D.C. United completed its 2011 preseason training camp in California with a friendly against Chivas USA on Friday, February 25 at 3:00 PM ET on the training fields of The Home Depot Center. Both teams used over ten substitutes and played to a scoreless draw. Despite the lack of scoring, the Black-and-Red took plenty away from their first contest against Major League Soccer opposition in 2011.
"It was good to play against some grown men today. I thought overall it was a very good exercise to see where we're at right now. Today I saw some good stuff, and the things we need to work on before the home opener," said United Head Coach Ben Olsen.
The tempo of today's contest was very different from what United has encountered thus far in preseason. From the beginning, the match with Chivas was physical and fast-paced, with the Los Angeles club enjoying possession in the first 10 minutes. However, once the Black-and-Red settled in, it was United that generated much of the offense throughout the first half.Charlie Davies burst through on goal following a Branko Boskovic through ball, only for Chivas netminder Zach Thornton to pounce off of his line and collect the ball. Dax McCarty, playing in his first match of the California camp due to a slight ankle roll, won several balls in midfield and almost put United ahead in the 39th minute with a header off of a set piece.
In the second half Olsen made several changes to his team, beginning with alterations to the front line. Davies and Joseph Ngwenya made way for Chris Pontius and Josh Wolff. Further changes followed as the half progressed.
Ultimately Olsen was pleased with his side's chance creation and physical play, particularly from young players like Perry Kitchen and Chris Korb. "Its good for our young guys to see what to expect in terms of physical play in the regular season," said Olsen.
"There is a definite pace to League games, and this was a good exercise in that regard. All of the players did a good job, and we found out some things that we are doing okay with and some things we need to work on."
Several big names in the American game were on hand to observe today's match. U.S. National Team Head Coach Bob Bradley and his staff were present, alongside the Los Angeles Galaxy's Tom Payne and Bruce Arena. United President and CEO Kevin Payne flew into LA for the contest, and ESPN commentator Alexi Lalas was also on the sidelines.
Today's draw drops United to 5-0-1 in preseason play. Tomorrow the Black-and-Red fly back to Washington for four days before departing once more for the Carolina Challenge Cup on March 4.
SCORING SUMMARY 0-0
D.C. UNITED LINEUP
Onstad (Willis 71'); Woolard (Burch 71'), Jakovic (White 60'), Kitchen (Brasesco 45'), Zayner (Korb 71'); Boskovic (Barklage 71'), Simms (Morsink 71'), McCarty (Fred 75'), Quaranta (Najar 71'); Ngwenya (Pontius 45'), Davies (Wolff 45')
CHIVAS USA LINEUP
Thornton (Kennedy 62'), Valentin, Umana (Asprilla 45'), Conrad (Estupinan 69'), Pearce (Flores 45'), Elliott (Lahoud 45'), Trujillo (Chijindu 69'), Gordon (Mayen 57'), Mendoza (Momdaini 62'), Bowen (Padilla 45'), Moreno (Boyens 69')