‘Aussie rules’ were in full effect at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night as D.C. United rode a first-half brace by Australian forward Danny Allsopp to defeat the Kansas City Wizards 2-1, putting an end to the home side’s five-game season-opening skid. The win gave D.C. their first points and avenged their 4-0 shellacking by KC just over a month ago.
The man from Down Under may have provided the goals, but the result was owed just as much to the goalkeeping of 19-year-old Bill Hamid, who made several great saves to become the youngest player in MLS history to earn a victory in his first professional start.
Allsopp's first goal came early in the match as he outwitted KC defender Jimmy Conrad to open the scoring with a fine individual effort in the 12th minute. Chasing down Rodney Wallace’s booming clearance, the big Australian held off his marker and turned towards goal, cutting outside and slapping a left-footed drive that Conrad’s belated block could only deflect over Wizards ‘keeper Jimmy Nielsen’s shoulder for a 1-0 D.C. lead. It marked the first goal by an Australian in MLS history.
With incumbent netminder Troy Perkins lacking for form, United had turned to youth academy product Hamid and he was first called into action after a quarter of an hour. He stepped forward to make an instinctive block of Chance Myers’s angled shot. Hamid also did well to parry a tricky, knuckling half-volley from KC left back Roger Espinoza in the 26th minute.
Allsopp seemingly struck up a good rapport with D.C. strike partner Adam Cristman, and the duo combined to exploit another mistake from the Wizards defense in the 34th minute.
When KC center back Pablo Escobar badly underhit a simple pass for a teammate, the hard-working Cristman nipped in and squared for Allsopp, who calmly tucked a clinical finish inside the far post to give United a 2-0 lead.
The visitors nearly snatched what would’ve been a crucial response in first-half injury time when Jack Jewsbury took advantage of hesitation in the D.C. defense, only to see his close-range shot deflected over the bar by a fantastic reaction save from Hamid.
Kansas City coach Peter Vermes threw on forward Kei Kamara for the start of the first half and the Sierra Leone-born speedster made an early impression, stretching the D.C. defense and testing Hamid with an angled shot. But the Wizards could not find an early goal and their momentum gradually petered out.
Allsopp came close to notching a hat trick on several occasions, most notably on a curling effort set up by another pass from Cristman in the 66th minute, though a sprawling Nielsen got the slightest of touches to tip the bid wide.
United winger Christian Castillo’s relatively quiet night was livened by a thunderous free kick that beat Nielsen from distance but caromed off the base of the left post in the 77th minute, as the Black-and-Red searched in vain for a third tally to clinch the result.
Kamara finally got on the board in injury time with a sharp one-timer off Josh Wolff’s cross to the far post, but time ran out on the visitors as United secured their first league win of the year.
DC -- Danny Allsopp 1 (Rodney Wallace 1) 12
DC -- Danny Allsopp 2 (Adam Cristman 1) 34
KC -- Kei Kamara 3 (Josh Wolff 1, Teal Bunbury 1) 92+
KC -- Ryan Smith (caution; Reckless Tackle) 50
DC -- Danny Allsopp (caution; Reckless Tackle) 56
DC -- Christian Castillo (caution; Reckless Tackle) 59
DC -- Kurt Morsink (caution; Persistent Infringement) 72
KC -- Michael Harrington (caution; Reckless Tackle) 88
DC -- Santino Quaranta (caution; Reckless Tackle) 89
Kansas City Wizards -- Jimmy Nielsen, Michael Harrington, Jimmy Conrad, Pablo Escobar, Santiago Hirsig (Kei Kamara 46), Stephane Auvray (Craig Rocastle 73), Roger Espinoza, Jack Jewsbury, Chance Myers (Teal Bunbury 51), Ryan Smith, Josh Wolff.
D.C. United -- Bill Hamid, Jordan Graye, Carey Talley, Juan Manuel Pena (Devon McTavish 88), Rodney Wallace, Thabiso Khumalo (Santino Quaranta 79), Kurt Morsink, Clyde Simms, Christian Castillo, Adam Cristman (Jaime Moreno 71), Danny Allsopp.
Referee: Alex Prus
Referee's Assistants: James Conlee; Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Chris Penso
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Partly cloudy, 82 degrees