Using his 18th starting lineup in 19 games, DC United head coach Ben Olson continues to manage his roster. After kickoff Wednesday in Chicago, Olsen’s players managed the game before it was settled by a wonder strike for a 1-0 win over the Fire.
Conor Doyle delivered the goal of the week candidate in the 73rd minute when he rifled a shot from 25-yards out that zoomed past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Fire defender Eric Gehrig blocked Bobby Boswell’s effort from inside the area, but it ricocheted to a charging Doyle for his second goal of the season.
The Fire had the advantage in possession at 62 percent, but did not dictate the game. Instead credit should be given to United’s defensive organization. Much of Chicago’s possession was either in its own half or in midfield. The Fire came into the game leading the league in shots on target at 5.3 per game, but only had one on frame against United.
Fabian Espindola, Nick De Leon, and Perry Kitchen were second half substitutes for United. In fact it was Espindola’s quality service on a free kick into the penalty area that led to Doyle’s goal. Chris Rolfe who scored twice Sunday against New England was given the night off with United set to play Saturday in Toronto.
- Conor Doyle is enjoying his best stretch with United. Doyle joined United from England’s Derby County in the summer of 2013 and scored two goals in separate games against Montreal. Last season in 17 appearances Doyle failed to score, but there was no a question about his quality or commitment. It was Doyle’s work on the training ground that earned him his first start of the season back on May 23 at New England. Since then Doyle has made six more starts and looks very comfortable playing on the flank.
- Luke Mishu is the real deal. From Notre Dame Mishu was not drafted, but earned his way on to United’s roster in preseason training. Wednesday was only Mishu’s second league appearance. In a match in May against Portland Mishu started on the right side of midfield. Against Chicago Mishu started at left back and was effective at limiting Fire midfielder and offensive threat Harry Shipp. In short Mishu was able to handle his defensive responsibilities and surged forward at the right moments.