AC Milan at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

AC Milan at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

MLS- D.C. United

AC Milan at D.C. United: Match Night Commentary

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ACMilanlogo DCU_Primary_COL

By AVI CREDITOR

Ronaldinho & Co. have invaded the nation's capital, as AC Milan kicks off its North American tour by playing D.C. United in a mid-week friendly (8 p.m., live video stream here).

The Serie A power is without some of its top stars but still boasts a squad featuring the former FIFA World Player of the Year. Alexandre Pato, Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta, Mathieu Flamini, Filippo Inzaghi and Dida are some of the other Milan regulars on hand tonight.

D.C. has been struggling to find its way through the Major League Soccer schedule, but playing under no pressure in front of a packed house just might bring the best out of the Eastern Conference's cellar dweller.

I will be providing live commentary from RFK Stadium, so please feel free to follow along and share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. Enjoy the match (commentary after the jump).

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POSTGAME – That's all for me from RFK. Thanks for following along, and keep checking SBI for some player and coach reaction. Good night everybody!

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POSTGAME – Ronaldinho is the lone player left on the pitch, walking over toward the United fans. Classy move to acknowledge the fans that came out to see him play. Looks like one lucky fan will be getting a game-worn jersey tonight. Ronaldinho didn't swap with any United players.

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POSTGAME – Going down to 10 men after Barklage's injury certainly didn't help United's cause in the second half.

Chris Pontius is the man of the match, with his goal and assist in the first half.

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POSTGAME – What a result for United. Yes, Milan set the cruise control to 25 mph for the first half, but give credit to D.C. for coming up with the early goals and for denying Ronaldinho and Pato from getting on the board.

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90th Minute – And there's the final whistle!! D.C. United 3, AC Milan 2.

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90th Minute – Moreno absorbs a hit from Favalli, and that might do the trick for United.

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90th Minute – Nesta's shot from distance easily caught by Perkins. One minute to go.

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90th Minute – Two minutes of stoppage time.

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90th Minute – United packing it in Inter-style, desperately trying to hold off this late charge.

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89th Minute – Inzaghi tries to go through Rice inside the box, but the rookie out of Kentucky does well to hold his ground.

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88th Minute – Barry Rice deflects a Pato shot, making for an easy Perkins save. AC Milan isn't holding back at all. Attacks coming in waves.

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87th Minute – Perkins gobbles up a low cross in the area.

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85th Minute – Inzaghi misses wide left! He runs onto a long ball from Nesta but his touch is a bit inaccurate.

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84th Minute – Can 10-man United hold on? Allsopp holds up a long pass and gives D.C. a chance to possess a bit.

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83rd Minute – Seedorf drives a low 30-yard free kick into the wall and D.C. is on the counter attack. Except that Moreno takes forever to make up his mind and things stall out.

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80th Minute – Di Gennaro lofts a shot that's barely deflected by Rice out for a corner. Could've saved a goal with that deflection.

Gennaro Delvecchio on for Manuele Blasi.

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79th Minute – Marcus Diniz on for Luca Antonini for Milan.

Jordan Graye's the only one who'll go the full 90 for D.C. tonight.

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78th Minute – Mancini shanks a clear shot high. Milan keeps pushing for the equalizer, taking full advantage of United being down a man.

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77th Minute – 30,367 announced attendance. RFK is rocking tonight.

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76th Minute – ALMOST A WONDEREQUALIZER FOR ODDO! His volley from distance just misses the crossbar.

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75th Minute – Oddo ripped a 30-yard shot past Perkins. Couldn't tell if it took a deflection, but Perkins' timing was very off, so it was either that, or he never saw the shot until it was too late. 3-2 D.C.

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74th MinuteGOAL AC MILAN!! MASSIMO ODDO FROM DISTANCE!

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72nd Minute – Davide Di Gennaro on for Cristian Brocchi as Milan pushes forward looking to chop away at the lead even more. Corner kick coming for Milan.

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71st Minute – Perkins denies Seedorf with a diving save.

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70th MinuteGOAL AC MILAN! Oddo with a slow run up on the PK, tucks a confident shot inside the left post to give Milan its first goal. 3-1 United.

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70th Minute – Penalty on Morsink. He slid down to deny a Mancini cross and the ball hit his extended arm inside the area. PK for Oddo.

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68th Minute – Perkins slides in front of a pass intended for Inzaghi and denies a scoring chance. Troy is moving with confidence after a shaky start to the season.

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67th Minute – What's more for United, all substitutes have already been used, and the officials won't let United re-enter any players. AC Milan will have a man advantage for the next 23 minutes and change.

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65th Minute – Barklage is down and it doesn't look pretty. Grimaces in the press box after seeing the replay. He went in to challenge Mancini, and got his left leg trapped underneath his own body. He's being stretchered off.

