FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – It was Major League Soccer’s all-time leading scorer Jaime Moreno’s first game at the helm of United’s newly formed Under-23 Academy team. Early on it was easy to see his new club resembled its head man’s game, hustling its way into early scoring chances.
In the first minute, D.C. United forward Marco Mangione deflected a pass in front of the Hotspur goal which forced Fredericksburg Hotspur goalkeeper Ryan Taylor to make a diving save. They threatened again just four minutes later, drawing a penalty kick which was shot wide by midfielder Paul Torres.
United’s numerous shots on goal finally paid off in the 18th minute when defender Draymond Washington’s attempted cross was blocked by a Hotspur defender, only to see Washington slam the ball home to put United up 1-0.
"We wanted to keep [possession] for a while and get our pace of the game right and then once we got that settled we took it at them," explained United midfielder Seth C'deBaca.
D.C. United would add two more scores late in the first half to lead 3-0 at the intermission. The flood gates opened as the second half wound down, and United saw their lead swell to as many as eight goals after the break.
United Head Coach Jaime Moreno wasn’t concerned with the goals on the night though they seemed to take care of them self.
“The result wasn’t that important. It was how we moved the ball and how our energy level was,” Moreno said. “We put all that together, we created a lot of chances and scored a lot of goals.”
For the most part the scoreboard meant very little to either of the first-year clubs. For many on the United squad it is about getting professional training and learning from one of MLS' all-time best players.
"We are getting a lot out of training three days a week," said D.C. United's Jamie Davin. "[Playing for Jaime] is fun. He’s really passionate. It’s fun when he jumps in and plays with us. You can learn a lot from him. He’s very creative and that’s something we are all taking from him."
Hotspur coach Carl Gray took away many positives from the night.
“What you have to do is take a game like this and say ‘Where can we go and how can we build from this,’ ” Gray said. “I think there were some positive things in there that we can build from and we just need some practice time to get those elements together. “
The brightest moment for the home squad came in the 88th minute after earning a free kick just outside United’s goal area. Fredericksburg captain Nik Conklin lined up the set piece and blasted a shot low and to the near corner. D.C. United goalkeeper Chris Fenner stopped the shot, but Hotspur midfielder Nicholas Surkamp pounced on the juicy rebound and blasted it into the back of the net for Fredericksburg’s lone goal.To which the Hotspur’s largest crowd of the season erupted for it’s never say die squad.
Fredericksburg which had been creating chances was finally able to get the scoreboard to reflect its endless hustle to the joy of Gray.“That was really big,” Gray said.
The crowd remained boisterous throughout the evening recognizing the effort exhibited by the home side and acknowledging the talent and skill of D.C. United.
The skill of Moreno’s squad showed throughout the night, as United outshot Fredericksburg 26-5, as well as earning 10 corners and allowing none. The talent was fully exemplified in the 82nd minute when Paul Torres flipped the ball off his heel to Erwin Sanchez, who on one touch beat Hotspur substitute goalkeeper Emmett Rutkowski.
Additional quotes from D.C. United players provided by dcunited.com
DCU: Draymond Washington (unassisted) 18'
DCU: Marco Mangione (Travis Pittman) 41'
DCU: Matt Oduaran (Jamie Davin) 45+'
DCU: Ben Slingerland (Seth C’deBaca) 56'
DCU: Michael Funes (PK) 60'
DCU: Daniel Ankrah (Erwin Sanchez) 76'
DCU: Erwin Sanchez (Paul Torres) 82'
DCU: Daniel Ankrah (unassisted) 87'
FRED: Nicholas Surkamp (unassisted) 88'
FRED: Nate Foglesong 33'
SHOTS—D.C. United 26 (Davin, Mangione 4). Fredericksburg 5 (5 players with 1).
SAVES—D.C. United 1 (Finner). Fredericksburg 8 (Taylor 7, Rutkowski 1).
FOULS—D.C. United 6. Fredericksburg 7.
OFFSIDES—D.C. United 7. Fredericksburg 1.
CORNERS—D.C. United 10. Fredericksburg 0.