By RYAN TOLMICH
Fresh off of his exclusion from this summer’s World Cup roster, Eddie Johnson ended his goal-scoring drought with a late-game equalizer, earning D.C. United a 1-1 draw with the Montreal Impact.
Johnson’s 84th minute header canceled out Jack McInerney’s 56th minute opener, his second since joining the Canadian side. A turnover in the midfield found its way to the always dangerous Justin Mapp, who dribbled the ball to the touchline before finding an open McInerney in the middle of the box. The 21-year old striker made no mistake as he touched the ball up to himself before sliding the ball past Bill Hamid to give the Impact the lead.
The hosts pushed forward from there, earning their fair share of chances to leave RFK Stadium with some sort of result, the most notable of which came in the 73rd minute via a Luis Silva crossbar rattler.
But it was Johnson, one of the more highly- publicized exclusions from Jurgen Klinsmann’s 30-man U.S. Men’s National Team squad, who scored his first goal as a member of D.C. United, earning his team a well-deserved point. The 30-year-old American did what he does best by heading home Fabian Espindola’s cross for his first goal in 736 minutes of league play.
A good stretch of passing led to a cutting Espindola on the left side of the box with plenty of space. The Argentine whipped a cross to the back post to find the head of a leaping Johnson, who headed straight into the bottom left corner.
With the draw, D.C. move into a three-way tie for third in the Eastern Conference with two and three games in hand over the Houston Dynamo and New York Red Bulls, respectively. Meanwhile, the Impact remain at the bottom of the table with just six points from nine games.
D.C. United will now enter a stretch of contests with three Eastern Conference contenders in 14 days when they take on the Houston Dynamo, New England Revolution and Sporting Kansas City consecutively. The Impact, meanwhile, will look to climb back up the table next week when they head to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to take on the Colorado Rapids.