Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By DAN KARELL
Even with Michael Bradley back in the Toronto FC lineup, they were no match for Ben Olsen and D.C. United.
Through goals from Nick DeLeon and Perry Kitchen, D.C. United stunned Toronto FC, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at BMO Field, with all three goals coming in the second half. Luke Moore scored the lone goal for TFC, as they lost for just the first time in their last seven matches.
TFC’s attempts to tie the match late took a blow as defender Nick Hagglund was shown a straight red card for a professional foul.
Even with Bradley in the lineup along with Jermain Defoe, the duo had trouble breaching the D.C. United backline of Chris Korb, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, and Sean Franklin, who all did enough to keep TFC off the scoresheet in the first half.
In the 54th minute though, D.C. United took advantage of a poor TFC turnover in their own half and advanced towards the goal. DeLeon dribbled towards TFC goalkeeper Joe Bendik, fought off a challenge from Hagglund, and after a couple of shifty moves eventually finished to Bendik’s left with ease to put the visitors up 1-0.
Six minutes later, TFC hit one back. Defoe was played into space and advanced into the box along the left channel. He stopped and waited for his teammates to come into the play, passing to Jackson who was arriving at the top of the box. Jackson’s first time strike was parried away by D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid but Moore was the quickest to the rebound and directed it home.
However, in the 69th minute, D.C. United took the lead for the last time in the evening. Lewis Neal swung in a corner kick from the right side to the six-yard box, and while Bendik decided to remain on his line, Kitchen was able to rise into the sky and head home.
TFC were reduced to ten men when D.C. United forward Eddie Johnson was on a breakaway in the 88th minute and was pulled back by Hagglund. The referee originally issued just a yellow card but after speaking to his assistants, he reached for the red card.
Bradley, who was starting his first game for TFC since returning from the World Cup, played 61 minutes before being taken off for Jonathan Osorio.