D.C. United (1-1-1, 4 points) recorded a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC (1-0-2, 5 points) in their first group stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament on July 12 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The Black-and-Red made one change to the starting lineup from their 2-1 victory over Inter Miami CF on March 7, as Ulises Segura replaced Yamil Asad in the midfield. Toronto FC opened the scoring in the 12th minute after Ayo Akinola fired a shot into the side netting from just outside the 18-yard-box. Toronto doubled their lead just before halftime with Akinola scoring his second in the game. United began to create some opportunities as Ulises Segura linked up with Ola Kamara with a dangerous cross which Toronto’s goalkeeper saved from close range. In stoppage time of the first half, Júnior Moreno was sent off after receiving his second yellow card for unsporting behavior.
D.C. United made one change at halftime with Oniel Fisher replacing Ola Kamara, while Russell Canouse moved into a midfield position to fill in for Moreno. Kevin Paredes and Federico Higuaín both came on as second half substitutes to make their debuts for the Black-and-Red. In the 84th minute, Federico Higuaín chipped the goalkeeper to mark his first goal for United, after Felipe Martins placed a perfect pass to put him in on goal. The Black-and-Red continued to apply pressure and earned a free-kick in a dangerous position in the 90th minute. Felipe picked out Steven Birnbaum at the far post who headed the ball across the goal to find Frédéric Brillant to make it 2-2 in the dying moments of the game.
The Black-and-Red face the New England Revolution in their next group stage match of the MLS is Back Tournament on July 17 at 8 PM ET.