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63rd Minute – A back-pass gone horribly wrong for Milan works out for United. The keeper, Abbiati tried to clear the sloppy pass, but he kicked it right into Allsopp's back heel, and the ball slowly crossed into the goal to give D.C. United a three-goal advantage.

Brandon Barklage and Boyzzz Khumalo coming on for Andy Najar and Stephen King.

Giuseppe Favalli on for Claudio Terzi for Milan.

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61st MinuteGOAL D.C. UNITED!! DANNY ALLSOPP! 3-0 UNITED!

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61st Minute – And that'll do it for Ronaldinho, an hour of entertaining D.C. soccer fans, as he comes off for Mancini.

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60th Minute – Perkins gets a great hand for coming off his line to impede a long ball attempt.

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58th Minute – Seedorf shakes McTavish in the area, but his cross is intercepted. Milan is bringing the entertainment now.

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57th Minute – Ronaldinho denied a penalty after being "taken down" in the area by McTavish. He's got a nice smile on his face. And he should, after executing such a lovely dive.

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55th Minute – Filippo Inzaghi comes on for Abate and receives a nice hand from the crowd. Moreno was off for a bit receiving treatment after taking a knock to his leg, but he's back on now.

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54th Minute – Ronaldinho volleyed Pato's cross from the left into position before bicycle kicking over his head. Textbook execution, minus the finish. Perkins was frozen on the shot, but it hit solidly off the right post. The fans have officially gotten their money's worth.

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53rd Minute – Ronaldinho hits the post on a bicycle kick!!! 

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49th Minute – Bad turnover by Graye in the area, but Ronaldinho slips and falls before he could get off a shot.

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48th Minute – Ronaldinho, Pato and Seedorf still on for Milan. Only sub to come on was Massimo Oddo, who replaced Jankulovski. Nothing of note in the early going in half No. 2

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46th Minute – D.C. looks like this:

——-Moreno——Allsopp——

-Castillo–King–Morsink–Najar-

-Graye–James–Rice–McTavish-

————–Perkins————-

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HALFTIME – Kurt Morsink is on for Clyde Simms, Jaime Moreno and Danny Allsopp have replaced Quaranta and Emilio, Devon McTavish is on for Rodney Wallace, Cristian Castillo is on for Pontius, Troy Perkins is on for Hamid, Barry Rice is one for Talley.

Like I said, wholesale changes.

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HALFTIME – Expect wholesale changes for both sides. D.C. has three more matches in the next 10 days, so Curt Onalfo will want to keep his side fresh, one would think.

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HALFTIME – 2-0 D.C. United. A dream opening half for the home side. It's easy to see which team is trying harder, but United has certainly earned its goals. Milan has shown it can be dangerous when it wants to be, but Hamid and Wallace denied the visitors of their two best chances.

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45th Minute – Rodney Wallace robs Ronaldinho!! The Brazilian got behind the defense on the left side of the box and slotted a ball that seemed destined to tuck inside the far post. Wallace calmly slid into the goal and kicked it away before it crossed the line. Think Cannavaro robbing Drogba, but on the ground. Man, that Nike commercial is fantastic. What a play by Wallace.

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45th Minute – One minute of stoppage time. For the fans' sake, lets hope Ronaldinho has signed up for the second half as well.

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45th Minute – Action has slowed as halftime approaches.

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43rd Minute – What's your favorite World Cup commercial so far? Donovan's ESPN spot? Jozy's? Nike ad?

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41st Minute – Antonini can't pull off the Step Over and Pass and loses it for a Hamid goal kick. He did not do well in writing his future there. He might just come out of a trailer with a monster beard, looking at a Jordan Graye Nike billboard tomorrow morning.

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40th Minute – Hamid reads a long ball down the center intended for Jankulovski. Hasn't been as busy of a first half for Hamid as expected. Outside of the opening minutes, not much going on up top for the Italian side.

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39th Minute – For the record, Pontius has suffered neither of the aforementioned injuries, but he's taken two devastating hits

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38th Minute – Manuele Blasi replaces Mathieu Flamini for Milan.

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37th Minute – Pontius' line so far: Goal, assist, busted voicebox, broken ankle. And all in less than 40 minutes.

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36th Minute – Ignazaio Abate tests the referee by recklessly chopping down Pontius from behind, and he sees yellow.

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35th Minute – Flamini clotheslines Pontius and doesn't see a card. Now that's how you referee a friendly.

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34th Minute – Najar comes close from distance!! What a laser of a shot. Abbiati is having some trouble tonight.

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33rd Minute – Nice job by Pontius to close down on Seedorf inside the area to defend, and Simms does well to not let Ronadlinho add him to his own personal highlight reel.

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30th Minute – Real basic stuff there for United. Quaranta drove a corner to the edge of the 6-yard box, and Pontius leaped and connected. Abbiati didn't exactly put himself in harm's way to try to catch or punch away the ball. Nevertheless, a dream start for Pontius and United.

