D.C. United won 3-0 against Chicago Fire FC in their 24th match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season. The Black-and-Red were able to pull away thanks to a strong performance by the defense and a first half hat trick by Ola Kamara. United currently sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and have a record of 10-4-10 on the season.
D.C. United started with Bill Hamid in goal and Donovan Pines, Steven Birnbaum, and Andy Najar in defense. Kevin Paredes and Julian Gressel played as the two wingbacks with Junior Moreno and Russell Canouse partnered in center midfield. Paul Arriola, Ola Kamara, and Yordy Reyna started as the front three for the Black-and-Red.
D.C. United began the match on the front foot and scored their first goal in the 9th minute when Ola Kamara converted from the penalty spot. The penalty was earned when Kamara was taken down from behind after being put through by a perfectly weighted pass from Yordy Reyna. Bill Hamid made his best save of the night in the 27th minute when he reacted quickly to deny a Chicago shot from in-close. Kevin Paredes earned United their second penalty kick of the half in the 35th minute when he put a series of moves on a Chicago defender down the left wing that led to him being fouled. Kamara stepped up and scored his second of the half, placing his shot into the bottom right corner. Kamara completed his first half hat trick in the 44th minute. Julian Gressel chased down the rebound after Paul Arriola’s shot from the edge of the box rocketed off the crossbar and put it back into the box where Kamara was waiting at the front post to nod it into the far corner. The assist was Gressel’s fifth of the season and the goal was Kamara’s 16th, the most in MLS this season. The Black-and-Red went into halftime leading 3-0.
United played a smart, tactical second half to preserve their lead. The Black-and-Red did not allow a single shot on target in the second half and were able to deny Chicago any goalscoring opportunities thanks to the strong play of the defense and midfield. Ramon Abila and Edison Flores came on as second half substitutes and nearly found United’s fourth goal on multiple occasions. In the end, United comfortably held on to keep their seventh clean sheet of the season and win 3-0.
Bill Hamid, in his first match since August 4 against the Columbus Crew, was able to keep a clean sheet, the 76th of his career, which ties him for the sixth most clean sheets in MLS history.
D.C. United’s next match is against Atlanta United FC on Saturday, September 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Tune into Univision to watch the match live.