Despite the fact that United made significant changes to the 2008 team the Black-and-Red found itself at the end of the 2009 campaign without hardware and, for the second year in a row, out of the playoffs. The team collected a League-record 13 draws as it put together a League record of 9-8-13. The club began the season admirably and found itself in first place in the Eastern Conference at the midpoint of the season with a record of 5-2-8. As the summer wore on and the games piled up, D.C. did not get the results it needed, managing a record of just 4-6-5 in the second half of the year. In other competitions, United also fell short. An impressive run in the U.S. Open Cup ended with a deflating 2-1 loss to the Seattle Sounders at RFK Stadium in the final. The team showed vast improvement in Champions League play, finishing the group stage with a 3-2-1 record, but failed to advance to the next round. The play of rookies Chris Pontius and Rodney Wallace, along with newcomers Dejan Jakovic, Julius James and Josh Wicks, in particular, gave United fans hope the team would soon reestablish itself atop Major League Soccer.