On Saturday night (July 8) at Audi Field, DC took on Miami (last in the Eastern Conference, winless in their previous 9 games and Lionel Messi not yet arrived to play). This was a great chance to get a win and 3 points. Unfortunately, the game ended in a 2-2 draw.
It was post-thunderstorm humid in the first half; fans felt sluggish, and from the play, so did the players. DC dominated but could not finish. Andy Najar had a goal late in the half but it was disallowed for offside (Pines at the near post; Najar himself was on).
The temperature had dropped and a nice breeze was blowing by the second half. I felt more energy watching, and the game got more energetic as well. Miami almost scored on an O’Brien defensive error, but Tyler Miller made a really good save. A few minutes later, though, (59th minute) Benjamin Cremaschi was left open on the left side and he scored, giving Miami the lead.
DC responded well; after forcing two saves, passes by Asad and Dajome left Taxi Fountas open at the top of the box and he equalized. But three minutes later, after an unncessary foul just outside the box on the right, a free kick by Noah Allen somehow went through about 6 players without being touched and curled into the net to put Miami back on top, 2-1. Miami followed soon after with a shot in the net, but fortunately it was ruled offside.
Rooney turned to his bench in the 75th minute, and it paid immediate dividends. After a nice pass to the right wing by Fountas, Ruan (one of the subs) beat his defender to the touchline and crossed to Robertha (the other sub) for an easy tapin to equalize again at 2-2. DC pounded the goal till the final whistle but was unable to get a winner.
Benteke had an off night. He missed on a breakaway in the first half, and missed an open header near the end of the game that would have put DC up 3-2. In fairness, he forced one really good save in the second half, and his presence tied up a defender to free Robertha a couple of yards away on the second goal.
Also, this was the home farewell for our “summer guest”, Lewis O’Brien; he will return to "old" England after the away game in New England next Saturday, July 15. Thanks, Lewis; we will miss you. All the best, cheers.
The New England game will be our last league game for over a month; the All Star Game is in DC on July 19, and then the Leagues Cup will occupy all the MLS teams for the end of July and the first half of August.
We remain in 8th place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points, but 5 teams are tied for 9th with 26 points, and 3 of them have two games in hand. Should be an interesting run-in starting in late August.