The commitment was there for DC United, but in Seattle the goal was not. A wild ten days for DC United that included four cities, three time zones, and two competitions ended in a dramatic 1-0 loss to the Sounders.
The Sounders were without leading scorers Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey. Martins was sidelined with a groin injury. Dempsey was the U.S. Men’s National Team in Nashville. It took defender Tyrone Mears to break the deadlock when he pounced on a loose ball just inside the penalty area on the right and blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the net.
On the goal there was nothing United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra could do. Mears strike was simply spectacular and allowed the Sounders to avoid their third shutout in four games. For Mears, who just joined the Sounders this season from Bolton in England, it was his first MLS goal.
It was not an easy night for United. Urged on by a crowd of over 40,000 the Sounders were eager to stop a three-game losing streak and were given a man advantage in the 27th minute. A straight red card was issued to Fabian Espindola for an elbow to the Sounders Zach Scott. In the 13th minute Scott had received a yellow card for an incident against Espindola.
- Survive and move on. From three league matches in the last ten days United earned four points or a win, a tie, and a loss. Seattle did essentially draw even with United for the top spot in the Supporters Shield race, but there is almost half of the season left to play. United has played two more games, but still enjoys an eleven-point cushion on second place New England in the Eastern Conference. United has survived and can now take a breath before its next league match July 18 in Dallas. To be sure it is disappointing United was eliminated earlier this week in the U.S. Open Cup to Philadelphia, but will be better able to focus its energies on the CONCACAF Champions League.
- Nick DeLeon is surging. It has still been since last summer when DeLeon scored, but this past month he has been more dangerous. DeLeon led United with three shots against Seattle and almost tied the game in the 89th minute with a shot from the top of the box that went off the crossbar.