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D.C. United rewind

hamid_save.jpgPost photographer Toni Sandys captured the moment in the second half when D.C. United's Bill Hamid kept the ball from crossing the goal line despite his momentum carrying him into the net on Ryan Smith's lofted ball from the left flank.

Hamid was busy in his professional debut, making two superb saves in the first half and facing 11 corner kicks to become the youngest keeper in MLS history to earn a victory. At 19, he displayed uncommon maturity for a player less than a year out of United's youth academy and, in the process, created a genuine competition for the starting job.

As for the decision to start Hamid over veteran Troy Perkins, Coach Curt Onalfo said: "We're 0-5 and I felt like we're going to make some changes. That was one of the changes I thought long and hard about. I went with my intuition on it and it worked out fine. ... I thought he performed extremely well. He looked a little bit shaky on a couple plays but that is normal."

With Hamid bringing stability to the goalkeeping position and Danny Allsopp scoring twice in the first half, United earned its long-awaited first league victory, 2-1 over the Kansas City Wizards.

A few notes:

*Allsopp's first goal ended a 355-minute scoreless streak at home in league play, dating to Luciano Emilio's strike in the 17th minute against Columbus last October.

*Onalfo played a 4-4-2 instead of a 4-5-1 and used more measured tactics.

*Allsopp and Adam Cristman formed an effective frontline partnership that created opportunities and pressured Kansas City defenders into mistakes.

*Announced attendance was 10,038. Considering the club's circumstances, that was as good as it was going to get on a Wednesday. Meantime, New England drew just 5,990 for Chivas' 4-0 victory over the 10-man Revolution, Houston had 13,231 for its 1-0 loss to 10-man FC Dallas, and Colorado's 1-0 loss to undefeated Los Angeles attracted 9,882. Love those midweek matches! Unfortunately, more of them are necessary this season in part because of two weekends lost to MLS' World Cup break.

Read my DCU-KC match report.

Watch the highlights:
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By Steve Goff  |  May 6, 2010; 12:31 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United , MLS  | Tags: Bill Hamid, D.C. United, Danny Allsopp, Kansas City Wizards, Major League Soccer  
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Next: Early Thursday kickaround

Comments

Onalfo better start Hamid this weekend.

Posted by: Sultano | May 6, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

...and our battle to just barely miss the playoffs begins.

Posted by: daggar | May 6, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

It was wayyy less than 10,000. Lots of giveaway refridgerator magnets (to be given out to the first 10k fans) were still available at halftime.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 6, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

It was wayyy less than 10,000. Lots of giveaway refridgerator magnets (to be given out to the first 10k fans) were still available at halftime.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 6, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse


We have all assumed that United has a great fan base. This season may be the true test. In general most supporters support winners the true test comes when they aren't winning. What do the following fan bases all have in common: Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Portland Trailblazers, Montreal Canadiens, Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, New York Giants/Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs, St Louis Cardinals etc............answer, they have all supported their teams at the gate in good times and in bad. That is the true test of a fan base/supporters group. And yes, it may pain some of you but the Skins definitely belong in that group. Selling out every game since the mid 60's more than qualifies.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 6, 2010 1:06 AM | Report abuse

A pair of very brief evaluations on two players:

Cristman is a fantastic target forward in terms of keeping possession and helps our team immensely.

Castillo has struggled big time (I was really excited about his arrival) and doesn't deserve to start at this point. Too bad we don't have another option at this point aside from maybe swapping Boyzz to the left and Tino on right?

Big props to Hamid and thank you to the Wizards for really not being very good tonight.

Posted by: cjholden15 | May 6, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that we scored two goals with Moreno and Emilio on the bench and only allowed one goal with Perkins on the bench. It’s encouraging to see our bench stepping up to the “challenge” and producing good results.

As far as Croftonpost how can you leave out the Packers? They had some god awful seasons (even the early years with Favre) yet the wait list for season tickets remained well past 30 years.


Posted by: Southeasterner | May 6, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Aside from his strike that hit the post Castillo was HORRIBLE! Allsopp looks like he can do a job, but he tired badly towards the last 20 minutes of the match.

Posted by: elfelixg | May 6, 2010 1:26 AM | Report abuse

uhh, did we pay kansas city anything?

Posted by: SexyOffender | May 6, 2010 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Finally some points. Castinko needs to be sent home when the loan is done, who the hell rated this guy, he is awful. He whiffed a freekick, WTF!!

Boyzz runs around a lot but that's about it, he plays like a 10 year old on a sugar high. Dig Morsink, the kid has heart. Cristman is a beast!!!

Posted by: Lot8Date | May 6, 2010 1:47 AM | Report abuse

Wednesday's children win again!!

Posted by: fischy | May 6, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

As far as Croftonpost how can you leave out the Packers? They had some god awful seasons (even the early years with Favre) yet the wait list for season tickets remained well past 30 years.

