D.C. United kicked off the Carolina Challenge Cup (CCC) against the Houston Dynamo Saturday evening in Charleston, S.C. After two days of training, the new look Black-and-Red took the field and defeated its Eastern Conference opponents 2-0.
Nick DeLeon and Fabian Espindola found each other early and often in the match and created the first real chance for United in the 8th minute. Espindola played a ball to a streaking DeLeon on the left sideline who served a ball to the far post, but it was too high. Both teams traded possession and corner kicks for the next 15 minutes, until DeLeon beat his defender on the far sideline once again and his cross found the head of a Houston Dynamo defender who scored an own goal to give the Black-and-Red the 1-0 lead. The goal settled both teams down for the remainder of the half as they created chances and shots, but the half ended with United in the lead, 1-0.
Things got chippy between the two teams in the second half with several yellow cards shown to each side. United found success on quick counter attacks several times, but couldn’t find the final ball to double their lead. After a line change in the 76th minute, some fresh legs provided a nice spark for the Black-and-Red. In the 82nd minute Taylor Kemp beat two defenders on the left side of the box and fired a shot that sailed just wide of the net. United capitalized on their second half chances in the 88th minute when a long ball found Kyle Porter who had his shot blocked by the keeper, but Michael Seaton followed up the loose ball and calmly finished it in the back of the net from right outside the box as United went on to win, 2-0.
United meets Charleston Battery on Wednesday, February 26 at 7:30, live on dcunited.com/live in its second match of the Carolina Challenge Cup. And on March 8, the Black-and-Red open the 2014 campaign at RFK at 7:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS