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Another Draw

DC United hosted the Chicago Fire last Saturday (May 25) and hoped to get a win and boost their position in the Eastern Conference. However, in a tale of two halves, DC had to settle for a 1-1 draw.

Bono started in goal. McVey, Birnbaum (getting his second straight start, and wearing the captain’s armband), and Bartlett were on the defensive line. Dajome, Hopkins, Klich and Herrera were in midfield, and Ted KDP, Benteke and Stroud were up top (forwards).

The first half went well for DC. In the 20th minute, Klich hit a free kick from near midfield, and Birnbaum showed that he has been learning from Benteke, heading the kick forward to McVey, who finished tidily from 6 yards out. DC had other chances; a Benteke shot was saved, and both Dajome and Bartlett missed good shots.  It was 1-0 at halftime.

The second half was different, with Chicago holding the definite edge. Peltola came in for McVey (squad rotation, I suppose).  The defense seemed more vulnerable. With Herrera in midfield, Chicago attacked frquently down its left side. The Fire missed one good chance, and in the 55th minute Kellyn Acosta worked a nice give and go with Hugo Cuypers and scored from the top of the box to tie the game at 1-1. Chicago had the better chances for the rest of the game; Bono made one nice save, and Birnbaum a crucial toe-poke on a goal-mouth scrum to clear the ball to safety. DC had some chances too, but not as many. The game ended 1-1.

Other DC substitutions were: Murrell for Stroud and Fletcher for Ted KDP in the 71st minute, Garrison Tubbs for Bartlett in the 79th minute, and Pirani for Hopkins in the 82nd minute.

For the game, Chicago had more possession (52%). DC had 12 shots (5 on goal) and 8 corners.

Other notes:

The field remains in horrible shape from the DC Defenders (American) football games. I believe a resodding is scheduled after the Defenders season ends.

Tyler Miller came out 20 minutes earlier than his teammates for extra goalkeeping practice. The problem with having two good goalkeepers is that only one can play, but he is doing the work. Hats off to him.

Lesesne and the players had a group meeting in the middle of the field after the game, then came over to thank the fans. The important intangible of team spirit seems to be strong, and hopefully that will pay off over a long season.

DC’s next game is at Montreal this Wednesday (May 29), and then they host Atlanta on June 1 (Saturday). Busy week, then a two week international break.

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