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D.C. United come away with huge road win at TFC

Nick DeLeon

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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.


  1. Half way point of the season. DC is in first place. wasn’t happy with their us open cup performance.

    there is still room to improve, but they are far better than last years sad sack team.

    • Bottom of the league by ten points last year, and top of the east at halfway point this year. And to think, everybody thought it was ludicrous that they won US Open Cup last year and earned a CCL birth. Only in MLS.

      • But it was ludicrous last year.

        The newly put together team doing fine this year has no bearing on the shock Open Cup win last year.

  2. Glass half empty or half full?? Great that DC United won. Two nice goals. But (and perhaps this is a result of watching too much World Cup), the weaknesses of the DC United lineup/tactics were quite apparent. Other than Eddie Johnson, the only player in the front six who can pass effectively is Silva and he struggled to gain possession. Then comes Kitchen (who is developing nicely into a better rounded player). The other three are much happier dribbling and kicking other players. As a result Johnson could just as well sit down for much of the game because no one is going to get him the ball anywhere he can do anything with it. Only when Toronto had to push everyone forward did Johnson see the ball much and even then most of the passes in his direction were wildly misdirected. DCU’s outside backs defend okay but they add very little to the attack. (And given last year’s experience you can understand a cautious approach.)
    Overall I guess we have to be happy that Olsen, at least for right now, has welded together some un promising parts into a team that can win reasonably often.


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