Posted by: Southeasterner | May 6, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Guilty as charged. My bad.

Posted by: croftonpost | May 6, 2010 2:27 AM | Report abuse

Boyzz was part of the starting lineup that gained and then held a 2-0 lead for almost the entire game, a feat that seemed impossible for other starting lineups. Yeah, he does run around a lot, and that seemed to be a good thing last night.

Cristman is amazing, never stops trying. Real hustle there.

Perkins looked sad when he congratulated Hamid. Hope he gets his confidence back.

Posted by: DCB23 | May 6, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

It was wayyy less than 10,000. Lots of giveaway refridgerator magnets (to be given out to the first 10k fans) were still available at halftime.

Posted by: Juan-John | May 6, 2010 12:43 AM
___________________________________

This is not an accurate indication of attendance. Along with a large number of other people in my immediate vicinity, I was in attendance and did not receive a magnet. There remains the possibility that they were only handing them out at certain entrances, but they certainly did not hand them out to everyone.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 6, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

That's one small step for United, and large step for the team (DC United that is) that will win the World Club Cup in December of 2011.

Vamos United!!!

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 6, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

@ Croftin
@ Ivanovic

Nice to hear possitive comments. I think it's safe to say that you guys are (along with others):

United til you die, United til you die. We think you are, I KNOW you are: United til you die!!!

If YOU are United til you die, send a 'Me too.'

Posted by: 9Nine9 | May 6, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

We win/won. All is good again.

Posted by: nairbsod | May 6, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

The standouts for me were the pairing of Allsopp and Cristman. Their size and hustle will make the opposing defenders really have to work if we can get them some decent service. I think that we still need to do better in the middle and hopefully Andy Najar will step into that role. The two big strikers and a crafty Andy could make United dangerous again. We need more than just free kicks from Castilo. Enough with the sloppy give always. Also, props to the back line but I see Pena’s health being an issue as the season progresses. He was dog tired after the 70th minute. Graye had some decent moments, Talley was solid and Roodney, besides being beaten to the corner on a regular basis, did what he needed to do. Big Bill was impressive. I say start him on Saturday and let him and Troy trade off games during the season.

The team still looked weaker in the second half. I don’t know if it is all a fitness issue or if the coaching isn’t adjusting like they need to but we need better performance by all involved in the second 45. Also, our super subs in the form of Jamie and Tino were less than “game changing”. We need these two and Luci to come in and force the other team to make adjustments. Jamie had a flash or two last night but the team needs more out of our super subs.

Let us hope that tonight’s chemistry can continue and improve.

Posted by: tcbannon | May 6, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Nice attacking football in the first half. KC seemed to tighten up in the second. Too bad Hamid didn't get the clean sheet. That goal looked like it came from another late game, defensive breakdown. Nevertheless, an good, confidence-building game for the youngster. Can we start speculating on when he'll go to Arsenal?

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 6, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

9Nine9,

Absolutely me too. In good times and in bad......Vamos United!

Posted by: croftonpost | May 6, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Does everyone in your household have his own refrigerator?

Magnum PI over here.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | May 6, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Me too.

Loved the workrate and industry of our frontline. Allsopp's ability to make some space for himself against Conrad on that first goal is an awfully refershing sight to see out of one of our attacking players.

Hamid had a nervous moment or two, but overcame that with more moments of confidence and command of his area. Add a fantastic reflex save or two, and it will be Perkins, and not his wife, who has relocated and will have trouble finding a steady job.

Posted by: jpeace121 | May 6, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

"Nice attacking football in the first half. "

You can't be serious. Our midfield is just horrible right now for whatever reason (I'm inclined to agree with those pointing at Castillo). No possession, no buildup. Our "attacking football" was basically our strikers pouncing on KC's complete ineptness in the back.

I'm really struck by how bad the mid is. Even during some of our worst seasons like Rongen's last, I think United has always been able to hold onto the ball in the midfield, especially at home. Its easy to point to "defensive breakdowns", but before any breakdown occurs you can almost always rewind a game about 30 seconds prior and find the team losing possession in a stupid fashion.

Nice job by Hamid though last night. Very impressive! Allsop showed a lot of poise, and Christman worked his tail off.

Posted by: jva1 | May 6, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Who wants a magnet, anyway? Besides, it doesn't stick to stainless steel.

I thought Graye was bad last night, but a lot of players he went up against (Smith, Hrisig) had the touch of a wall.

Posted by: Reignking | May 6, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

I am elated about the win, but you can still see the lapses in concentration in the final 20 to 30 minutes of the game. Wallace did a poor job marking on the goal. Pena cannot go 90 minutes. Santino's risky challenge that drew a yellow. Talley played an ill advised thru ball to Jaime or Castillo, the pass was so bad I couldn't tell who it was to. He should have kept possession. I think that the lack of concentration is attributed to poor coaching. Why did he even sub Santino late? I think Barklage would have done better because of his work rate. Anyways Vamos United! See you in Baltimore next season. Thanks Chang!

