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A Fighting Loss

The picture above has nothing to do with soccer, but it sorta fits my second choice title for this blog: Our Journey Continues.

DC United's winless streak continued on Wednesday night (July 3) with a 3-2 home defeat to FC Cincinnati (who have the second-best record in the league at the moment).

DC continues to have a threadbare roster. Both Benteke and Dajome were out with yellow card accumulations and red card respectively. Coach Troy Lesesne also watched the game from the stands due to yellow card accumulation.

DC started Miller in goal; Peltola, Bartlett and McVey (so good to see him back!) on defense; Santos, Stroud, Klich, Ted KDP, and Herrera in midfield; and Rodriguez and Murrell at forward.

DC got off to a poor start in the 10th minute when a back pass to Miller's first touch on a back pass was too heavy (perhaps due to the (still!) horrible Audi Field playing surface) and his clearance attempt after that bounced off Cincinnati's Kevin Kelsy for a gift goal. 1-0 Cincinnati. DC had several good chances saved, but Rodriguez did some nice dribbling and finished far post to tie the game at 1-1 in the 24th minute. Unfortunately (for us) Cincinnati's Pavel Bucha did a nice delayed give-and-go with teammate Luca Orellano and outran Bartlett to score from the right side in the 39th minute. It was 2-1 Cincinnati at the half.

Pirani came in for McVey at halftime, not surprising since McVey is still getting match-fit and recovering from a knee injury.

Bucha scored again in the 63rd minute, making it 3-1 Cincinnati. DC pulled one back in the 69 minute. Rodriguez stole a pass in the Cincinnati end and fed to Pirani, who faked out two different defenders and beat the keeper to the near post. Beautiful goal.

Akinmboni came in for Stroud (who was injured) in the 78th minute. DC pressed all the way to the end of 7 minutes of stoppage time, with Santos missing a shot in the last action of the game, but it ended 3-2 Cincinnati.

DC ended up with 47.5% possession, 15 shots (6 on goal) and 3 corner kicks.

While obviously a disappointing loss, there were some bright points. Cincinnati is an excellent team, and the game could easily have been at least a draw. More importantly perhaps, the players are showing fight and not any signs of giving up on the season.

Hopefully as players return from injury and suspension(and new ones arrive during the transfer window) this seemingly endless rut will end. Having McVey coming back is a big plus all by itself. Here's hoping.

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