De Rosario hat trick salvages United draw against Toronto


 Photo by ISIphotos.com


WASHINGTON – Before D.C. United's match against Toronto FC on Saturday, many wondered if Dwayne De Rosario could continue tormenting his former clubs by turning in a strong performance against his hometown team.

The answer, as it turned out, was a resounding "yes."

De Rosario punished the organization that traded him in April, notching three goals as 10-man United battled to a frantic 3-3 draw with Toronto at RFK Stadium. The hat trick included an 88th-minute penalty kick that came moments after Toronto had taken its first lead.

The effort upped De Rosario's scoring account in a United uniform to six goals in six games, including five in the past two matches, with each strike coming against a onetime team of his.

"I'm definitely pleased with the fight and desire and heart that the guys showed," De Rosario said. "Playing a man down against any team is not easy. There are a lot of big hearts on this team and you saw it tonight. … Thankfully, those three goals helped us to come away with a tie."

Toronto (3-11-11) used goals from Peri Marosevic, Julian de Guzman and Danny Koevermans to share the spoils, keeping United (6-6-9) from securing back-to-back wins for first time since June 2009 or gaining its first triumph at home since early May.

D.C. played nearly the entire contest a man down after goalkeeper Bill Hamid received a seventh-minute red card, and he wasn't alone in hitting the showers early. United coach Ben Olsen joined him in the locker room when he was ejected following de Guzman's 69th-minute tally.

The long-range strike came as referee Jasen Anno allowed Toronto to play a quick restart, even though United was in the process of substituting centerback Ethan White for the injured Brandon McDonald.

"Any moment you can get like that, you take advantage of it," de Guzman said. "Many of the best teams in the world — how should I put it? — cheat when they have the chance to do something. It was a good opportunity for myself to find open space."

After the match, White explained that he was merely waved on as if he was an injured player re-entering the field, despite the fourth official instructing the referee to stop play for a proper substitution.

"I don't want to talk about the referees," Olsen said in reference to the incident. "I don't want them to be the story today. I think Dwayne De Rosario should be the story — and the heart of that group out there that got screwed every which way tonight and didn't get a call all night, but they found a way to get one point."

Substitute Austin da Luz drew United's penalty kick just seconds after Toronto went ahead on a corner kick. With a steady rain falling, Koevermans connected with the service and slipped a shot through the hands of United goalkeeper Steve Cronin, who had taken Hamid's place between the posts.

Although the goal was credited to Koevermans, Cronin said the ball deflected off Toronto's Andy Iro on the way in.

De Rosario gave United its leads in the 19th and 64th minutes. On the opener, he collected a short free kick from midfielder Santino Quaranta and rifled in a shot from distance. For his second, the midfielder-forward pounced on a failed clearance from Iro at the top of the penalty area and rounded goalkeeper Stefan Frei before slotting home his finish.

"[De Rosario] is fun to play with," said Quaranta, who logged the full 90 minutes after missing nearly three months because of a concussion. "He's a great finisher, and he's a very dynamic player."

The match took a drastic turn in the opening minutes when Hamid, who received his first U.S. national team call-up Thursday, charged outside his penalty area and took out Toronto midfielder Eric Avila with a reckless tackle on the right flank, earning a straight red.

"I was hoping to do well for my teammates and the club and show people what I can do, especially after getting the call-up," Hamid said. "It was unfortunate that I couldn't stay on for my teammates and back them up."

But thanks to a moment of brilliance from De Rosario and some resolute defending as Toronto heaped on the pressure, United went into halftime with a 1-0 lead. Marosevic, however, capitalized on a misclearance from Cronin to tap the equalizer into an empty net shortly after halftime.

The chaotic evening was nearly injected with one last dose of drama when De Rosario aimed a far-post shot in hopes of nabbing the winner and his fourth goal of the night. But the bid went inches wide, and both sides settled for the draw.

Perhaps Toronto coach Aron Winter put it best, simply referring to the night's proceedings as a "strange game."

  • Cholmondeley Warner

    Great game, well great as in entertaining. My god Iro is awful, payback for pissing on the church I guess.


  • Chris in Arlington

    Seriously – was the free kick goal where Olsen was ejected a referee f$&@-up? I’m not objective enough to tell though it is always safe to blame MLS ref’s for being horrible.


  • Arnold Cruz

    That was unbelievably atrocious refereeing in a league known for having piss poor calls all season long.


  • kfly

    It was an absolute disgrace. I’m not objective myself, but even the VERY biased TFC commentators were justifying Olsen’s anger over the botched call, admitting the goal should not have occurred.

    This game was incredibly annoying. I’m just glad it’s over.