Posted by: no_recess | May 6, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

BTW, Castillo was lucky that he didn't get a a red card.

Posted by: Reignking | May 6, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

In the words of the great Winston Wolf, let's not go sucking each other's d***s yet.

I'm as happy to get the win as anyone. I'm happy to see Bill Hamid get a win in his first professional start, happy to see Danny Allsopp score goals, and happy that we didn't suffer any more major injuries.

That said, I'm unhappy that a defensive lapse caused the game to be in doubt late. I'm unhappy that we can't seem to score goals at all this year out of our own offensive buildup without mistakes being made by the opposition (Tino off the turnover and Jaime's tomfoolery in Philadelphia, and Allsopp off a deflection, and then off a wretched turnover in the 2nd half last night), and unhappy that Pena can't seem to go 90 minutes, as it's a shame to know we have to use a sub on a defender no matter the score.

3 points is 3 points really, but I'm having a hard time praising the team very glowingly when so much work still must be done.

Vamos.

Posted by: DCU_Rick | May 6, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Who wants a magnet, anyway?
Posted by: Reignking
=============

Walter Egan.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 6, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Well, it's something to build on.

I'd think start the same lineup against Dallas, but put Najar in for Castillo (can he play the wing?), and have subs ready for when Pena and Allsopp run out of gas.

Looking for more silver lining, the mental lapses were less egregious than past games, and the midfield was disorganized, but less so. And Hamid is a step in the right direction.

24 games to go.

Posted by: eadc | May 6, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Announced attendance was 10,038. Houston had 13,231.

Guess we know who has the larger season ticket base. Most of those 13,000 were in the seats down in Houston as well. That crowd last night at RFK was marginally larger than last Wednesday. I guess the honesty in the FO doesn't extend to providing the actual attendance for MLS matches, just tickets sold/papered. At least the two goals at home should be good for butts in seats next game.

Thx,

Jay!

Posted by: jayrockers | May 6, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

It was nice to get the win, and it was fun to watch Hamid -- very athletic. But let's not kid ourselves, though. KC came in here minded to take the night off, which they did -- especially their defenders.

Posted by: Ron16 | May 6, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Re. Allsopp's first goal "off a deflection" -- but come on, he executed a lot of ball work to be able to take that shot, and shot it hard enough that it went in. I think that was solid "offensive buildup."

@ jpeace: Ouch.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | May 6, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

A win is a win but let's not get carried away. KC defense sucks, big time.

Can this guy Castillo actually play soccer? Every player has a bad day, but seriously, can this guy play at all? He really stunk last night, I couldn't believe Onalfo left him in.

Plus his flying tackle at Smith was disgusting. I was hoping he would get thrown out, and can't believe he didn't. Are we sure he's Salvadoran and not Mexican?

Posted by: OWNTF | May 6, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Santino and Moreno subbed in late solely for possession...outside of his yellow card challenge, I thought Tino did everything he was asked to do. He knew his job was to deflect the attack at midfield, maintain possession and keep organized. He had some excellent work on the sidelines that I thought was some of the best technical work of the night. Anyway, what I saw coming out of Tino was teamwork and leadership in accepting a role and performing it correctly. Kudos to him.

Moreno - Too slow, held the possession for fouls instead of pushing a couple of counter-attacks that were there and made no difference in defending. He was quite disappointing for me.

Posted by: jnel | May 6, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

@Jay-

No one in MLS, MLB, NHL, NBA, or college sports actually provide "butts in seats" numbers publicly.

Posted by: the_slammer | May 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

i really like Cristman's hustle and work rate, but he is painfully slow. if he was even a little bit faster, he would probably have 3 goals on the season by now (how can a forward not outrun jimmy conrad?).

ive seen enough of castillo at this point. khumalo/najar/pontius/wallace are far more dangerous options on the outside, besides that, we already have a worthless player with a rocket left foot. i too was hoping he would see red for that heinous challenge on Kamara. no place for that here.

Posted by: VTUnited | May 6, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Any win is welcome, but problems remain. DCU remains unable to build up an attack through midfield. Direct attack only works when facing deficient defenders. KC's were quite deficient. (If Conrad gets a USA callup, Bradley needs a brain scan.)

Kudos to Hamid and much of the defense. KC's goal was as much a midfield error as a lapse by the defenders. No midfielder tracked back to cover the weakside attacker. That's inexcusable when a team is trying to close out a match. If Castillo isn't going to make deep runs into the attacking zone, he could at least track back and help his defense. It's a shame Hamid lost the shutout.

If Pena needs late-match relief, move Simms to the back and put the fresh legs into the midfield.

