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DC United 3-1 Toronto FC: We Just Haven't Found The Points Yet

Hey Miguel, I wonder if I should shoot this...seems our strikers can't score in a...well, you know. (Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE)
Hey Miguel, I wonder if I should shoot this...seems our strikers can't score in a...well, you know. (Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE)





Koevermans 71'


De Rosario 1, 43'
Salihi 73'

Johnson (Foul) 12'


Korb (Handball) 28'
Salihi (Handball) 31'
De Rosario (Dissent) 90'

Another week, and another loss...and it all began with a first minute goal. A 3-1 loss at RFK Stadium, thanks largely in part of two Dwayne de Rosario goals, relegated TFC into an 0-and-9 record despite registering many more shots on the opposing goal, and having a much better possession game than before, which leads us to today's quote...

I might have to wait, I'll never give up
I guess it's half timing, and the other half's luck
Wherever you are, whenever it's right
You'll come out of nowhere and into my life

- Michael Buble, "Haven't Met You Yet"

Well, luck or not -- once again, the game started poorly for the Reds, as they conceded the first goal within the first minute thanks to a poorly-defended free kick from Hamid Salihi, which found the head of Dwayne de Rosario and past Milos Kocic. However, some shaky work by D.C. United's backline allowed many of TFC's forwards like Reggie Lambe and Joao Plata to make numerous runs into the United area.

But once again -- finishing was the big killer, as chance after chance went begging or simply floated softly into the arms of D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid. Possession was relatively even for the rest of the term, and the game settled into a lull until a criminally wide open de Rosario buried a second about 4 minutes before half.

Shots on Goal 19 9
Shots on Target 11 6
Corners 6 2
Fouls 10 10
Offsides 4 1
Yellow Cards 1 2
Duels Won 41 35
Possession % 41 59

The second half saw Aron Winter replace Terry Dunfield (who had tried his luck at goal a few times) with Danny Koevermans, as TFC continued to press for some sort of an entry way back into the game -- something that for the first time, D.C.'s backline was giving them the opportunity to do. Joao Plata was replaced by Nick Soolsma, and it was shortly after that that Koevermans was able to bury one in the back of the net, giving Reds supporters a sniff.

But any chance of a comeback was snuffed out by Salidi, who restored D.C.'s two-goal margin less than 90 seconds later. Despite going down two once again, D.C.'s backline allowed TFC numerous chances to add another -- with Ryan Johnson coming agonizingly close with about 10 minutes remaining. TFC continued to press, but despite what this writer sees as one of the most complete and valiant 90 minute efforts this season (bar the amateur-hour level mistakes), they still came up on the short end.

After the game, Danny Koevermans told the press that TFC were arguably "the worst team in the world". However, the stats certainly do not agree with that sentiment -- despite only having 41 percent of possession, TFC registered almost double the shots on goal than DC (and double the on-target shots), of which almost all were soft chips that most Timbit soccer players could save, let alone an MLS quality keeper like Bill Hamid -- this is perhaps the best chance that TFC had to break their drought, but chances were made to beg (something that should be avoided).

The effort was definitely much improved compared to most games; but again it was the amateur-hour mistakes that led to all three goals: de Rosario being left completely unmarked by stand-in captain Julian de Guzman on the second goal was probably the most heinous of the three. However, there was, unlike previous games, periods of sustained pressure on the opposition goal from the Reds. Again though, the finishing let them down -- the number of chances missed by Plata, Johnson and even Koevermans should have led to more goals, and that can't be attributed to anyone but the strikers themselves.

While some supporters are undoubtedly growing impatient with the growing string of poor results, the scene now shifts to next Wednesday's second leg of the Canadian Championship final back at BMO Field and the hope of a trophy to temporarily take our minds off of their league form. That is followed by a visit from Eastern basement dwellers (well, if it wasn't for TFC that is) Philadelphia Union on Saturday, where the Reds will get one last chance to get some points on the board before the international break. The next game after that isn't until June 16th, almost exactly 3 months after the season started, 3 weeks would be a hell of a long time to be sitting staring at an 0-10 record.