  • JoeW

    I just got back from RFK. Very entertaining…took a first time soccer attendee and she loved the match–had a blast. Impressive work by DCU with 10 men. Cronin misplayed 2 balls that led to goals. The De Guzman score off the free kick–lousy refereeing…a team is down a man, gets a legitimate injury, you wave on a substitute as as soon as he has a foot on the field you allow play to restart (so the defending team is effectively down to 9 players)? Poor judgment. For being up a man for over an hour, with 2 gifted goals by Cronin…TFC should have been better..right now they’re a pretty bad team. Also, I got a chance to chat with some TFC fans before the game and told them that they’ve always been great and some day I hope they get a team that’s as good as their fans.


  • Mason

    Eh… The first Toronto goal wasn’t really a gift. It was a solid punch that just happened to bounce off of a DCU player and right into the TOR striker’s path. Maybe he could have attempted to catch it, but a punch there is a reasonable play. More bad luck than anything.


  • wilyboy

    Cronin should take one long look in the mirror. Two of those goals were soft, if he was worthy of a starting spot the other might have been prevented. You had your shot, now go home and practice, cuz god knows I don’t want you anywhere near my team till you get your @#$% together.


  • JoeW

    Except that what I’ve always taught my keepers it that you punch the ball to the side (and ideally the opposite side the shot comes from). You punch to the middle and you make it very easy for the ball to come right back at you (with speed). That doesn’t even assume a mis-hit or a ball that takes a bounce off the back of a defender (like in this instance).

    And it was a gift b/c it falls to the feet of Peri Marosevic who has a completely open goal from what–3 or 4 yards away.

    I’ve never been a big fan on punches but frankly, that’s up to the keeper and the situation to decide and I understand that. But you don’t just punch–you punch to a location. A dive (like Cronin did) takes you flat and out of the goal mouth (as opposed to jumping up). Then punching back to the middle–ugh! You either have to be punching it to a teammate OR hope that there are no attackers there b/c your goal mouth is now open.


  • elgringorico

    “I don’t want to talk about the referees,” Olsen said in reference to the incident. “I don’t want them to be the story today. I think Dwayne De Rosario should be the story — and the heart of that group out there that got screwed every which way tonight and didn’t get a call all night, but they found a way to get one point.”

    F’ing love Benny. We will get the wins eventually, seems like a lot of strange games where we outplayed the opponent/deserved to win lately.


  • elgringorico

    I’ve been trying to stay calm all season about the abysmal refereeing, and I think the Hamid red was probably justified, but this game may have been the Tipping Point for me. I would pay $5 per ticket every game or even donate to some pooled fund to get better refs in the MLS.


  • Mason

    He did punch to a location. The punch was going high and deep, but it just happened to hit a defender. There were no attackers in the direction he punched in. Only teammates. It’s just bad luck that it fell the way it did.

    Also, an attempt to catch there might have lead to a bobble due to the wet ball and surface. Both GKs were having problems holding the ball. On a dry night, maybe he goes for the catch, but on a night like last night, go for the surer play.


  • JoeW

    The punch didn’t look high to me–it actually looked low and like a linedrive of sorts. We don’t know if it would have gone deep b/c it traveled about 6-8 feet. And Ben Olsen talked about Cronin giving up two “soft” goals.


  • thomas

    Some of the worst goaltending I’ve ever seen in any game. Hamid, Cronin, and Frei should all be ashamed. Hopefully Hamid can shape up before Mexico.


  • jloome

    Yeah, you really outplayed Toronto….
    20-12 attempts on goal; 32-9 attempted crosses; 89-73% passing accuracy; 66-33% possesion..

    By the way, D.C. is the latter number in all of those stats. The play wasn’t even close (although yes, we’re all aware that’s because DC was down a man. Still reality.)

    Andy Iro 3, Toronto 3


  • Supsam

    MLS cant do that unless they convince USSF to do it for them. Which i believe is what happened when Toledo accepted that one jersey from Blanco as a “gift” haha


  • VADCUfan

    Uh, you guys did nothing with all those stats. The goals came off of broken plays with a substantial amount of luck involved. Show me the sections of the highlights that had any amount of quality buildup leading to a goal. Your guy Julian even said that he cheated on his goal. So for me it’s DeRosario 3, Toronto 2, Ref 1.


  • Mason

    It hit the defender high on the back after solid two-fisted contact. A foot to the right or left and the ball is 20+ yards from goal. If he’s coming off his line there, it’s the right play on a wet night.

    As far as Olsen’s comments, any goal that doesn’t come from a good build-up is soft. I just disagree that all soft goals are preventable. Stuff happens – especially last night. It doesn’t change the fact that punching was the safer play than going for the catch on a wet night.


  • Mason

    You’re going to crow after that performance?

    Toronto were awful. Their goals were crap. You allowed three goals to a 10-man, two-sub team.

    You should have lost, but a referee’s loss of situational awareness saved you a point.

    Bravo, TFC. Bravo.


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