Dave Johnson: DC United Goes Down To Houston

Dave Johnson: DC United Goes Down To Houston
September 26, 2010, 2:56 am
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Saturday, September 25, 2010, 10:30 pm

By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington---In a dark season for the team in black, Andy Najar has been the bright light for DC United. On Saturday against Houston Najar again was the leading light, but darkness set in as the Dynamo showed more resolve and commitment in a 3-1 come from behind victory over United.Down 2-1 in stoppage time DC United pressed for the equalizer and Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstated exemplified his teams determination when he put his body on the line to thwart a United attack. Onstad was left bloodied and woozy after a collision with his own defender Andrew Hainault.After receiving treatment for several minutes, Onstad decided to remain in the game despite the Dynamos slim playoff chances. Dynamo forward Dominic Oduro eased Onstatds pain when he was able to get behind the attack-minded United defense and put the game away with a goal in the 99th minute.When Oduro scored, United midfielder Santino Quaranta was the lone defender staying home as the home team searched for a way to reward the 13,828 in attendance at RFK Stadium, Truth be told however, United lost its way shortly after the hour mark when it failed to show the discipline necessary to protect a one goal lead.United was slow to get started and spent the first 20 minutes of the match struggling to maintain possession. In the opening minute the Dynamo won a corner kick and Brad Davis delivered a perfect ball that was just headed over the bar Hainault.The game clearly turned in Uniteds favor in the 29th minute when Najar opened the scoring. Quaranta, on the left flank, switched the ball to Najar on the right and he cut into the penalty area paralyzing defenders Hainault and Adrian Serioux before blasting a shot past Onstad from 16 yards out.For Najar it was his team-leading fifth goal of the season and tied the United record for goals by a rookie. Quaranta in 2001 and Freddy Adu in 2004 each scored five goals for United in their rookie campaigns. Najar is only two behind Philadelphias Danny Mwanga for the league lead in rookie goal scoring.I feel like a kid like Andy could step into a World Cup venue and play the way he plays, said United interim head coach Ben Olsen. He just doesnt care where he is. He just loves to play the game and plays it in the proper way.Its not just the goals, Olsen added. Its all the other little stuff. The way he tackles. The way he runs up and down the field. It is just wonderful to watch.United continued to have the advantage in possession and opportunity for the rest of the first half and there was ever reason to believe United was close to seizing control of the match. In addition the Dyaamo had suffered a mid-week loss to Kansas City where they blew a 3-1 halftime lead.The chances did fall Uniteds way to start the second half. United goalkeeper Troy Perkins triggered a quick counter attack in the 52nd minute by playing a ball to Quaranta past midfield. Quaranta raced down the flank and placed a cross to the head of forward Danny Allsopp but his effort went over the bar.In the 59th minute Allsopp appeared to be the hero. From the top of the penalty arc Pablo Hernandez sent in a bending shot that was deflected by Onstad and then put in the back of the net by Allsopp.The goal was waved off because Allsopp was ruled offside. Television replays indicated it was a tight call because Allsopp was close to being even with the last defender when the shot left Hernandezs foot.As has been the case all season United did not do well with disappointment. In the 66th minute Dynamo right back Richard Mulrooney was given too much space on the flank. Mulrooney placed a ball to the back post that was volleyed by Davis off United defender Devon McTavish for an own goal to tie the game at one.Then four minutes later United failed to properly mark on a Dynamo set piece. On a free kick by Davis, Geoff Cameron was able to break free and climb for a header and score the go-ahead goal to put the Dynamo up 2-1.Its getting old, said Olsen. We let each other down again.