Daily training report
Austin: Day 3
The Black-and-Red opened its slate in the ATX Pro Challenge with usual starters on the bench, but the offense clicked on all cylinders early anyway en route to a 2-0 victory over the Austin Aztex at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Rookie Miguel Aguilar opened the scoring in the ninth minute with an absolute left-footed rocket from 20 yards. Six minutes later Kofi Opare would’ve doubled the lead off Michael Farfan’s free kick, but his header clanged off the crossbar. Jairo Arrieta then slipped a through ball to Conor Doyle for a calm finish and a two-goal advantage.
Second Half Starters: Hamid; Trialist (Kemp 61’), Opare (Boswell 61’), McKenzie (Halsti 61’), Mishu (Franklin 61’), Aguilar (DeLeon 61’), Jeffrey (Kitchen 61’), Farfan (Arnaud 61’), Estrada (Rolfe 61’), Doyle (Espindola 61’), Arrieta (Pontius 61’)
After Bill Hamid took over for Andrew Dykstra to began the second half, Head Coach Ben Olsen went with a wholesale lineup change, bringing in 10 new players. With a new crop of fresh legs United dominated possession for the remainder of the match. In the 74th minute the Aztex almost scored off a corner kick, but Hamid preserved the clean sheet with a jaw-dropping one-handed save.
Kofi Opare – Yellow Card – 4th minute
Davy Arnaud – Yellow Card – 85th minute
On the Field Highlight of the Day:
Miguel Aguilar’s first professional goal came in the 9th minute, and it didn’t take much longer for it to reach YouTube. The left-footed firecracker brought the fans to their feet after he beat two defenders, cut the ball in on his left and fired into the top left corner from 20 yards.
It was matched on the defensive end by Bill Hamid, who played his first minutes of the 2015 preseason and began the defense of his 2014 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award with his highlight reel save in the 74th minute.
Off Field Highlight of the Day:
No matter where D.C. United goes, the fans follow, and Austin is no exception. Friday night the Black-and-Red faithful were out in full force singing and jumping as if they were in RFK. At halftime Nick DeLeon jumped the fence and made sure to join in on the photo op with the group before going out to warm up for the second half.
Q&A with Miguel Aguilar:
DCU: Congrats on your first professional goal. What did you see when you got the ball?
MA: I saw an opportunity. The defender gave the ball up in a bad a spot and I made the most of it. I took a touch inside and saw the clear path to goal, I took a shot and it went in.
DCU: Be honest, is that what you were aiming for?
MA: I was aiming back post and it kind of went where I imagined it, or at least I wanted it to go.
DCU: How does it feel to score your first professional goal?
MA: I was happy but also kind of relieved. The first one is always the hardest. Overall I was just really excited.
DCU: So explain your left foot and right foot for people at home who might not know about how that came to be.
MA: I’m naturally left footed. When I first started playing I only played with my left, but I would write with my right hand. My mom would ask me why would you use your left foot if you write with your right hand? And she said you need to start using your right foot since you’re right handed. So when she would come to games I would play with my right foot and when she wasn’t around I would play with my left foot. It got to the point where I could use either foot.
DCU: How old were you when this happened?
MA: I was only like 6 or 7.
DCU: Overall, how are you feeling about preseason? How has the team been?
MA: The veteran guys have taken me under their wing. There are a lot of things I need to work on and I go to a lot of them for advice and they have been very helpful. I feel like there’s a lot I can do and work on but I am slowly getting better and better.
DCU: How do you feel this game as whole went for you?
MA: I think there were some positives. There were some things that I did a lot better in this game than before and I knew I needed to work on them, specifically my defending. I felt like I was able to keep people in front of me and not let them run behind me, little things like that that I need to work on but they are progressing.
Quote of the Day:
Chris Pontius: (Playing trivia on his phone) Who did Harry Potter marry? Damnit!
Taylor Kemp: Did you put Hermione? You idiot. It’s Ginny.
Chris Pontius: Who the hell is Ginny? And who spells it with a G?
D.C. United has released Dan Metzger.
United will play FC Dallas on Sunday, Feb. 15 at 3:15 p.m. CT in the championship match of the ATX Pro Challenge at Mike A. Myers Stadium. Catch the game at dcunited.com/live.