|Major League Soccer|
· Int'l Soccer
United, FCD clash at RFK
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - FC Dallas will aim to continue its hot start to the season when the club travels to RFK Stadium on Saturday to battle D.C. United.
After suffering its first defeat of the season on April 12, a 3-2 loss to Seattle Sounders FC, FC Dallas rebounded nicely last week with a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC at Toyota Stadium.
FCD fell behind early when Issey Nakajima-Farran put the visitors on top in the 21st minute with his second goal of the season. The goal came after a Toronto corner kick was poorly cleared out of the penalty box by Dallas. Former FC Dallas midfielder Jackson played Nakajima-Farran into the penalty box, the Calgary native fired one shot at Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz only to see it punched right back to him where he would then volley it into the back of the net.
Matt Hedges pulled FC Dallas level in the 32nd minute when he scored on a header off a corner kick by Michel. Hedges beat Mark Bloom to the near post to score his second goal of the season.
The home side found a winner in the 88th minute when defender Stephen Keel headed down a long free kick from Michel in the penalty box, which allowed Blas Perez to pounce on the loose ball and fire it home.
Hedges praised his team's set-piece acumen in the victory:
"We're one of the best set piece teams in the league and (manager) Oscar (Pareja) says he thinks we're one of the best in the world at it and I can't say I disagree with it," Hedges said. "We're always dangerous with Michel and Mauro (Diaz) always serving it in and we've got big guys in the box that win all kinds of balls. It helps us win a lot of games. When the offense isn't clicking, we can always try to get a set piece and that's a dangerous weapon."
D.C. United, meanwhile enters Saturday's clash riding a three-game unbeaten streak following a slow start to the season. United came away with a 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew at Crew Stadium last weekend.
United snagged the game's first goal against the run of play in the 31st minute, when a poor first touch from Federico Higuain gave Nick DeLeon a breakaway behind the Crew midfield. DeLeon found a streaking Fabian Espindola, who fired a high shot past Columbus goalkeeper Steve Clark.
But United switched off in stoppage time as Will Trapp found Hector Jimenez with a long pass down the left flank and the former LA Galaxy man beat D.C. goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra with a curling strike into the far corner.
"This is a good measuring stick for us because of how recent the game was against them. I thought tactically we were very good tonight, I thought the guys did everything we asked them to do and I think we're frustrated," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "This is a team that has been as good as any in the league and we came in here and I thought we had a good game plan but at the end it still hurts."
United will also be without sturdy midfielder Chris Pontius for 4-6 months after undergoing surgery on his left hamstring on Wednesday.
The injury is the latest in a string of setbacks that have largely stunted Pontius' career. He was sidelined with hamstring issues in 2010, suffered a broken leg that ended his 2011 season, and has continued to deal with a problematic left hamstring since. .
04/25 16:44:33 ET
Powered by The Sports Network.