Preseason match 4: United vs Ventura County Fusion
D.C. United extended its preseason unbeaten run to four matches on Sunday morning, with the Black-and-Red posting a 3-1 result over Premier Development League side Ventura County Fusion. One day after the original friendly had been cancelled due to heavy rain, the two sides played bright and early on Sunday in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Oxnard College.
The first half brought frustration to Ben Olsen's side, as a physical contest gave way to a Josh Wolff red card in the 24th minute. Despite Wolff's dismissal, United preserved the 0-0 deadlock playing with ten men for the remainder of the first half. In his first start in goal since this week's announcement that he would be returning to the playing field, Pat Onstad did his part to keep the score intact. The 43-year-old Canadian made a string of good saves heading into the break.
Olsen made wholesale changes to his team to begin the second half, placing Blake Brettschneider on the right wing behind forwards Chris Pontius and Charlie Davies. It was Brettschneider who got on the scoresheet first, netting his first goal for D.C. United in the 67th minute off of a Brandon Barklage assist.
Ventura County responded immediately following the restart, taking the ball down the flank as forward Hakop Avesian leveled the score for the home side. Brettschneider responded in the in the 73rd minute, taking a Stephen King pass and slotting his second goal of the match past the Fusion's goalkeeper.
Colombian trialist Sergio Villarreal made it 3-1 in the 79th minute, as Pontius lofted a high pass to the forward off of a free kick that the 22-year-old headed into goal.
Said Brettschneider of his two-goal performance, "I think it's just a matter of being in the right position at the right time - making the right runs." He continues, "On both goals I got great service from Brandon [Barklage] and [Steve] Kinger."
When asked about playing on the right wing during United's preseason camp, Brettschneider states, "It's a position I've played in the past. Although I'm more of a forward by nature, I've been able to spend some more time out there in training, and slowly I'm getting more comfortable out wide. Wherever they want me is fine, I just want to be on the field."
- D.C. United - Brettschneider 67' (Barklage)
- Ventura County Fusion - Avesian 67'
- D.C. United - Brettschneider 73' (King)
- D.C. United - Sergio Villarreal 79' (Pontius)
D.C. UNITED FIRST HALF LINEUP
Onstad; Zayner, Jakovic, Kitchen, Burch; Quaranta, Morsink, Boskovic, Najar; Ngwenya, Wolff
D.C. UNITED SECOND HALF LINEUP
Harrison; Korb, White, Brasesco, Woolard; Brettschneider (Sergio Villarreal 74'), Shanosky, King, Barklage; Pontius, Davies