Upon Further Review: Drogba extends DCU's winless streak


Upon Further Review: Drogba extends DCU's winless streak

It could be argued in some ways DC United was more competitive than its last visit to Montreal which ended in a 1-0 Black and Red victory.  With a 2-0 defeat to the Impact on Saturday that argument lacks real conviction after United paid for early mistakes and never recovered.

Just four minutes into the match Taylor Kemp was whistled for a hand ball after trying to defend a ball that took an awkward bounce on the Montreal turf. On the free kick Didier Drogba, who netted 104 goals in 254 appearances with English Premier League side Chelsea, showed his class with a curving free kick from 30 yards that sizzled part United goalkeeper Bill Hamid who was only able to get a hand on it.

Then in the 11th minute United midfielder Markus Halsti with his back to a defender was trying to keep possession, but then passed the ball aimlessly toward the United end and it triggered a Montreal attack. Drogba pounced on the loose ball and beat United defender Steve Birnbaum and chipped it past a charging Hamid from 12 yards.

RELATED: Montreal pushes United's drought to six games

“We played against a great forward and give the ball away and then we are down two goals,” said head coach Ben Olsen. “Then we chase the game plan goes out the window. We can’t do simple things that professional soccer players do. They have a striker who is pretty damn good and no team will let us off the hook for little mistakes anymore.” 

In six games with Montreal, Drogba has scored seven goals and the Impact has collected four wins and two draws. By contrast United is without a win in its last six matches and has not won since a 1-0 victory on August 8 in Montreal when Chris Rolfe scored on his team’s only shot of the game.


  1. Details, details. United needs to be better in the final third and that is about small details like player movement off the ball and quicker decisions when reaching the critical moment of an attack.  On Saturday United did not make it hard enough on Montreal’s back four and had trouble navigating through the Impact’s three-man midfield. To be sure it was better than the last visit to Montreal when United was outshot 26-1 and only had 32 percent of the possession. This time the Impact had a 13-9 shots advantage, but the difference was the home side had seven shots on target and United three. At halftime United substituted Conor Doyle for Alvaro Sabario. In four games now together the partnership between Sabario and Espindola, that was so electric when they played together with Real Salt Lake, has yet to ignite.
  2. Bad timing. United is slipping as the rest of the Eastern Conference seems to be getting better.  The top six teams in each conference make the playoffs and Montreal is currently in sixth place, four points ahead of Orlando City. The Impact is better than a sixth seed. With a 5-2 win Friday on the road against the Red Bulls, Orlando City served notice they are still alive. United’s next opponent New York City FC is five points out of a postseason spot and Saturday won on the road in Vancouver.
  3. Final word from Ben Olsen:  “We have to do some soul searching to find our way out of this. We have to clean up those wounds that we are creating ourselves. If we don’t we’ll continue to take losses. We have to try and get into the playoffs, and when/if we do, (make the playoffs) it’s a reset. We obviously have to make some changes, because something’s not working.”

Game Preview: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns at Audi Field

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Game Preview: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns at Audi Field

The Washington Spirit, one of nine teams in the National Women's Soccer League, will pay a visit to Audi Field later this summer.

The game versus the Portland Thorns FC is scheduled for August 25 at 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster and start at $31, but will also be available at the door. 

If you're looking for where to watch the Spirit take on the Thorns from the comfort of your own couch, the game will be broadcast on ESPNews starting at 7:38 pm. Dalen Cuff is set to host the pregame show, with USA Women's National Team alumnus Aly Wagner commentating alongside Jenn Hildreth, in her second season of NWSL coverage.

Considering the recent addition of the legendary Wayne Rooney and their move to the new facility, DC United has a lot to celebrate.

Audi Field, which opened in Washington D.C.'s Buzzard Point on July 9, seats 20,000 spectators. For DC United, who previously played at RFK Stadium, the capacity is a step down from the almost 46,000 seats at RFK. But for the Spirit, who call Germantown's Maryland Soccerplex their home, the audience will hopefully far outnumber the Plex's usual 3,000 to 4,000 spectators.

The Spirit have struggled this season, with an unusually high amound of draws and more losses than wins. Though fan favorite and star forward Mallory Pugh is still sidelined with a PCL sprain, the team hopes to improve their ability to close one-goal deficits and gain a sustained offensive advantage. 

Aside from the Audi Field game, the Spirit will host two more home games this season. Utah Royals FC will visit the Soccerplex on Wednesday, August 22, and Sky Blue FC will close out the Spirit's home season on Saturday, September 1. Tickets for either game at their usual field can be purchased through the Washington Spirit's website or upon entry. 

If you haven't paid attention to women's soccer since the USWNT's 2015 World Cup victory, no worries. There's no better time than the present to support women's pro sports. Regardless of the end result, Portland vs. Washington will be a great match-up to watch, and the event has already made DC sports history.


Wayne Rooney stuns D.C. soccer fans with surprise appearance during World Cup viewing

Wayne Rooney stuns D.C. soccer fans with surprise appearance during World Cup viewing

Washington Dulles International Airport was flooded by soccer fans alike Thursday afternoon awaiting the arrival of one specific person inside the international arrivals terminal: England's all-time goalscorer Wayne Rooney. 

Over 100 fans packed the halls as the 32-year-old made his way out of the airport while posing for pictures and signing autographs. 

Rooney penned a two-and-a-half year guaranteed contract worth about $13 million, which makes him the highest-paid player in D.C. United history. 

He officially becomes available to play for the club beginning July 10, after the transfer window opens. This means his first game could potentially be against Vancouver inside the brand new Audi Field July 10. 

After greeting fans at the airport, Rooney and his camp piled into two blacks SUVs en route to Northeast D.C. 

Little did World Cup fans taking in the England-Belgium match at Wunder Garten know that they were about to be surprised by Wayne Rooney himself. 

In an appearance that lasted just over seven minutes and included a slew of selfies, short conversations and one television interview, Rooney's presence dazzled fans and left others stunned. 

One England native who is now a D.C. resident told me: "We grew up watching him (Rooney) score in the World Cup and that was really important to us. It's hard to believe he just walked through here."

As you would imagine, management at Wunder Garten was thrilled, too.  

"It was great for us because it put us on the map. For someone as famous as Wayne Rooney to come through our establishment, shake hands and hang out, that means a lot. We loved having him here and would love to have him back," said Michael Keller, a member of the bar's management staff. 

 The Englishman will have his hands full as he attempts to put D.C. United back on the map this season. 

Follow Rooney on Twitter and Instagram @WayneRooney.