A crack in the fortress: DC United 3-Portland Timbers 2

Well, what a game! DC United comes away with the first points won off of the Portland Timbers at Jeld-Wen Stadium. With the win, United is tied on points for third place in the Eastern Conference, but in fourth on goal differential.

Man of the match

For me, its Blake Brettschneider; he was a bulldog up top all game. He also had two assists, with a lovely flick on header to set up the first goal and released Josh Wolff for the third goal. Brettschneider is turning out to be the all-time steal from the Supplemental draft; who else from the Supplemental draft has had a big impact?

PK Insanity

Four PKs in one game? Well, the score sheet will only show two, but Kenny Cooper had his first two PKs called back because Bill Hamid left his line. And yes, Bill Hamid did leave his line early, by a pretty decent margin. However, I would also like to see a replay to see how close to a complete stop Kenny Cooper was on his two attempts. Regardless, Cooper needs to stop trying to be cute and just slam the ball into the back of the net; John Spencer agreed, and gave the third PK to Jack Jewsbury. To add further insult to injury, Spencer took Cooper off immediately after the PK.

However, United pulled one back with a penalty of their own. Chris Pontius was running hard at goal, and the ball went over the arm of a Portland player that was on the turf. Penalty was called, and Pontius just puts it in the back of the net, with no cute run-ups.

Wingers step up

With neither of United’s typical starting forwards in the lineup, United needed their wingers to step up and provide some pace and pressure. And provide that they did. Chris Pontius and Andy Najar were putting pressure on the back line of the Portland Timbers all night. Pontius continued his torrid start to the year, scoring another goal. Najar put in some hard work on both ends, but I was especially impressed with his work on defense. The image of him going up and heading a ball away over everyone else will not soon fade.

Everything else

  • Perry Kitchen put in another strong performance at right back; the moment that stands out to me was when he backed his player down to Portland’s defending third. It will be interesting to see where Kitchen goes when Dejan Jakovic reports to Gold Cup duty.
  • Speaking of Jakovic, he is finally turning into the player that fans have expected him to be. His physical abilities have always been there, but he’s playing smarter now too. United will definitely miss him when he is gone for the Gold Cup.
  • Bill Hamid needed to do better on the second goal; it bounced off his hands and then into the goal. Luckily, Josh Wolff had already given the winning goal, but if he hadn’t, this goal would be more closely scrutinized.
  • Daniel Woolard seems to be getting his feet under him going forward; whenever Marc Burch is healthy, he won’t be getting his starting spot back.

Next Up

Any road win is a good road win. DC United will look to continue their road form this coming Friday, when they take on the LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center.

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