second half goals to lose a second straight on the road.
“It’s definitely a tough situation for us to handle, but since the games are so important, one after another, you kind of have to forget about it and move onto the next,” forward Charlie Davies said after the match.
Strong road form had been a common trait all season for DC, as every previous two-game swing had yielded a point – at the very least.
The similarities between these two losses stung a bit as well.
“The feeling’s not too much different than Thursday,” head coach Ben Olsen said. “It’s not fun to lose these games. I thought overall it was a good effort, but we took those two plays off and you can’t do that down the stretch.”
Moving on from the loss, D.C. will be under pressure to come away with maximum points from their remaining four games. The final three are all at home, and D.C.’s playoff fate will be determined by that stretch.
But with a week and a half before the next game, this loss might linger for a bit longer than usual.
“We have a little while till Vancouver so we’re probably going to sulk for a little while, but we need to regroup and erase this stuff from our memories and get ready for Vancouver,” Davies said.
De Rosario, Hamid depart for international duty
While most of the team will get the next couple of days off, D.C. will send Dwayne De Rosario and Bill Hamid off on international duty this week.
De Rosario is taking part in Canada’s World Cup qualification effort, with a game on Friday and Tuesday, while Hamid received his third call up with the US team for a pair of friendlies during that same stretch.
However, both could be with their respective national teams the night before United play at Vancouver on Wednesday, October 12. Olsen was cautiously optimistic about Hamid returning in time for United's tilt with the 'Caps.
“[US coach] Jürgen [Klinsmann] has been very cooperative with our needs while still balancing what he needs,” he said last week. “We’ll talk with him and I’m sure something will be figured out.”
But while Hamid could be back to face the Whitecaps, De Rosario likely wouldn’t be available because Canada plays in Toronto on Tuesday.
“If that plays out, that’s pretty much a long shot,” Olsen said of De Rosario’s chances to play. “Especially if he sees minutes in [the Tuesday] game, that’s just setting him up for injury. It’s a long way away and we’ve had some talks with him and the federation and we’ll do what’s best for Dwayne.”
Travis Clark covers D.C. United, College and Youth soccer for MLSsoccer.com. You can follow him on Twitter @travismclark.