United returned to the quarterfinal round of the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League for the second consecutive year, facing Liga MX side Querétaro F.C. in Querétaro, Mexico. New signing Luciano Acosta, on loan from Argentina's Boca Juniors, looked sharp in his competitive debut, finding pockets of space and dribbling by Querétaro defenders. Fellow offseason acquisitions Patrick Nyarko and Marcelo started in their competitive debuts as well, both playing 90 minutes.
Taylor Kemp hit the crossbar from outside the area after cutting inside on his right foot and Steven Birnbaum forced two saves out of Volpi, one with his head off a corner in the first half and another from short range. Fabián Espíndola tested Querétaro F.C. goalkeeper Tiago Volpi from distance several times, but none troubled the Brazilian. Querétaro's Yerson Candelo, who entered the match as a first-half substitute when Emanuel Villa came off due to injury, struck a ball from outside the penalty area that dipped just under the crossbar and opened the scoring in the 71st minute. Edgar Benitez finished the scoring after getting behind United's back line in the 83rd minute. The Black-and-Red now return to Washington to prepare for the second leg at RFK Stadium on March 1.
- Luciano Acosta, Marcelo and Patrick Nyarko made their competitive debuts for D.C. United, all starting the SCCL match.
- Rob Vincent, recently signed from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of the United Soccer League, made his competitive debut as a second-half substitute replacing Chris Rolfe.
- Goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra has started and played all 90 minutes of all five SCCL matches, the only United player to do so.
- United are 10-0-3 in their last 12 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League matches. The team’s last loss in the group stage was Aug. 26, 2009, a 3-1 defeat to Toluca.
- United are 0-1-4 (W-D-L) against Liga MX teams in CCL matches.
Goals by Period 1 2 Total
Querétaro FC 0 2 2
D.C. United 0 0 0
71’ Yerson Candelo (Angel Sepulveda)
83’ Edgar Benitez (Sinha)
D.C. – 73’ Marcelo Sarvas (caution, unsporting behavior)
D.C. United lineup:
Andrew Dykstra; Taylor Kemp, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Sean Franklin; Chris Rolfe (57’ Rob Vincent), Nick DeLeon, Marchelo Sarvas, Luciano Acosta (76’ Julian Büscher), Patrick Nyarko, Fabían Espíndola (85’ Alvaro Saborío)
Unused Substitutes: Travis Worra, Luke Mishu, Jared Jeffrey, Markus Halsti
[Miguel Aguilar – suspended for yellow card accumulation – 2]
Querétaro F.C. lineup:
Tiago Volpi; Jonathan Bornstein, Miguel Martínez, Juan Forlín, George Corral (56’ Yasser Corona); Édgar Benítez (88’ Carlos Fierro), Nery Domínguez, Sinha, Marco Jiménez, Ángel Sepúlveda; Emanuel Villa (31’ Yerson Candelo)
Unused Substitutes: Dionicio Escalante, Luis Miguel Noriega, Mario Osuna, Gil Alcalá
Head Referee: Hector Rodriguez (Honduras)
Assistant Referees: Oscar Velasquez (Honduras), Jesus Tabora (Honduras)
Fourth Official: Raul Castro (Honduras)
United advanced from the group stage in September 2015, finishing 3-1-0 in two-leg series against Árabe Unido (Panama) and Montego Bay United (Jamaica).
D.C. United host the second leg of the aggregate-goal series on Tuesday, March 1 at RFK Stadium. The match will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and starts at 8 PM ET.