Don’t look now, but goal season has just opened for Jeff Cunningham. And this time he has a bigger prey than just the Golden Boot. He’s gunning for D.C. United striker Jaime Moreno.
Two goals in FC Dallas’s win over Philadelphia on Sunday brought Cunningham’s career goal total at 127, five behind Moreno, MLS’ all-time leading goal-scorer.
Cunningham’s chase of Moreno has mostly slipped under the radar this season, partly because of the big-name signings casting long shadows, but also because Cunningham himself has been relatively off the mark this season.
Ninety minutes don’t give us a lot with which to form an opinion, but Ben Olsen trusts his players. Olsen only used one substitution during the match against New England, which means that he wanted to show the starting eleven that he had confidence in them to do their job. Confidence is not high at this moment for United, but the players that started the game surely felt some from their coach when he gave them the chance to stay on the field for 90 minutes.
D.C. UNITED INTERIM HEAD COACH BEN OLSEN
I’m very very proud of those guys. I thought they fought extremely hard and I thought at times, we played some very good stuff. We didn’t do the most important thing which was to score some goals and that’s been a bit of a thorn all year. But my overall thought is that tonight was a good step. The way they battled and those guys are sick of losing and unfortunately we didn’t get rewarded again from, what I thought, was a pretty good performance.
We had pretty good chances, you put them in the net or you don’t and we didn’t.
D.C. United have changed their tactics, tweaked the starting lineup, brought in midseason acquisitions and this week even fired their head coach for the first time in club history.
Yet despite increasingly desperate efforts to turn over a new leaf, the losses keep piling up and United remain locked in the MLS basement. The latest setback came at the hands of the New England Revolution on Saturday night in a 1-0 loss that highlighted the fundamental shortcomings of this year’s D.C. squad.
New England can credit their 1-0 victory over D.C. United to a few things – United's wastefulness in the final third chief among them – but the difference between winning and losing came down to resolve.
“It was a gut check for this team, a really gutsy performance,” Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph told MLSsoccer.com after the match. “We didn't play our best soccer out there, but we worked hard for each other.”
WATCH: Full match highlights
El debut de Ben Olsen como técnico del D.C. United fue muy
parecido a casi todos los partidos de su antecesor, el recientemente despedido
Curt Onalfo: mucha garra y ganas, pero poco fútbol, sobre todo en la parte
Por ende, el resultado de este sábado en el Estadio Gillette
frente al Revolution – un triunfo por la cuenta mínima de los dueños de casa –
fue el esperado para un equipo que continúa en el fondo de la Conferencia Este
y de la MLS en general, con apenas 12 puntos.
When D.C. United dismissed Curt Onalfo on Wednesday morning, the New England Revolution knew their task would change on Saturday night.
Instead of hosting a United side reeling from their lost season, the Revolution will likely confront a reinvigorated group now led by interim coach Ben Olsen.
The altered reality will force New England to match United's intensity level in the early stages of the contest in order to avoid suffering any repercussions from the switch, according to Revolution boss Steve Nicol.
WASHINGTON – D.C. United kick off a new era under interim head coach Ben Olsen at New England this weekend, and if there’s an overarching theme, it’s this: No one is safe.
Whether playing for pride, proving their professionalism or merely auditioning to save their jobs, everyone on the United roster has reason to approach the final stretch of the season with newfound resolve.
A flurry of player activity on Friday afternoon saw two sides looking for defensive help address their needs.
The San Jose Earthquakes acquired former US U-20 international Tim Ward from the Chicago Fire in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2011 SuperDraft. In another deal, D.C. United have acquired Columbus Crew defender Jed Zayner and a fourth-round 2011 SuperDraft pick in exchange for a 2012 second-round SuperDraft pick.