It was a home game, but not on our home turf. That didn’t stop the Black-and-Red from earning a point, continuing its current run of form.
“I don’t think it deterred us; it was the same for both teams,” Assistant Coach Chad Ashton said of the Road to Brazil Doubleheader at FedExField. “The only difference is, it being a home game, we’re not in the comfort of being in our own stadium. On the whole, the entire event was great. The guys loved getting to play after the World Cup champions.”
The field at FedEx inspired some post-match comments from both teams; a factor both had to manage. Despite the conditions, D.C. United battled hard for 90 minutes, showing its ability to keep a clean sheet and grind out a point.
“It was a hot, slow field,” Ashton said. “Not the best game in the world, but we came out of it with a point, we move forward. It wasn’t our greatest performance so far by any means, but can’t fault the guys for a good effort.”
An important piece in earning that point was United Rookie Steven Birnbaum, who earned his first MLS minutes on Saturday. The University of California product went the full 90 against the Crew with the poise of a veteran.
“He was great,” Ashton stated. “For a guy stepping into his first game in this environment— a different field, pretty good sized crowd, you normally would see some nerves, and there were no nerves. He was very complete and did everything very well. I’m very happy with his performance.”
On Wednesday, United takes on Montreal in its last match before MLS takes a break, while also looking ahead to its Open Cup match on June 17 against the Rochester Rhinos.
“I think you see it all around the League. Teams are starting be hit with injuries; you see a lot of second teams, new guys in lineups, games back to back to back,” Ashton explained. “Teams are tested with their depth; we’re not different. We have to roll out some fresh guys Wednesday that didn’t play tonight.”
United visits the Impact this Wednesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m. You can watch live on Comcast SportsNet.