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Santos provides equalizer as Montreal, D.C. United settle for draw

Santos (Getty Images)

For the second straight game on the road the Montreal Impact had a victory within reach. And for the second straight game they let points get away.

Maicon Santos' 73rd-minute goal on a low shot from distance cancelled out Bernardo Corradi's 68th-minute header, as D.C. United and the Impact settled for a 1-1 draw in front of 10,135 at RFK Stadium Wednesday night.

The script was all too familiar for Montreal, which went ahead of FC Dallas on a Corradi penalty kick in the second half only to watch the hosts battle back for the win. At the very least, the Impact walked away from RFK with their first road point in their expansion season.

"If we're being honest with ourselves, we let two points slip away," Montreal captain Davy Arnaud said. "We get the goal again to take the lead, and then we let them back in it. At the end of the day it is a point on the road, and when you're on the road you want to pick up points, but at some point we have to turn these good performances into wins. The positive is that we feel like we're performing enough to be able to do that."

The Impact could have stolen the win late, but Arnaud missed a clear look from the center of the box after a series of failed sequences following a corner kick in the 87th minute.

"I just pulled it a little bit wide," Arnaud said. "You want to do better in that situation. You want to hit the target, and I'd like to have it back."

Santos, who turned 28 on Wednesday, also could have had a late winner for D.C., but he was ruled offside on a 90th-minute chance that he converted off a cross from Dwayne De Rosario. He appeared to be a shade in front of centerback Matteo Ferrari when De Rosario played his ball in from the right.

"I don't think I was off, but they give the offsides," said Santos, who has four goals in his last four matches. "What can I do?"

While the second half was full of action, the first 45 minutes were devoid of chances for both teams, with Montreal employing high pressure that flustered a D.C. lineup with three different attacking starters than Saturday's win in New England. Chris Pontius started up top alongside De Rosario, while Branko Boskovic returned to the starting XI in the midfield and Andy Najar made his first appearance since returning from CONCACAF Olympic qualifying.

The result a disjointed attack that struggled to get in a rhythm while Sanna Nyassi, Arnaud and Corradi pressed deep in D.C.'s own end.

The second half yielded a more free-flowing game, with Donovan Ricketts coming up big on two occassions to stone De Rosario from giving D.C. the lead. 

No play was bigger than when Ricketts raced off his line to slide tackle a ball off De Rosario's foot at the top of the box after rookie Nick DeLeon played a perfectly timed through ball by a high line and had the reigning league MVP in on goal all alone in the 49th minute.

Ricketts stuffed De Rosario again in the 51st minute, when Chris Korb's long ball from his right back slot bounced by Ferrari, who either did not see De Rosario trying to track it down or thought that Ricketts was coming out to get it. Instead, De Rosario got a foot to the ball, but hit it right into Ricketts' chest. 

The Impact made Ricketts' saves seem large when they grabbed the lead off Corradi's second goal in as many games. Substitute winger Lamar Neagle put a pinpoint cross in from the right and found Corradi unmarked by the far post for a free header.

"It was a strong ball," Corradi said. "I decided not to go to the near post because everyone was there. Eighty percent of this goal was Lamar."

Santos got the better of Ricketts soon after, though, beating him near post on a low shot from 30 yards out.

While the goal saved a point for D.C., it also ensured that the club did not win consecutive games for the first time since June, 2009. It did, however, extend the club's unbeaten streak to five games ahead of this Sunday's Atlantic Cup meeting with the New York Red Bulls.

Montreal, meanwhile, gets a 10-day break after a hectic start to its inaugural MLS campaign, returning home to face the Portland Timbers on April 28.

"I think we deserved more, and now we have to use this 10 days before the home game to analyze what we did wrong and try to give 90 minutes instead of 70-75," Corradi said. "We're growing up like a team. We're getting to know each other better and better, and we have to keep working like we are every day."


  1. I’m a DCU season ticket holder and was there last night, and would agree that the attendance was disappointing. Lot’s of reasons for it, but one not mentioned is that DC is just a lousy sports town. The Wizards and Nats also played home games last night – total attendance for the three games COMBINED was just over 38,000.

  2. honestly, this is kind of a ridiculous statement. not only was this game not marketed AT ALL, it was on a Wednesday night against an expansion team in crappy, cold, rainy weather. DCU is obviously focusing its marketing push for Sunday’s game. there has been an ad in the Express (free newspaper on Metro printed by Wash. Post) for the last week for Sunday’s game. it says, “No one likes New York. NO BODY” or something like that. NOTHING about the game on Wednesday though. it was literally ignored. i’m a big DCU fan and i actually forgot about the game myself until i got the barra brava email.

    DCU has never really had good attendance on weekday games unless it is a nationally televised game and is marketed all week. or is a friday. neither happened last night. to compare DC to NE is ridiculous and a load of crap.

  3. While I don’t disagree with you that DCU and NE should do better in terms of attendance relative to the size of their market, 10,000 fans for a midweek game against an expansion team in a lousy weather is not bad. If they get 10,000 against NYRB on the weekend, that’s another matter.

  4. The attendance was very disappointing. %50 of what they should have at a game. It’s funny to think that just a few years ago, DC United was the gold standard for attendance/fan atmosphere in MLS. They have definitely fallen off in recent years.

  5. The other attendance issue I’d like to point out in defense of DC is that in a soccer-specific stadium that seats 12k the vibe of 8k on a midweek fixture would be totally different. Same goes for any sport. I’ve seen the phillies at the vet and at citizens bank park and will take the latter and day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  6. Just wait til Sunday guys. You can’t blame the fans for not making the trip when we’re hosting our rival on Sunday.

  7. I agree DC attendance needs to improve, and last night’s was not a step in that direction.

    That said calling it the lag on the league is over the top. DC’s average attendence last year was 11th out of 18 and is 12th out of 19 this year (note: Houston yet to play at BBVA).

  8. I hate to be the attendance troll but this league won’t be taken seriously with teams playing in front of 10,000 fans in RFK. DC and NE are huge lags on this league in huge markets.

  9. not good enough dc….its been obvious since last season that de ro is most useful in midfield…not up top. didn’t like olsen’s line-up and i think it cost us, that said the players got to play. better get the win against ny after dropping at home.

  10. Great goal by Maicon. He has been a awesome for D.C. But D.C. still hasn’t won back to back games in 3 years now. bleh.


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