Allsop and Christman look like a good pairing. Allsop could have had a third had he put a bit of loft on his shot from about 10 yards out.

Let's hope Onalfo learns what Soehn didn't: 4-4-2 works better for this team than 4-5-1.

Posted by: runningcloud | May 6, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I agree with TCBANNON's account completely for the most part. I think Castillo needs a little more time to get adjusted. I think the free kick is a sign of better things to come. The problem is i cant really place him anywhere on the field at this point. He doesnt seem very comfortable anywhere. As far as the subs... Moreno should always come on regardless because he is just one of those guys who can change the game at any given moment. Tino again was useless. He also managed to pick up a yellow, which might have been a little harsh. In my opinion the introduction of Tino made the game worse for us. He is not playing well, and the morale of the team seemed to get worse as soon as he came on. His defense is also a little bit shaky. Perhaps he should be running up top for now. He is nursing an ankle injury as well, and he is not the type to play well through pain. JNEL how did Tino help organize? the right flank looked very shaky when he came in, and also the late goal came from the right flank. Jamie is not fast anymore, we all know this, but he still manages to make people look foolish. Good example is his run down the middle. The shot was off, but the run was great.

Posted by: g3impreza | May 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I agree with TCBANNON's account completely for the most part. I think Castillo needs a little more time to get adjusted. I think the free kick is a sign of better things to come. The problem is i cant really place him anywhere on the field at this point. He doesnt seem very comfortable anywhere. As far as the subs... Moreno should always come on regardless because he is just one of those guys who can change the game at any given moment. Tino again was useless. He also managed to pick up a yellow, which might have been a little harsh. In my opinion the introduction of Tino made the game worse for us. He is not playing well, and the morale of the team seemed to get worse as soon as he came on. His defense is also a little bit shaky. Perhaps he should be running up top for now. He is nursing an ankle injury as well, and he is not the type to play well through pain. JNEL how did Tino help organize? the right flank looked very shaky when he came in, and also the late goal came from the right flank. Jamie is not fast anymore, we all know this, but he still manages to make people look foolish. Good example is his run down the middle. The shot was off, but the run was great.

Posted by: g3impreza | May 6, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

First, Alsopp's goals were both well taken. The deflection is part of the game and I'm pretty sure why folks always want to shoot hard and low.

Second comment... I think the tatics were more akin to the US National Team where we focused more on defense and countered at the most opportune times. With the lack of talent on our squad, I'm OK with this. I'd rather win ugly than lose pretty. I prefer a pretty win, and when we get the talent I'm all ready for pretty football. We're just not there yet.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | May 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Kumalo's hustle, outside speed and crosses opened up the KC defense. His midfield running and tackling broke up attacks. He wants to leave it all on the field.In contrast, Quaranta was nowhere near supporting the right back on the KC goal buildup down the right side and got an unessary yellow in dangerous position, in about 20 minutes of unproductive play.
Castilio hustled all night in our weakest area, the midfield. Admitedly he made a mistake on the tackle from behind, but it was a mistake from trying too hard, something DCU often lacks. FO: We still NEED a big time center-mid so Simms, solid tackling and passing touch all night, can go back to defensive midfield.
Overall, a promising night for DCU.

Posted by: lemovs1 | May 6, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

I know Toni, besides being one GREAT photographer she's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet.

Posted by: CHICO13 | May 6, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Nice to get some points, but KC will have gone home thinking that it should have won the game - dominated possession certainly, looked well organized and so on. Soccer is like that some times. Conversely DCU can not expect to win often with this lineup and quality of play. Everyone played hard and stayed organized for most of the game, but the talent and skills are not there. Khumalo and Castillo, given their inability/unwillingness to play defense, need to produce a whole lot more offensively to justify a continued spot in that starting eleven. (Oh, yeah, there's no one better on the bench.) Morsink remains a cut-rate (and not horribly effective) version of Richie Williams in his declining days. Talley/Pena/ Christman/Allsopp are all competent professionals, but oh so slow. Even with a two goal lead and KC pushing forward, a successful counterattack was never going to happen, and when Moreno entered the game, became even less likely, if that's possible. (Doesn't it say volumes about the quality of the roster that Jaime, who is weeks away from needing a walker, is the first substitute.)
Similarly, Graye and Wallace were usually on their own when a KC player made a deep run.
Simms remains a solid performer. Hamid did well. Graye and Wallace lack experience but without their pace the DCU defense would have been shredded.
Sadly I expect we will continue to hear harping about Wallace's errors, but were it not for his work rate and athleticism DCU would struggle to keep the ball out of its net. Just after the first goal (started by Wallace's clearance) I counted three corners in a row that Wallace cleared with his head.. and so on. Perhaps folks will miss him when he signs a big contract elsewhere in a year or two.

Posted by: Jphubba | May 6, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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