Photo by John Geliebter/USA Today Sports
By CLIFF STARKEY
WASHINGTON — Both D.C. United and the Montreal Impact have been preparing all offseason to vanquish very different demons.
For Montreal, any sort of improvement over 2014’s campaign–where they finished last in the East–will go a long way to building the kind of consistency head coach Frank Klopas desires of his team.
D.C. United, on the other hand, had a great 2014, finishing first in the Eastern Conference. Just like last year, many media outlets aren’t predicting great things from them this season.
D.C. United started the 2015 season in promising fashion, riding a 58th-minute winner from Jairo Arrieta on their way to a 1-0 victory at RFK Stadium on Saturday.
Chris Rolfe delivered a long pass to Arrieta along the left flank, and the Costa Rican slipped a shot past the on-rushing Evan Bush, beating the Impact goalkeeper to score in his D.C. United debut.
The first half seemed typical of an opening day match, with both sides failing to create anything more than a couple half-chances. D.C. United saw most of the possession and although Christ Rolfe looked determined to see his team find the net, sloppy play in the final third and last-minute defending by Montreal kept the game level.
The best chance of the first half, however, went to Montreal in the 35th minute, when 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Bill Hamid parried Donny Toia’s low shot behind for a corner.
Late in the game, Hamid was again called upon to keep his team in the lead. After Justin Mapp was released for a one-on-one in the 83rd minute, Hamid charged the attacker, and made a crucial save, but Mapp appeared to seriously hurt his elbow when he placed his arm out to catch himself as he fell to the ground. He left the match on a stretcher.
See the match highlights below:
DC could not draw 12K to their home opener
Their fans are such an embarrassment
i may be forced to admit that alajuelense is just better than i thought. dc looked like a much better team in this game, and that’s without espindola.
they do need a holdup striker with eddie out if they’re going to keep playing long ball–not sure doyle is the answer to that. it wasn’t until they started playing on the ground that they started dominating.
also, aguilar looks promising. solid start to his professional career; hope he builds on it.
Man, I’m going to miss Arrietta in a yellow jersey. He’s got an engine that won’t quit!
The Mapp injury is certainly not how Montreal wanted to start the season. That could be a big blow to them getting the season started on a positive note.
shoot, it might be a blessing in disguise. mapp will be back by the start of the summer, if not sooner, and now this young player they have, will get a nice baptism under fire.