Let D.C. United’s youth movement begin.
United’s recent acquisitions starred Saturday night in a 3-1 win at RFK Stadium against the Montreal Impact. Luis Silva scored in the first half, Conor Doyle tapped in the winner and unselfishly assisted Jared Jeffery on a stoppage-time breakaway to lead Ben Olsen’s club to its third victory of the season. It’s also the first time since April 21 United (3-15-4, 13 points) scored more than one goal in a league match.
Montreal’s (10-6-5, 35 points) second-half equalizer came from an unlikely source in Jeb Brovsky, but it wasn’t enough to keep Marco Schallibaum’s team from dropping into third place in the Eastern Conference standings. The Impact have one win in their previous seven matches, this one coming to the league’s worst team.
Doyle’s game-winner came in the 68th minute. After defender James Riley played a perfect cross toward Doyle, who was at the end of a strong run, he flicked it by Montreal goalkeeper Troy Perkins for his first MLS goal. On loan from Derby County, the goal was also Doyle’s first in any league match at the professional level.
Silva, meanwhile, has been unstoppable as he scored his third goal in as many matches with United to help the club snap a two-game skid and earn its eighth point at home this season in preparation for Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup semifinal match in Chicago.
Prior to United’s acquisition of Silva, D.C. played 21 matches. In three, Silva has taken over as United’s leading scorer. His goal came in the 19th minute after United’s Nick DeLeon had his shot blocked and the ball bounced to Silva. The former Toronto FC striker then held the ball in the box before blasting a right-footed shot by Dennis Iapichino that hit the far post and bounced in.
The Impact leveled things in the 52nd minute on a nifty give-and-go by Brovsky and Davy Arnaud. The right back’s tally was his first goal in three MLS seasons.
Then, in stoppage time with the Impact pressing for a goal, Doyle and Jeffery broke toward Perkins on a 2-on-0 and Doyle set Jeffery up for the tap-in, his first MLS goal as well.
For a majority of the match United – playing without Chris Pontius, John Thorrington, Carlos Ruiz and Casey Townsend – appeared the stronger side. And for the third time this season, the second time in as many matches, D.C. entered halftime with a lead. The Impact forced D.C. goalkeeper Joe Willis to make four saves in the first half, but nothing terribly tricky as the attack lacked polish in front of a sparse but energetic crowd.
Montreal will attempt to rebound against Chicago next Saturday while United’s next league match after the Open Cup semifinals also comes next Saturday against Philadelphia.