As Ben Olsen was escorted off the field by the security staff at Stade Saputo, he waved his arms in the air, inciting the home supporters.
Montreal Impact coach Marco Schällibaum was walking right behind, as both managers were ejected from the match in the 76th minute following a testy exchange on the sideline after James Riley and Justin Mapp battled to win a header and Mapp fell hard into a television camera.
Normally animated on the sideline to begin with, Olsen’s energy appeared infectious as his shorthanded side – already playing solid soccer for a majority of the match – leveled the score at 1-1 in the 81st minute on Conor Doyle’s strike. And while Marco Di Vaio’s brilliant brace eventually led to United’s league-worst 17th loss and kept them winless on the road in MLS play, D.C.’s effort was the latest in a string of inspired play from Olsen’s side. Even if he wasn’t available to the media after the match to talk about it.
“It was a little bit heartbreaking for us,” said United assistant coach Chad Ashton, who took over on the sideline for Olsen. “I felt like we played well, created enough chances, especially on the road, to get out of here with some sort of result, so it is disappointing. But we are very happy with our team’s effort and thought we played a very good game.”
From an early save off the line by Daniel Woolard to excellent scoring opportunities by captain Dwayne De Rosario and Kyle Porter, United flashed the same determination and creativity that led them to a 3-1 win against the Impact two weeks earlier.
“We knew it was going to be difficult, but I think overall we came in here and executed our game plan for the most part,” Ashton said. “It’s just tough to be giving up a late one.”
Luis Silva returned to action for United after missing last week’s match against Philadelphia with concussion-like symptoms. He delivered again, assisting Doyle’s goal, giving him three goals and one assist in four matches with D.C.
Doyle, meanwhile, scored for the second time in three matches after he subbed on in the 71st minute as United’s young mid-season acquisitions continue to play well.
Additionally, Lewis Neal made his first appearance since March 23 after recovering from a nagging groin injury and newly-acquired left back Dennis Iapichino made his United debut on a familiar pitch against his former team in the 89th minute.
“I thought we played really well for the most part and I thought we deserved at least one point out of this game,” Doyle said.