McDonald: The biggest three points we had all year
D.C. United has already chalked up some impressive resultsin 2012.
Most recently, the Black-and-Red proved their ability to bounce backafter blowing a two-goal lead in a late May win over New England. A month earlier D.C. pounded New York,sending a clear message to the club's historic rival. Two weeks before the triumph over RedBulls, Ben Olsen’s side took another three points from the Revolution as ChrisPontius scored in the 81st minute to secure the club’s first road win of theseason.
But – according to a majority of D.C.’s players - none ofthose victories could compare to topping a desperate Philadelphia side at PPL Park onSaturday night.
“I think this was the biggest three points we had all year,”said defender Brandon McDonald. “To come on the road and pretty much be out-possessed for the whole gameand then sneak one at the end. Ohman, you don’t know how great that feels.”
Though the gathered media may not have been able to relateto his emotions, McDonald’s teammates have been through this before. In the aforementioned win at GilletteStadium, it was Chris Pontius who - as he did Saturday – quieted the crowd witha late game-winner.
The Californian’s strike, much like his tally in NewEngland, came against the run of play.
Through the first half, Philadelphia owned a majority ofpossession (53.7%) and saw that number increase (57.4%) over the final forty-fiveminutes. Beyond controlling theball, the Union created more attempts on goal, corners and open-play crossesthan the Black-and-Red.
“That’s what you have to do in away games in this league,”Olsen said afterwards, acknowledging how well Philadelphia had played. “It’s not easy. They are at home, they are buzzing andyou have to get results like this throughout the season. I’m proud of the guystonight.”
As Olsen noted, the Union looked far different from a teamlanguishing near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Demonstrating the anticipated emotionaluptick that accompanies a mid-season coaching change, Philadelphia were theaggressors from the game’s opening moments.
“They were bringing it,” Nick DeLeon admitted. “They were all over us but we stucktogether as a team and found a way to pull it out. It makes a world of difference. If we don’t get that result we are in here getting screamedat.”
“This is probably the biggest win of the year,” added DejanJakovic, agreeing with his partner in central defense. “I don’t think they can play any better,so for us to come out of here with three points is huge.”
What do you think? Was D.C.’s 1-0 win over Philly the biggest of 2012?