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Stuck in Winless Limbo



DC United lost to Atlanta United at home Wednesday night (June 19), 1-0, to extend their winless streak to 7 games.


It was our new national holiday, Juneteenth, which celebrates the end of slavery after the Civil War. An extra song was sung before the National Anthem to commemorate this.


DC made a change in their starting lineup; Tyler Miller started in goal for the first time this season. Coach Troy Lesesne was paraphrased by Steven Goff in the Washington Post as being happy with Alex Bono but wanting to shake things up. The rest of the team was familiar: Akinmboni, Bartlett and Tubbs on defense, Santos, Klich, Peltola, Stroud and Herrera in midfield, and Ted KDP and Benteke at forward.


The first half was rather lackluster, and produced no goals. Miller made a nice save on Atlanta midfielder Thiago Almada in the 43rd minute, but otherwise neither team seriously threatened the goal.


Dajome came in for Santos to start the second half. Klich found the net in the 51st minute but Ted KDP was ruled offside in the buildup. Brooks Lennon missed a great chance for Atlanta in the 59th minute. Rodriguez came in for Stroud in the 61st minute, and Murrell came in for Ted KDP in the 73rd minute. Miller made a great save on Xande Silva in the 77th minute.


The game looked like it would end scoreless, but Almada made a run through the DC midfield in the 79th minute, eluding both Klich and Peltola. The defensive line held back and Almada hit a beauty into the right corner from about 25 yards out, putting Atlanta in the lead.


Pirani came in for Tubbs immediately after the goal as DC looked for offense and an equalizer. They had quite a few chances in the last few minutes. Guzan had an excellent save on a Benteke header in the 87th minute. Murrell missed a good chance in stoppage time, and several shots were blocked by Atlanta defenders. The game ended 1-0.


DC ended with 54% possession, 19 shots (4 on goal) and 11 corner kicks, but could not score. The team is playing hard but looks a little tired, which is not surprising given the injuries, lack of depth, and the compressed schedule right now (to compensate for losing the end of July and most of August to the Leagues Cup).


DC is right back in action this Saturday (June 22) at home against the Houston Dynamo. It may be a matter of damage control between now and the Leagues Cup break to let injuries heal and hopefully bring in some new players during the transfer window in late July. Unfortunately there will only be 9 games left after the Leagues Cup break, so DC cannot drift too far down if they want to make the playoffs, even under the highly forgiving MLS playoff structure.

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