WASHINGTON— D.C. United’s turbulent home form continued on Wednesday evening, as the Black-and- Red started strong but gave up a pair of late goals en route to a 2-0 loss to Seattle Sounders FC. Entering the international break, D.C. are 4-4 at RFK, certainly failing to meet even their own expectations.
“I thought [we] started very brightly and had good energy,” said United head coach Ben Olsen. “We had trouble figuring out the center of the park, they put a lot of numbers in there and it took us a while to figure that out. When we did, the rest of the first half was very good – our energy was good, we were picking up second [chances] and then it was just a matter of dealing with the final third stuff. And the few very good chances we had, we failed to finish off.
“And then second half is a Wednesday night game where it’s back and forth and, you know, somebody is going to make a play. And we didn’t make a play – we looked 'leggy.' We looked like we had a little less juice than they did.”
D.C. did indeed look full of energy for stretches, particularly a 15-minute segment of the first half where they very nearly took the lead. But throughout the remainder of the match, United struggled with the final ball. Argentine forward Luciano Acosta looked out of sync with fellow attacker Fabian Espindola, not the first time this year the two have struggled to mesh.
“I think at times [they’ve] been OK,” Olsen said. “At times they’re forcing it and we can trust each other more and ultimately we’ll have more success that way. Fabi, I thought worked very hard tonight. Lucho had some great moments, but [we’re] still asking for quality throughout the game – not just moments. He’s got to put it all together. He’s a young kid, and he has some special skills, but we’re pushing him and asking a lot of him to give more, as we are every player.”
United also found themselves perhaps lacking in a bit of luck on Wednesday. Kofi Opare’s header midway through the second half appeared to strike the outstretched arm of Seattle defender Dylan Remick on the goal line, but referee Juan Carlos Rivero signaled play on instead of pointing to the spot.
“It’s [a tough call],” Olsen said. “It happens quick, and I don’t know if he can do anything about it. I don’t know what a handball is anymore. You know that.”