D.C. United erased a woeful start to their season with their first victory of the 2012 campaign, a 4-1 win against FC Dallas Friday night at RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital.
A three-goal outburst in the second half proved the difference as United were spurred on by veteran Maicon Santos and rookie Nick DeLeon. Dallas, meanwhile, struggled to keep up after an even first 45 minutes and dropped their second road decision in a row.
It nearly popped off early, as Dwayne De Rosario was denied a sure fire candidate for goal of the season. His half-volley from 30 yards out found the woodwork instead of the tickling twine.
Santos gave United their first lead of the season minutes later with a thunderous strike in the 28th minute. Receiving the ball from De Rosario, the striker quickly cut in on his left foot, and worked his way into shooting position 25 yards out. He then unleashed a rocket to the upper 90, leaving Kevin Hartman no chance.
FC Dallas fought back, though, and Blas Perez scored a controversial equalizer in the last minutes of the first half.
Joe Willis’ clearance was chested back towards the United goal by Daniel Hernandez. Emiliano Dudar failed to deal with the ball, and Perez, who started the play in an offside position, was in on goal. The Panamanian’s finish was cool and collected, as he slid it under Willis towards the far post.
The second half was all Black-and-Red, though. DeLeon was denied by the woodwork in the 59th minute, then put United ahead seconds later. Santos weighted a ball towards the streaking DeLeon at the far post, and the rookie chested the ball down, before roofing a shot past Hartman.
DeLeon then turned creator as he set up Danny Cruz for another United goal six minutes later. Breaking quickly from a throw-in, DeLeon cut in towards the box and found the wide open Cruz at the far post. The winger made no mistake, guiding the ball home for the two-goal lead.
Santos wrapped up the scoring for United in the 73rd minute, finding the back of the net for a second time in the game. Cruz started a quick counter from a Dallas corner, and fed the ball to De Rosario down the right side. The 2011 MVP picked his cross, putting it on Santos’ head at the far post. The Brazilian obliged, heading back against the grain for the 4-1 lead.
Dallas failed to mount any sort of comeback, and their night got worse as captain Hernandez was sent off for a second bookable offense in the 78th minute after scuffling with De Rosario.
D.C. United, now with four points in four matches (1-2-1), host the Seattle Sounders next Saturday at RFK Stadium, while FC Dallas, on four points (1-2-1) themselves, head back home to host the New England Revolution on Thursday.
Lineups and boxscore (MLSsoccer.com)
Opta Chalkboard (MLSsoccer.com)