DC United defeated host Toronto FC 3-0 in front of a sparse crowd at BMO Field Saturday night. The official attendance sheet said around 16,000 made the trip, but looking at the stadium during the game would suggest a much lower number than that.
The match was barely five minutes old when DC drew first blood with an excellent goal from midfielder Chris Pontius. After maneuvering through a few Toronto players with excellent ball control, Pontius delivered a low hard shot to the right post to beat keeper Stefan Frei to give United the lead. Then, just another five minutes later, Charlie Davies followed up on a rebound from Josh Wolff’s shot to double DC’s lead. You can knock Davies all you want about easy goals and PK’s, but half the battle is being in the right place at the right time. This time, it led to Davies’ league leading 5th goal of the year, and DC took their 2-0 lead into halftime.
DC stormed out after halftime and created more chances. In the 49th minute, Pontius found himself on a breakaway only to be tripped up at the edge of the box by Toronto defender Ty Harden. The trip earned Harden a straight red card and gave DC a man advantage for the rest of the match. Pontius added a second goal in the 73rd minute that all but sealed the game for DC, and sent the Toronto fans to the exits early.
This was a big win for DC and Ben Olsen. Their struggles on the road for the last few seasons haven’t gone unnoticed by fans, so this result (which was DC’s most lopsided road win since 2007) was a welcoming sight for sure. DC was able to keep their head in the game after going up 2-0 early, which is the most dangerous score-line in soccer for the winning team. They worked hard and kept Toronto out of the net for the entire 90 minutes, and for the second week in a row, rookie Ethan White saved another goal off the line. The defense is really starting to look good.
The only thing shaky right now for United was their set piece plays. They were very lucky to dodge the bullets Saturday night, but they have to do a better job marking up and making sure they win set pieces defensively, otherwise they will eventually get burned. Other than that, United fans can go through this week with their heads held high. This was a great result.