United escape Seattle with point
SEATTLE -- In a game that featured six goals, D.C. United battled back from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point on the road. Trailing by two goals early in the second half, a late own goal from Seattle Sounders FC defender Tyrone Marshall -- the second of the game -- completed a comeback and gave the Eastern Conference leaders a share of the spoils as the two teams drew 3-3.The sellout crowd and national television audience were treated to an attacking spectacle in which each team benefited from an own goal. In the end, Seattle will feel disappointed about failing to hold onto a two-goal, second-half lead.Casual fans would be pleased with the action-packed encounter. Fredy Montero and Osvaldo Alonso scored for the home team, with Chris Pontius and Christian Gomez tallying for the visitors.The action started early, as Luciano Emilio rattled Seattle's cage with an excellent effort that tore past the outside of the post in just the third minute.A minute later, Seattle's Fredy Montero gave the United defense pause with an excellent dribbling run into the penalty area. With two teammates ready to receive the ball in the 6-yard box, Montero's cross was knocked down and gathered by D.C. United 'keeper Josh Wicks.By this time, it was already evident that the nationwide audience on ESPN2 would be in for an attack-heavy encounter.Seattle had another chance cut out by Wicks moments later. Freddie Ljungberg made a probing run on the right side but his cross was blocked. Seconds later, the crowd held its breath as Sebastien Le Toux ran onto it for a shot on goal, but the attempt never made it to Wicks.The action continued as both teams looked threatening early. Santino Quaranta's free kicks for D.C. caused a few worries but never troubled goalkeeper Kasey Keller, especially with Jhon Kennedy Hurtado commanding the air.For the visitors, Pontius forced a save from the veteran goalkeeper in the 15th minute off a neat one-two with Quaranta, who threatened all game long.United coach Tom Soehn was forced to make an injury substitution midway through the first half. In the 21st minute, Ange N'Silu came on for Fred, who pulled up lame after a becoming tangled up with Seattle's Alonso.This move coincided with a brief -- and rare -- lull in the game, which was only broken by Montero's attempt off of a header in the 28th minute.D.C. drew first blood in the 34th minute, as the dangerous Quaranta's cross found Pontius' far post run. The rookie needed only to stick out his boot to redirect the ball into the net for the game's first goal.Seattle did its best to answer quickly, but Le Toux's short cross to Montero was headed wide of goal. Montero's cross a few minutes later was caught by Wicks, who was alert to all balls coming in from the side. However, at this point Seattle was attacking heavily and United looked in danger of conceding the equalizer.In the 38th minute, it came through Alonso. After taking a short back pass from James Riley, the Cuban unleashed a ferocious shot that snuck through Wicks at the near upper corner.Off a counterattack, Ljungberg fed Le Toux streaking towards goal. However, the active Wicks came off his line quickly to gobble up the shot. Le Toux's energy made him difficult to deal with; he made successful forward runs behind the defense with regularity in place of regular starter Steve Zakuani.By this point, Seattle had all the momentum and threatened to add another before halftime. Sure enough, the second goal came just before the break. Montero's through ball to Nate Jaqua turned the big forward around but he managed to get a strike on it. To Wicks' dismay, the shot rebounded off one of his defenders, Marc Burch, and rolled into the empty net for an own goal.Down 2-1 at half, Soehn inserted Gomez to start the second half, a move that would pay dividends later on.However, it was a sloppy start to the second stanza for the visitors, as D.C. United almost gifted Seattle an easy one. With Montero lurking behind the defense, the D.C. defender failed to control the ball with his chest, letting Montero in on Wicks. However, the Colombian's shot thudded into the 'keeper's chest from a sharp angle.Seattle continued to find space behind the opposition's back line. A quick exchange between Montero and Jaqua led to a through ball for Ljungberg, but the Swede's effort was saved off the post.A United giveaway to a wide open Montero led to Seattle's third in the 57th minute. Montero, with Ljungberg running outside him, tucked the ball into the far post with his left foot. After a scoring drought, the Colombian has now notched a goal in two consecutive games.After the third goal, the visitors maintained the majority of possession, eventually capitalizing through Christian Gomez. The Argentinean playmaker collected a ball from N'Silu, taking a couple touches before lashing a low shot to Keller's far post.Seattle now trailed 3-2 and coach Sigi Schmid opted to bring on his ace in the hole, Zakuani, in the 67th minute.The match still had plenty of attacking steam. Le Toux went down on a breakaway under a challenge from Borchers, but the referee saw no harm. Zakuani followed up with an excellent effort, but the under-fire Wicks came up big yet again to deny him.Thabiso Khumalo came on in the 73rd minute as Soehn desperately searched for the combination that would wrestle the momentum away from the home side and its vocal supporters. Even with the lead, Seattle continued to create more of the chances as the chant of "Sounders" echoed down from the overhanging roofs at Qwest Field.Khumalo was active on the left side, swinging in one dangerous cross and forcing Keller off his line to cut out a through ball. However, as time ticked by, it looked like D.C. United would come up empty, but there was one more twist in the tail.From the left side, Pontius sent in a good-looking cross towards Quaranta, who got the slightest of touches on the ball. But the touch was enough to confound Seattle defender Marshall, who didn't have a chance to react as the ball ricocheted off his head into the net for the game's second own goal.The 87th-minute tally turned out to be the last goal of the game, as Seattle was left to rue another draw in front of its home fans.Both teams return to action quickly, playing Saturday on the road. Sounders FC travel to New York to face the Red Bulls, while United remain in the West, taking on the Colorado Rapids.Andrew Winner is a contributor to MLSnet.com.
D.C. United (5-2-8) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (5-3-6)June 17, 2009 -- Qwest Field
Scoring Summary:DC -- Chris Pontius 4 (Santino Quaranta 6) 34SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso 1 (James Riley 2, Brad Evans 1) 38SEA -- Nate Jaqua 4 (Fredy Montero 4) 45SEA -- Fredy Montero 6 (unassisted) 57DC -- Christian Gomez 3 (Ange N'Silu 1) 63DC -- Own Goal (Tyrone Marshall) 87D.C. United -- Josh Wicks, Bryan Namoff, Dejan Jakovic, Marc Burch, Andrew Jacobson (Christian Gomez 46), Clyde Simms, Rodney Wallace, Fred (Ange N'Silu 21), Chris Pontius, Santino Quaranta, Luciano Emilio (Thabiso Khumalo 73),Substitutes Not Used: Greg Janicki, Avery John, Milos Kocic, Ben OlsenSeattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyrone Marshall, Tyson Wahl, Freddie Ljungberg (Stephen King 77), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Sebastien Le Toux, Nate Jaqua (Patrick Ianni 85), Fredy Montero (Steve Zakuani 66).Substitutes Not Used: Ben Dragavon, Sanna Nyassi, Nathan Sturgis, Peter Vagenas Misconduct Summary:DC -- Dejan Jakovic (caution; Reckless Tackle) 84DC -- Bryan Namoff (caution; Delaying a Restart) 92+Referee: Ricardo SalazarReferee's Assistants: Fabio Tovar; Darren Clark4th official: Jasen AnnoTime of game: 1:52Attendance: 29,104Weather: Partly Cloudy -and- 69 degreesAll statistics contained in this boxscore are unofficial.