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Enjoyable Soccer!

Enjoy the ride folks, I think it’s going to be a fun year!

Game 2 Saturday night (March 2) in Portland. Benteke a last minute scratch due to groin injury. Down 2-0 after 60 minutes. Oh, well, a return to our losing ways, right?

WRONG! Two second half goals and a 2-2 draw on the road. And a well-played (if not necessarily well-skilled) game throughout.

Much of winning is an attitude. I see that attitude in the DC coaching and the demeanor of the DC players on the field. I’ll leave it at that for now, but I am looking more forward to this season than I have in years.

The game itself:

We started the same lineup as last week except with Christian Dajome replacing Benteke at main striker. Bono in goal, Santos/McVey/Bartlett/Herrera on defense, Klich/Peltola in defensive midfield, Pirani/Ku-DiPetro/Stroud in attacking midfield.

We continued to shoot, with 12 shots total, 8 on goal, and 8 corner kicks. Our finishing still needs some work, but we threatened throughout.

Portland struck first, in the 18th minute. Santos was caught out, and a cross from the left side was easily buried by Dairon Asprilla who was left somewhat unmarked at the top of the penalty area.

Dajome had two good chances but hit the post with one and was foiled by Portland’s new goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau (obtained in the offseason from Los Angeles FC).

It was 1-0 Portland at the half. Santiago Moreno doubled their lead in the 61st minute when a foul on Ted Ku was not called and Moreno beat Bono to the bouncing ball.

DC halved the deficit on a PK by Klich in the 72nd minute. Portland’s Diego Chara was waving for offside on a free kick and the ball struck his outstretched hand. There was no offside, there was a penalty, and DC was back in the game.

Fletcher (in for Pirani) scored the tying goal in the 82nd minute on a beautiful sequence. Santos sent a long cross to Jackson Hopkins (in for Stroud), who fed Herrera down the side. Herrera sent an inch-perfect cross to the far post and Fletcher slid in the shot unmarked.  

Santos was the Captain in Benteke’s absence. He can be a liability as a slow defender (as on Portland’s first goal), but his beautiful cross led to our second goal.

More comments:

Aaron Herrera looks very good.

Ted Ku and Dajome both showed promise but couldn’t finish. Ted created multiple chances.

Bono looked sharp.

Portland seemed to fall asleep on defense at the end of the game, especially after switching to a 3 man back line.

The game was played to the final whistle by both sides, very impressive for this early in the season.


Next up: at Cincinnati, Sunday March 10, 3pm.


The Nest Liner

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