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Queretaro eliminates D.C. United from CCL

Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports
Photo by Brad Mills/USA Today Sports

D.C. United entered Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with the hope of a comeback, but walked off the field disappointed.

The MLS club tied Queretaro, 1-1, at RFK Stadium, but lost the series by an aggregate scoreline of 3-1.

Queretaro held the 2-0 advantage before play began in the nation’s capital, and the challenge became much more difficult for D.C. United just four minutes into the second-leg contest. Angel Sepulveda drilled a shot into the back of the net to give the Liga MX side the all-important away goal, which forced D.C. United to chase the game for the remaining 86 minutes.

D.C. United needed four goals in order to progress to the semifinals of the competition following that opener, but could only muster one in the 90 minutes of action.

Rookie Julian Buescher contributed the only goal for D.C. United on the evening. The first-round MLS Draft pick netted a beautiful strike to tie the game with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Almost 20 minutes earlier, Fabian Espindola missed a wonderful opportunity for D.C. United. Yet, minutes later, the MLS side was given a lifeline.

Center official John Pitti pointed to the penalty spot after Miguel Martinez, who already had a yellow card to his name, took down Patrick Nyarko in the penalty box. The Queretaro defender avoided a second yellow.

Chris Rolfe stepped up and blasted a shot to the right of goalkeeper Tiago Volpi, but the Queretaro netminder dove the correct way. The scoreline stayed at 1-0 until Buescher’s golazo.

D.C. United begins its MLS campaign against the LA Galaxy at the StubHub Arena on Sunday.

What do you think of D.C. United’s performance? What are you expecting from the MLS club in 2016?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. In terms of the MLS-LigaMX ties, this was one where I thought the MLS side could get the result. I was really disappointed at the performance of DC United…I know it’s pre-season but I would have expected more with the MLS opening games coming this weekend. While it is “pre-season” for MLS remember that the MX side had a game over the weekend and then had to have a short turnaround along with travel. After watching the 2 legs in this series Queretaro deserved to go through….the biggest gap between the two leagues is clearly at the back and MLS has never been a league to invest in defenders-MLS will continue to lose in international competitions until this is remedied.

    • It could be worse. At least you’re not a Galaxy fan. They were embarrassing. DC had their chances (missing the PK was inexcusable), which is more than can be said for the Galaxy.

  2. There are too many disadvantages for MLS teams to overcome as things stand now to really be a threat in the CCL. Soccer in the states, as mentioned, is 4th or 5th at best in terms of popularity and coupled with the recent emergence of the league vs that of the Mexican league which has been around forever there is too big of a hill to climb. Furthermore when you consider the preseason form of MLS at this stage of the competition it’s a wash from the get go. Montreal and RSL were the outliers, so it’s conceivable, but very unlikely to change anytime soon.

    • Naive to go blaming any one or two people. Soccer in our country is simply well behind others, as it has always been and as it will continue to be. Only Americans refuse to believe this ! I think being unrealistic in thinking we are entitled superiority is a national epidemic.

      • Both comments totally lacking in perspective. Maybe you guys are too young to remember but 20 years ago we didn’t have a league. There was basically zero soccer on TV and, while I was a huge soccer fan, it was rare for me to find a fellow US soccer fan to discuss the sport with.

        LigaMX was founded in 1943 and Mexico is a fairly populous country where soccer is easily the #1 sport. In the US, it’s probably third or fourth.

        No question LigaMX teams are better than MLS teams and the timing of these games gives the Mexican sides an additional advantage (but they would likely win anyway). The gap was bigger 20 years ago, 10 years ago etc. and it will continue to narrow and eventually disappear, especially if the CCL switches to a calendar year format, which has been rumored.

      • Im beginning to think that having better players really helps out club teams and that the better the player, the more money you have to pay them to play for you. We will see if this theory holds, ill let you guys know

    • I don’t think Gulati has any responsibility in MLS sides losing in this competition. Garber can certainly be criticized for making ridiculous statements that MLS will be one of the best leagues in the world in X amount of years… about setting the goal at the best league in your confederation first?

      • Garber is there to carry out the will of the owners. It’s not Garber’s decision to keep the salary cap ridiculously low. I doubt it was Garber’s decision to fight free agency tooth and nail. MLS teams have improved considerably, but I doubt they will ever match the Mexican clubs as long as their salary cap is not commensurate with what Mexican teams routinely spend. Having a couple of high priced stars is not enough to make a championship team outside of the league.

  3. Though very prematurely, I think Benny knew the tie was already over and had the league opener on his mind but at the same time United had its chances to make this thing interesting but came up lame when it mattered. You can’t miss a penalty nor Espindola be that bad for both legs. As a DC native I can only hope they put this behind them quick and make a run at MLS Cup this year

    • You put in a rookie like Buescher because he has the hunger to make a difference (like shooting when space opens in front of him) vs some veteran who will makes safe square passes or another veteran who wastes opportunity after opportunity by holding onto the ball longer than necessary.

      Most veteran players lack the drive or hunger to make a difference, because they have already proven themselves or they make too much money and lack additional incentive to win the game (see LA last night).

  4. The series was an embarassement for the club and the league. Olsen trots out a rookie in this match and NDL in a new pivotal position- CM. This is isnt a friendly match, Benny. You could see the frustration of the entire team throughout the course of the match. The series result is entirely on Olsen.


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