COMMERCE CITY, CO (August 19, 2017) – D.C. United got a rare road win on Saturday night at Colordao Rapids. Both teams were looking to end their recent skids, United looking to Paul Arriola. Steve Cooke made his debut as Rapids Head Coach, trotting out a 4-3-3. In a game that featured lots of chances, but no goals from the strikers, a Jared Watts own goal was the difference.
Colorado Starting XI (4-3-3): Tim Howard (C) — Marlon Hairston, Jared Watts, Axel Sjoberg, Eric Miller — Bismark Nana Boateng, Michael Azira, Mohammed Saeid — Shkelzen Gashi, Kevin Doyle, Dominque Badji
D.C. Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Bill Hamid — Sean Franklin, Steve Birnbaum (C), Kofi Opare, Nick DeLeon — Marcelo Sarvas, Russell Canouse — Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Lloyd Sam — Patrick Mullins
Sour Grapes: A Jared Watts Own Goal Downs Rapids At Home Against D.C. United 0-1
It was all D.C. United early on in the match. Acosta and Arriola led the high press. Colorado wasn’t as sharp playing out of the back. That caused several turnovers and chances for United.
The first one came in the 12th minute. Acosta worked quickly up the middle and found Arriola open on the flank. The new signing cut inside and shot but Howard came off his line and made a point blank save.
Just minutes later, Acosta got another great chance, trying to chip Howard at the far post. The Captain ran back and palmed the ball off frame in the air. The two teams traded chances from that point on, with D.C. attacking in numbers and Colorado relying on the counter attack.
The first goal came on a howler in the 27th minute. Jared Watts was looking to pass the ball back to Howard from 40 yards out, but fired it hard and off the ground. Howard hustled to get to it, but missed and the ball rolled into the net. The play was ruled an own goal on Watts.
Colorado responded well with several chances. The team was much more willing to shoot when the opportunity came than in recent games. Gashi, Doyle, and Boateng all had chances, but could not score. The half ended 0-1.
The Rapids started the second half with more urgency. Doyle nearly scored in the 50th minute. Badji made a nice move to create space at the edge of the box. He found Doyle in the air, who headed it off the crossbar. The follow up chance was wide of goal.
There was controversey late in the match. In the 82nd minute, as there were shouts for a handball in the box. Nothing was called by the officials and the Video Assisted Referee did not get called upon.
Colorado continued to push for an equalizer. Badji had a shot go off the post minutes later, but nothing came of it. Sjoberg was ruled off-sides on a goal minutes later. Colorado continued to throw numbers forward, but it just wasn’t there night. The match ended 0-1.
27′ D.C. – Jared Watts (OG)
This result is probably moot as both of these teams are unlikely to make the playoffs. Both coaches should be content with how their team created chances. Still, finishing was poor. United dropped off in the first half. Acosta and Arriola had some good moments. Head Coach Ben Olsen’s side is still a work in progress since the Arriola signing.
The urgency was there from the Rapids in their first game since Mastroeni’s dismissal. They his several posts and Hamid made several excellent saves. This team’s doing everything right offensively but scoring. The 4-3-3 looked promising at times. At some point, this team has to have a bounce go their way if they’re going to finish the season with any positivity. They haven’t won a match since July 1.