Saturday, June 16, 2007

In a Groove -- The goals keep coming for D.C. United. Last Sunday, United notched four goals against New York. Tonight, United found net three times, against the surprisingly sparkless Chicago Fire. United won 3-1, totally dominating the Fire. The Fire's lone goal was probably the softest goal allowed this year by United's goalkeeper, Troy Perkins. The first goal came seven minutes into the contest as a cross was mishandled by the Fire's goalie, and fell onto the feet of young Rod Dyachenko, who couldn't miss from three feet. Later in the half, Luciano Emilio sprang loose behind the Fire defense, gathered in the long pass, and chipped the Fire's goalie, to put United comfortably ahead, at 2-0. In the second half, Emilio was in the right place at the right time, when Cristian Gomez's shot was saved by the Fire's 'keeper, but the rebound fell right to the goal-hanging Emilio. The Brazilian's second goal of the game put the game out of reach at 3-0.

Besides the obvious choice of Emilio as "Man of the Match," United got great play on both ends from Josh Gros, and a surprisingly good effort by Rod Dyachenko, who started in place of Jaime Moreno. United's coaches have spoken highly of Dyachenko for over a year now, but this was the first time that the Ukranian native played a complete game worthy of the praise bestowed on him.

To put it bluntly, the Fire did not look like much of an opponent, but United may finally be showing the form that was expected of them, when all the world tabbed the D.C. squad as the pre-season favorite to capture the M.L.S. title. They've played two very strong games in a row, and seem to be raising their level of play a little higher, with each game. Hopefully, this year's squad won't peak just before the All-Star game, as last year's team did......

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