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30th MinuteGOAL D.C. UNITED!!!! PONTIUS HEADS HOME THE CORNER KICK!!! 2-0 UNITED!

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29th Minute – Pontius' shot takes a wicked deflection out for a corner

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28th Minute – D.C. possessing, slowing the pace down, trying to lull Milan to sleep

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26th Minute – Milan is looking rather unmotivated now. First sub of the match…Julius James coming on for Juan Manuel Pena

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23rd Minute – Pato sneaks behind the D.C. defense (again) to receive a long ball, but Hamid cuts off his path. Friendly or not, imagine what a result against the Rossoneri would do for United's confidence

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20th Minute – Stephen King sent a long ball to the left post, Pontius ran onto the ball and headed it to the far post, where Emilio tapped it in. Where has that creativity been all season? 1-0 D.C. United. Wow.

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20th MinuteGOAL DC UNITED!!! LUCIANO EMILIO!! THE 80-1 SHOT CASHES IN!!!

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19th Minute – Quaranta's long free kick deflected over the goal for a D.C. corner. Santino making his return to the lineup after a scary bout with a staph infection.

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19th Minute – Odds on first Brazilian to score tonight: Ronaldinho 3-1, Pato 2-1, Emilio 80-1

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18th Minute – A short corner leads to another one, and Ronaldinho heads it just wide right of Hamid's goal.

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17th Minute – Jankulovski wins a corner for Milan, first one of the match for either side. Seedorf to take it.

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16th Minute – Pace has slowed after a frenetic beginning for Milan. United yet to test a single Milan defender.

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14th Minute – Milan doing a nice job of pressuring as D.C. tries to maintain some possession on the back line. Cristian Brocchi gets the props on that one.

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12th Minute – Pato's offside on another picture-perfect Ronaldinho pass. How is this guy not going to the World Cup?

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11th Minute – Talley does well to intercept a ground pass from Ronaldinho intended for Seedorf.

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9th Minute – Pontius can't settle a long pass by the end-line, and Abbiati will take a goal kick. United needs Pontius to recapture his rookie form to have a chance at climbing the MLS table.

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8th Minute – Pato fires over the crossbar. He received a Ronaldinho chip (offside?) then kind of meandered across the top of the box before firing. Probably should've shot earlier. Break for D.C.

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6th Minute – Wallace does well to beat Pato to a Ronaldinho cross, and he heads away the danger. Every time Ronaldinho touches the ball, the crowd's anticipation level rises.

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6th Minute – Pato nutmegs Najar on a run down the middle much to the delight of this starstruck crowd.

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4th Minute – Najar can't settle a long pass from Quaranta in the face of Antonini. Wonder what the nerve level is like for a youngster like Najar going up against the likes of AC Milan.

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3rd Minute – That certainly didn't take long for Ronaldinho to dazzle the crowd. Two beautiful, effortless touches to set up the scoring chance.

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1st Minute – Hamid robs Pato!! Ronaldinho set up the run, but the 19-year-old keeper stuffed Pato on the doorstep. Wow.

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1st Minute – And there's the opening kick, Milan with the early control. AC Milan in the all-whites moving from left to right, D.C. United in the all-blacks moving from right to left.

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PRE-GAME – Mauro Tassotti will be coaching AC Milan tonight. He was the top assistant under Leonardo and Carlo Ancelotti. Clarence Seedorf and Carey Talley will wear the captain's armbands, and Mark Kadlecik will be our referee.

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PRE-GAME – There are unlimited subs tonight (no re-entry), so expect to see plenty of names over the course of the next 90 minutes of play.

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PRE-GAME – Prediction: Braces for Pato and Ronaldinho, a goal for Andy Najar and a 4-1 AC Milan victory. Motivated or not, the Rossoneri shouldn't be troubled too much tonight.

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PRE-GAME – A large crowd is expected on hand, with 22,000 tickets sold as of Monday and mounds of people in line by the ticket window tonight. There's no doubt whom they all came to see: Ronaldinho. If he's not feeling the love from Dunga, he will from those wearing his jersey in the stands.

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PRE-GAME – Here are tonight's starting lineups:

AC MILAN

——–Ronaldinho————Pato———-

–Jankulovski–Brochi–Seedorf–Flamini–

—-Abate—-Nesta—-Terzi—-Antonini—

———————Abbiati——————

SUBS: Dida, Colombo, Diniz, Oddo, Favalli, Di Gennaro, Blasi, Delvecchio, Mancini, Inzaghi

D.C. UNITED

——Quaranta——Emilio——-

–Pontius–King–Simms–Najar–

–Wallace–Talley–Pena–Graye–

————–Hamid————-

SUBS: Perkins, Allsopp, Castillo, Barklage, Khumalo, James, Moreno, McTavish, Morsink, Perkins, Rice

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