Leagues Cup Action, July 26: DC eked out a 1-0 victory over CF Montreal at Stade Saputo (a lovely stadium on the grounds of the 1976 Summer Olympics; the Olympic Tower is visible from the stands). With a skeleton crew, great goalkeeping and defending, a bad mistake by Montreal, and a fair bit of luck. Pretty amazing. Now, regardless of the outcome of the match against Pumas on Saturday night at Audi Field, DC is in the knockout round of the Leagues Cup.
Alex Bono got the start as goalkeeper and made the most of it. He made 4 saves, including a great one at point-blank range in the second half. Derrick Williams cleared the one that he missed off the line. Both Williams and Donovan Pines made many timely blocks and deflections. And Erik Hurtado pounced on an errant back pass to give United an unlikely goal.
The result was welcome news after the off-field events of the last week. A trainer fired for using a White Power sign at the All Star game. (In my youth, that was an “OK” sign with no dark connotations attached. Kind of reminds me of how the Nazis took the spiritual Hindu swastika and turned it into something very, very dark.) Fountas and Robertha getting into a fight in the locker room after the New England game. Fountas accused (again) of using a racial slur. Is this it for him? Time (and investigation) will tell.
So on to Saturday at Audi Field against Pumas. According to the Montreal announcers on Apple, finishing second in our group would match us against Philadelphia, in Philadelphia, in the round of 32, so there is incentive to play well against Pumas. A win or draw (regardless of the PK shootout result) will keep us in first in our group. The game is late (9pm) which given the high heat forecast may be a blessing.