On a night when there were plenty of smiling faces in D.C. United’s locker room after the team won its first match since March 9 on Saturday against the San Jose Earthquakes, coach Ben Olsen noted that one player likely was particularly enthused.
“I don’t think there’s a happier human being on this earth than Conor Shanosky,” Olsen said after his team’s 1-0 victory. “He loves this team. He grew up with this team. And for him to kind of be a part of our first win in a while, I’ll betcha he’s over the moon.”
Shanosky came on in the 37th minute after Ethan White left the game at center back with a head injury. White had been playing well at central defense for United, but Shanosky, who earned his first MLS start against Chicago on June 2, played 52 minutes of Saturday’s match and helped preserve the clean sheet.
“He’s probably right. I am pretty happy right now,” said Shanosky, who was born in Potomac Falls, Va., of Olsen. “Just to get the win, especially at this time with what we’ve been through this season. I know all the guys are very happy and relieved to get the win. To be able to play and get the win is what made it for me.”
The 21-year-old Shanosky said he’s been leaving tickets for family and friends ever since his start in Chicago and that his family was at RFK Stadium on Saturday to watch him make his home debut for his childhood club.
“He did well,” Olsen said of Shanosky. “That’s a tough matchup. [San Jose’s] got some big fellas that are strong and I was happy for him. He’s a great kid. He doesn’t say much but he comes to work, he’s a soccer junkie and I’m extremely happy for him.”
Shanosky could have another opportunity to make an impact this Wednesday when D.C. play host to New England at the Maryland SoccerPlex in the quarterfinals round of the US Open Cup.
“There’s more that I can build on personally and that we can build on,” Shanosky said. “Now we’ll enjoy it and try to improve and get better.”