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A Night to Forget

DC United played CF Montreal Wednesday night (May 29) in Montreal. Montreal's Stade Saputo is a beautiful venue, I was there in 2019 (see photo above). That outing was very pleasant; DC won 3-0. Wednesday's result was NOT pleasant: a 4-2 loss riddled with defensive lapses.

DC received bad news earlier in the week; Christopher McVey, who with Lucas Bartlett has been the center of DC's excellent defense this year, will be out for 6-8 weeks with a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) strain suffered in the Chicago game on May 25. With a busy schedule the next two months, this is not good. Losing Conner Antley to a torn ACL a few weeks ago leaves DC's defense quite thin. At least Steve Birnbaum is back, and Garrison Tubbs is getting playing time. They will be needed over the next month or two.

DC started Bono in goal, Peltola, Bartlett and Birnbaum across the back; Dajome, Hopkins, Klich, Stroud and Herrera in midfield; and Ted KDP and Benteke as the forwards.

DC found themselves in an early hole when a bad back pass led to a 2-on-1 situation for Montreal. Jules-Anthony Vilsaint passed to a wide-open Ariel Lassiter (yes, he's old DC star Roy Lassiter's son), and Lassiter slotted home the goal through Bono's legs for a 1-0 lead. Montreal had another good chance in the 13th minute but a last-second Birnbaum tackle thwarted it.

DC drew even in the 29th minute on a weird play where Monteal's Garbriele Corbo was down after a collision right by the 6 yard box, and Benteke took a header from Bartlett and chipped the keeper, remaining onside because of the Montreal player on the ground. Many of the Montreal players were stopped, but Benteke did not.

Montreal regained the lead in the 34th minute when Ruan (who played for DC last year) beat the DC defense down the right side and crossed to Sunusi Ibrahim, who was left unmarked in front of goal and scored on an easy header. Four minutes later, after a yellow-card foul by Peltola at the top of the box, Montreal slid a free kick over to Mathieu Choiniere who shot through the now-opened wall to make it 3-1.

Benteke cut the lead to 3-2 in the 42nd minute on a brilliant volley into the top of the net. Stroud's cross from the right bounced awkwardly for him, but he still was able to score. High skill level.

Things went seriously south in the 5th minute of stoppage time, when Peltola picked up another yellow and was sent off, leaving DC to play the remainder of the game with 10 men.

In the second half, the defense held strong for almost 30 minutes, leaving hope for a possible counterattack goal and a draw, but Ibrahim scored in the 73rd minute on a beautiful cross from (Ariel) Lassiter, and it ended 4-2.

DC plays again this Saturday (June 1) at home against Toronto, but the thin roster will be even thinner; Peltola will be suspended because of his red card, and Christian Dajome picked up a yellow card in the second half and will also miss the game with yellow card accumulation.

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