D.C. United took a quick break from Major League Soccer action this weekend to take on Fulham F.C. in an international friendly in Jacksonville, Fla., at EverBankField. Featuring a side that has yet to play many minutes together this season, United had to work quickly to build chemistry on the pitch.
In the first 20 minutes, both teams went back and forth as United traded corner kicks for Fulham’s free kicks; both teams split possession. Fulham broke through in the 21st minute when United’s defense turned the ball over and Moussa Dembele beat the defense and slotted the ball past a charging Andrew Dykstra. United responded with several quality chances of its own, as Collin Martin had a shot on goal in the 40th minute which was blocked for a corner kick, and Michael Seaton beat his defender down the line in the 42nd minute, but his shot was saved. Fulham responded to United’s strong push in the 43rd, when Dembele scored again off a botched clearance from the defense to double the lead going in to halftime.
The second half featured some new faces for United as Steven Birnbaum replaced Bobby Boswell, and Bill Hamid replaced the injured Dykstra in the 52nd minute. DCU came out of the break a little slowly, but almost pulled a goal back in the 66th minute as Taylor Kemp floated a ball to the back post, and Seaton’s header rolled inches past the post. Minutes after nearly cutting the score in half, Dembele completed his hat trick as he got behind the defense and passed the ball in the back of the net to increase Fulham’s lead to 3-0.
D.C. United is back in MLS action at RFK this Wendesday as it hosts Toronto FC on July 30. Buy your tickets now.