By AVI CREDITOR
WASHINGTON – Danny Allsopp netted his first goals with D.C. United in the 12th and 34th minutes, and 19-year-old goalkeeper Bill Hamid made them stand up, as United snapped its season-long slump with a 2-1 victory over the Kansas City Wizards in front of 10,038 at RFK Stadium.
The match hardly resembled the teams' encounter back on March 27, when the Wizards (2-3-1) opened the season with a 4-0 drubbing of Curt Onalfo's side.
United (1-5-0), with a new-look lineup that included Allsopp and Adam Cristman up top, Boyzzz Khumalo on the right, Hamid in goal and Jaime Moreno, Santino Quaranta and Troy Perkins on the bench, played with the urgency and eagerness expected of a team looking for its first points of the season.
Allsopp pushed things in the right direction by holding up a long pass from Rodney Wallace while facing pressure from Kansas City centerbacks Jimmy Conrad and Pablo Escobar. Allsopp maneuvered to the left, around Conrad, and struck a blast by keeper Jimmy Nielsen to give United a 1-0 lead, its first lead and home goal of the season.
Later in the half, Cristman took advantage of an Escobar blunder in the back, pouncing on a weakly touched pass attempt and finding Allsopp cutting through the area. The Australian striker confidently finished to double the D.C. advantage.
The goals were the first two ever scored by an Australian in Major League Soccer.
Hamid, who impressed in his first professional start and became the youngest keeper in MLS history to win a match, looked to have a clean sheet lined up, but halftime substitute Kei Kamara finished off a Josh Wolff cross in second-half stoppage time to slice the deficit in half.
Hamid, who shook off some early nerves and shaky touches, was credited with five saves, and his confidence evolved throughout the match. At the hour mark, he ended up inside the goal when he caught a Ryan Smith cross that was headed into the upper-right corner of the net, but he managed to keep his hands and the ball outside of the goal area to deny the left winger.
His two most impressive saves both came in the first half, when he rejected close-range attempts by Chance Myers and Jack Jewsbury.
The win was the first league victory with D.C. for Onalfo, and it came against the organization that fired him a year ago. United will try to add to its win total on Saturday when it travels to Pizza Hut Park to take on FC Dallas.
Kansas City, playing without the suspended Davy Arnaud, remained winless on the road and won't play until May 15, when it hosts the Chicago Fire.
Were you impressed by D.C. United tonight? Disappointed in Kansas City? Surprised that United's lineup was able to be so effective? Do you think Bill Hamid should permanently supplant Perkins in goal?
Share your thoughts below.