Road win comes at right time for DC

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- On April 26, D.C. United defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-2 at Giants Stadium for their first road win of the season.On Saturday, United defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 in Bridgeview for their second road win of the season.A summer of frustration on the road was assuaged when the United defense made Bryan Namoff's first-half goal stand up as the only score of the game. United raised their overall record to 7-5-11 for 32 points, pushing them back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture."There was a lot of focus going into this game," said United coach Tom Soehn, the former Fire player and assistant coach. "We came here for three points and they did a great job to accomplish that today."United's last league win was July 18 against Colorado, almost six weeks ago.The goal came in the 11th minute on a free kick from Christian Gomez right to Namoff's head. Fire midfielder John Thorrington was in position between Namoff and the goal, but the header was perfectly placed up into the left corner."He did a great job of finding the space and getting his head on it," Soehn said.United have played a lot of games recently, with their participation in the CONCACAF Champions League and U.S. Open Cup filling the weeks. Their MLS results have been poor of late, and Namoff's goal was the first in the last three MLS games for United.United spent much of the final 80 minutes of the game preventing the Fire offense from getting into the box, or knocking down their chances when they got there."Early on we gave them a little too much space, but in the second half we did a better job of staying with them and forcing some turnovers," Soehn said.As the game wore on and desperation entered the Fire attack, the final 15 minutes became a whirlwind of activity in front of United goalkeeper Josh Wicks. He was credited with six saves in the game, five in the second half, as the Fire had half a dozen free kicks or corner kicks to work from."It was a little rough," Wicks said. "I didn't have much to do early in the game so it was exciting to get some work. I think we handled it well."The free kicks were the most difficult," he said. "It is difficult, especially with [Cuauhtemoc] Blanco. He puts it on target, but fortunately for me he didn't put it on frame."With their midweek match against Toluca in Champions League play affecting his lineup decisions, United coach Tommy Soehn went with almost the same team he used last Saturday in a 0-0 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Julius James, who played Wednesday, was inserted again on defense while midfielder Rodney Wallace was put on the substitutes list.Soehn used Jaime Moreno, Chris Pontius and Wallace as subs in the game for Gomez, Santino Quaranta and Fred, respectively, in the second half.United's busy schedule continues next week when they play host to Seattle Sounders FC in the U.S. Open Cup final. That's part of an eight-game month in September.