On the strength of a Franco Niell brace, D.C. United Reserves beat visiting Toronto FC Reserves 2-0 this morning at United's Training Field. Goals in the 77th and 87th minutes supported by a clean sheet courtesy of James Thorpe and Jose Carvallo. United Reserves are now 3-2-1 (10 points) on the season.
A complete recap will follow...
UPDATE: Here's the full summary.
D.C. UNITED RESERVES TOP TORONTO FC RESERVES, 2-0
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 18, 2008) – Franco Niell tallied two late goals and D.C. United held off Toronto FC for a 2-0 victory in reserve division play Wednesday morning. Niell’s tallies, in the 77th and 87th minutes respectively, saw United cash in on a man-advantage gained after TFC went a man down in the 34th minute. James Thorpe and Jose Carvallo combined for the shutout victory.
United and TFC passed the half hour mark with neither side offering a scoring chance of substance. Soon after, sparks flew when Julius James saw red for violent conduct against Franco Niell. The incident raised the intensity of the game and chances soon became commonplace. Quavis Kirk found Rod Dyachenko centrally. A clever move by the midfielder freed space to allow a passing lane to Niell, whose driving shot was deflected wide of goal. The resulting corner kick ended with the ball at Niell’s feet again, but his close-range blast passed over the crossbar. Just before half, Toronto felt as if they had drawn first blood, but their set piece tally was ruled offside.
Despite being a man down, TFC did well to possess the ball in United’s end and created several second half chances. Andrea Lombardo found free space in the left-hand side of the penalty area, only to see his blast tipped over the bar by Jose Carvallo. Carvallo again provided a dramatic reflex save in the 68th minute, denying a header by Nana Attakora-Gyan off of a corner. Lombardo blasted the rebound towards goal only to be denied by guest player Craig Thompson on the goal line.
United regained control of the match as the short-handed visitors faded late. Opportunities by Kirk and Mike Zaher nearly gave United the lead before the Black-and-Red finally struck pay dirt. Dyachenko raced 30 yards on a counter-attack, finding Niell to his right as he entered the penalty area. Niell’s one-time blast beat David Monsalve to the far post and United had a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Grady Renfrow found an open Niell in the offensive third. Niell carried the ball to the top of the penalty box before hitting a shot that deflected off of a sliding defender and over the backtracking Monsalve for the final margin.
The day’s result leaves D.C. United Reserves with a 3-2-1 (10 pts.) record. TFC Reserves fall to 3-2-0 (9 points).
Toronto FC Lineup (4-4-2): GK-David Monsalve, D-Tyler Hemming, D-Kilian Elkinson (Marko Bedenikovic 46), D-Julius James, D-Nana Attakora-Gyan; M-Joey Melo, M-Gabe Gala, M-Tyler Rosunlund, M-Abdus Ibrihim; F-Jarrod Smith, F-Andrea Lombardo.
United Lineup (4-4-2): GK-James Thorpe (Jose Carvallo 46); D-Jeremy Barlow (Kenny Anaba 57), D-Dominic Mediate, D-Dane Murphy, D-Mike Zaher; M-Quavas Kirk, M-Dan Stratford, M-Rod Dyachenko (captain) (Grady Renfrow 80), M-Craig Thompson; F-Ryan Cordeiro, F-Franco Niell.