Upon further review: Wakeup call for D.C. United?


Upon further review: Wakeup call for D.C. United?

New York City FC is hoping last night’s 3-1 win over DC United before 28,262 at Yankee Stadium is a turning point in its push for the playoffs. For the Black and Red, the game should serve as a wakeup call as it looks to maintain the top spot in MLS. 

“I hope so”, said head coach Ben Olsen when asked if he hoped the loss would be a catalyst for better play. “Poku and Villa made us look like boys. They manhandled us in the second half. We didn’t have a lot of answers for them. It wasn’t just our backs. It was midfielders and we just had too many guys not play up to speed.”

Kwodwo Poku and David Villa finished the second half scoring surge after Thomas McNamara had tied the game at one in the 51st minute. Villa was able to squeeze between defenders Bobby Boswell and Sean Franklin in the 80th minute for the game-winner on a beautiful ball from Andrea Pirlo.  Poku ended hopes for a United draw with his goal in 88th minute.

United had the better first half and in the 36th minute seized on a Pirlo turnover to trigger a break with Chris Rolfe and Alvaro Saborio. While Rolfe dribbled to the area, Saborio continued his run. Rolfe rewarded Saborio with a perfect pass that he finished for his second goal in a United uniform.

“Thought we had one of our best halves in the last few weeks at least,” Rolfe said of the opening 45 minutes in New York. “Coming out in the second half we were confident in continuing that path. They put it to us. They had a lot more energy. They were confident in what they wanted to do, and it showed.”


  1. United needs to be more consistent. To be sure it is not all doom and gloom and United still leads the Supporter’s Shield table, but the last few weeks have been uneasy for the Black and Red.  United’s three-game winning streak that ended last night was marked by consecutive rallies from early two-goal deficits and a victory despite being outshot 25-1. Resilient yes, but United ended up paying for that inconsistency on Thursday night. After a promising start to the game New York City had a 17-5 advantage in shots.
  2. Bill Hamid still shines in defeat. Despite conceding three goals, Hamid’s quality came through. He finished with four saves and gave United a chance to get something out of its trip to New York before the team collapsed in the final ten minutes.
  3. Return of Markus Halsti.  In the off season Halsti was United’s big signing from Malmö in Sweden, but because of injuries has only appeared in seven league games.  Halsti started last night, his first appearance since July 18 and head coach Ben Olsen said, “His range of passing changes our game. He got a bit leggy there towards the end. We need to get his fitness up so he can be a 90 minute player. I thought he was really good.”


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.