Daily training report
Dallas: Day 4
First Half Lineup: Dykstra, Kemp, Birnbaum, Boswell, Franklin, DeLeon, Kitchen, Boswell, Rolfe, Espindola, Pontius
Second Half Lineup: Dykstra, Kemp, Birnbaum, Boswell, Korb, DeLeon (Aguilar 77’), Kitchen, Arnaud (Doyle 85’), Rolfe (Farfan 78’), Espindola, Pontius (Arrieta 57’)
D.C. United got a taste of regular season intensity in its final tune-up of 2015. FC Dallas games always have a little bite to them anyway, and Friday’s clash at Toyota Stadium was no different, finishing with one red card, five yellows and a little bloodshed as the Black-and-Red fell, 3-1. Things started with Michel’s red card in the 23rd minute for a two-footed challenge on Sean Franklin, but shorthanded Dallas still struck first three minutes later. Jairo Arrieta brought United back in the 61st minute after some great passing from Nick DeLeon and Fabián Espíndola. The Black-and-Red had some great scoring chances late in the half, but couldn’t convert as Dallas tacked on two more goals late. The clubs will meet one more time before the season, too, with reserves slated to face each other on Saturday.
Birnbaum back in action
Defender Steve Birnbaum was back in action with D.C. United for the first time in preseason after picking up a minor knee injury with the U.S. Men’s National Team, playing the full 90 minutes.
Arrieta in the books
Jairo Arrieta scored his first goal for the Black-and-Red in the 61st minute, finishing Espíndola’s cross at the back post. It’s perfect timing ahead of a return to his home country in the quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League against Alajuelense.
Scouting the competition
Alajuelense, United’s opponent in the quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League, was rumored to be at Toyota Stadium for Friday’s game doing advance reconnaissance on the Black-and-Red.
D.C. United was well represented at Toyota Stadium. North Texas locals Jared Jeffrey and Conor Doyle had family and friends in attendance, Sean Franklin’s mother made the trip, and Miguel Aguilar was reunited with his uncle for the first time in nearly six years.
Nick DeLeon was responsible for a number of dangerous United attack, including the build-up to the lone Black-and-Red goal. But in the 77th minute he had to be substituted out with a bleeding above his left eye, having come down on the head of a Dallas defender after going for a header in the box.
Former Georgetown midfielder Ian Christianson is currently on trial with D.C. United. He joins Scott Goodwin, Travis Worra, Luke Mishu and Rauwshan McKenzie who also remain on trial.
Q&A with Nick DeLeon
DCU: How’s that head feeling?
ND: It feels fine. Just a little head to head collision but it feels fine right now.
DCU: You set up one goal on a breakaway, and on the other one you kind of got tripped up, what were you seeing out on the field?
ND: That first one was a good goal by Arrieta and great ball by Fabi to the back post. On that second one I was about to shoot and Diaz tripped me just a little bit and it threw me off and the keeper was able to make the save.
DCU: In your last tune-up before Costa Rica what did you personally want to get out of this game?
ND: I wanted to score. Unfortunately I didn’t, but we have Costa Rica next week. Hopefully I can get the goal then.
DCU: This isn’t the result everyone wanted, but now all eyes are squarely on Costa Rica, how is everyone feeling?
ND: Well after the game there are a lot of tired bodies so I think we need to get our bodies right because this is a big game. Just get as healthy as possible for Thursday.
DCU: You’ve been in some pretty hostile environments, what are you expecting in Costa Rica?
ND: I’ve never played in a Central American country so I have no idea what to expect, but I am looking forward to it. I’ve heard it’s pretty intense.
DCU: What have you heard?
ND: The fans are ruthless; you will get stuff thrown at you and things like that. We will see.