At a basic level, professional athletes are paid to perform in their sport, regardless of the circumstances. But when the losses have piled up and your team has been essentially eliminated from every competition in which it was entered, new motivation may be required.
That’s the situation facing D.C. United. Ben Olsen’s struggling squad had invested all their remaining hopes into the US Open Cup, only to be knocked out at the semifinal stage by the Columbus Crew’s comeback on Wednesday night.
AMSTERDAM – Qualifying for the 2012 European Championship in Poland and the Ukraine kicked off on Friday, highlighted by defending champs Spain's 4-0 away cruise over Liechtenstein.
The newly crowned world champions got a goal in each half from Liverpool's Fernando Torres in the easy Group I win.
Meanwhile, France's woes continued as visiting Belarus pulled off the upset of the day, 1-0, thanks to a controversial Syarhey Kislyak goal four minutes from time.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Crew coach Robert Warzycha expects D.C. United to be out for revenge, not blood, when the teams meet Saturday in RFK Stadium for the second time in four days.
Columbus won 2-1 in extra time Wednesday thanks to a Guillermo Barros’ Schelotto’s penalty kick in the 98th minute, securing a spot in the final of the US Open Cup on Oct. 5 in Seattle.
WASHINGTON— El D.C. United (4-15-3, 15 pts) comenzará el sábado 4 en su partido en casa ante el Columbus Crew la búsqueda de un “milagro” que le permita en sus últimos ochos juegos revertir la que ha sido hasta ahora la peor temporada de su historia futbolística.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – No, it’s not the Blues Brothers on a “mission from God,” but Crew defender Andy Iro said the team’s objectives will prevent a letdown in a rematch with forlorn D.C. United on Saturday in RFK Stadium.
It’s the same venue in which the Crew needed 120 minutes Wednesday to beat the worst team in MLS 2-1 in a semifinal of the US Open Cup.
“We’re on a mission here,” Iro said. “We want to win the Supporters’ Shield. We want to finish off the East. Those goals aren’t going anywhere in a hurry.”
Naturally, there was heartbreak in the D.C. United locker room at RFK Stadium after Wednesday night’s 2-1 US Open Cup overtime loss to the Columbus Crew.
But there was also confusion and anger, all centered around the 59th-minute ejection of Pablo Hernandez, a fateful call that turned a dramatic match on its head.
Most of the DC players and coaches did not see the tussle between Hernández and Crew midfielder Danny O'Rourke as it happened. During postgame media availability, several asked reporters what had taken place.
WASHINGTON – Jugadores y cuerpo técnico
del D.C. United evidenciaron una total frustración después de la derrota 1-2
sufrida ante el Columbus Crew para quedar eliminados en las semifinales de la
Copa Abierta Lamar Hunt, en un partido que estuvieron dominando casi hasta el
final del tiempo de regulación.
“Obviamente, es decepcionante este
resultado después de ir ganando el partido y aguantar con diez jugadores a la
poderosa ofensiva del Crew”, dijo el técnico interino Ben Olsen.
It wasn’t artistic or clinical, but all that mattered was the result: The Crew earned a berth in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time since winning it in 2002.
Taking advantage of two calls after yielding a penalty in the 13th minute, the Crew gutted out a 2-1 extratime semifinal victory over D.C. United in RFK Stadium on Wednesday.
“It wasn’t perfect soccer, but we won,” midfielder Brian Carroll said. “That’s great, and we’re moving on.”