Late heroics give DC road draw
CARSON, Calif. -- D.C. United once again battled back in the final minutes of a game to secure points on Saturday night, scoring two goals in the final 15 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw with league-leading Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center.The Black-and-Red went down early, falling behind 2-0 on goals from Eduardo Lillingston and Maykel Galindo, but fought back to earn the result. It was the fourth time this season that D.C. scored the tying or winning goal in the final five minutes of a game."Once again, we showed the character that we've shown all year," said United head coach Tom Soehn. "No matter what happens, we're going to fight through adversity. Sometimes the adversity is the officiating, sometimes it's the opponent. You have to fight through it and today we did a great job of doing that."United felt the home side's first goal was dubious. Galindo appeared to be offside before he received the pass that ultimately led to Chivas' first tally."It's disappointing," said Soehn. "We get punished for playing attractive soccer on the road. We hold the line and the guy is in behind and he was offside. It took a lot out of us because we lost momentum at that point."Chivas scored again just before halftime to make it 2-0, but D.C. refused to concede defeat."It took the wind out of us when they got one late in the first half," said Santino Quaranta. "But we came into the locker room at halftime and were positive. Everybody knew we were going to get our chances."Quaranta was United's hero of the evening, notching an assist on the team's first goal and scoring the second only a week after welcoming his second child, Valentino, into the world."He's playing with a lot of emotion," said Soehn of Quaranta. "He's done a lot to get himself where he needs to be and he continues this great run after some real adversity. It's a real credit to him and how disciplined and dedicated he is. He did a great job tonight."Quaranta was dangerous all night. He combined particularly nicely with rookie Chris Pontius, the two partnering for some good chances in the first half."I love playing with Chris," said Quaranta. "He's done very well. He's young and athletic and he enjoys playing."Fellow rookie Rodney Wallace also had a good game, helping to control the field against a Chivas USA midfield corps loaded with veteran leadership."Rodney has been great. [He and Chris] are the best two rookies in the league this year," said Quaranta.While certainly proud of their comeback against Chivas, it wasn't all smiles in the D.C. United locker room after the match. Ben Olsen, who started the match in the holding midfield role, had to be pulled in just the seventh minute of the game after he strained his right hamstring."It's always disappointing to re-injure something that you thought was ready to go," said Olsen. "At practice, it had felt good. But the difference between practice and a game is a lot sometimes. I moved pretty quickly on one play and I felt it go."While the injury could mean some time away from the pitch, Olsen found it difficult to be too disappointed."It's on the backburner right now," he said of the strain. "My thoughts are pretty positive right now with the way we responded tonight. We'd like to not be in these situations, but the character of this team continues to impress me."Now unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, D.C. is confident ahead of Wednesday's match against New York as they continue the defense of their 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title."Nobody is lowering his head and giving up," said defender Bryan Namoff. "We're putting in a 90-minute performance and as you can see, we're able to come back regardless of what situation we're in. That's just the character of every player out there."