Last night, D.C. United ended its three game homestand with a 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. The Black-and-Red earned seven points through those three games, all against Eastern Conference teams. Though United didn’t put out the best on-field product against New York, the squad found a way to keep the visitors off the score sheet and winless through another match.
“It’s what we call a six-point game,” said Assistant Coach Chad Ashton. “For us to pick up three and New York not get anything, it’s a good way to move up the standings.”
Everyone agrees; DCU didn’t play sexy soccer. But, good teams figure out how to win even when things aren’t clicking.
“You have to find ways to grind out wins, to grind out points,” Ashton explained. “That is probably what we are most proud of tonight.”
“The goal is something we worked on this week,” Ashton recalled. “Davy is a responsibility guy. It takes that discipline to hold his run at the back stick when you know that first ball is going to the near stick. He gets there, and he gets the goal. That sets the tone for the game for us.”
While the game winning goal came just four minutes in, there was plenty to be proud of from our attacking players. Espindola continues to shine, creating chances for himself and others, and Eddie Johnson remains a threat up top.
“Eddie’s holding the ball up for us,” Ashton said. “He is getting guys higher up the field. Eddie Johnson is going to score goals. We know that his goals are going to come. If we can figure out a way to grind out wins while he isn’t scoring, that’s great, but he is working hard. His chances are coming.”
At the other end of the field, Andrew Dykstra wasn’t letting New York break out of its rut. They had several chances on goal, but Dykstra came up big on many occasions.
“Andrew’s great. I’m so happy for him,” Ashton said, grinning. “When I looked back at tape, the biggest thing he is doing really well is giving information. His information to the backs is unbelievable. It’s really specific, and it’s keeping everything organized. For any keeper to get two shutouts back-to-back is a big deal. For him to go win, win after not playing with our team for a while is a huge deal.”
With a few bounces going United’s way, big saves from Dykstra and hard work all over the pitch, D.C. United heads into Columbus on a three-game unbeaten streak and some much-deserved confidence.
“We’ll take an ugly win over a pretty loss any day of the week,” Ashton said.