In their first midweek match of the season, D.C. United fell to Orlando City SC 2-0 at a wet Orlando City Stadium Wednesday night. In the first half, the Black-and-Red not only created several chances, but also sniffed out multiple chances from the opposition, many of which coming through central defender Kofi Opare.
The 26-year-old was seemingly all over the defensive third and nullified Orlando's attack throughout the first half. Another defender, Chris Odoi-Atsem, made his first career MLS start for United at right back. The former University of Maryland player also impressed early on, with speed to burn and and willingness to get forward.
After defending well for the majority of the match, a set piece unlocked the Black-and-Red's defense when Cyle Larin headed past a defenseless Bill Hamid to give the Lions the lead in the 66th minute. United almost pulled one back shortly thereafter pouncing on a poor back pass, but Joe Bendik came up with a big save to deny Sébastien Le Toux.
While head coach Ben Olsen will be disappointed by the result, he will be pleased that wide midfielder Patrick Nyarko was able to return to the field following a lengthy absence. The Ghanaian, who hadn't played since April 8, entered the match for compatriot Lloyd Sam in the 69th minute. Alhaji Kamara, who has been on loan with the team's USL affiliate the Richmond Kickers (and scored a hat trick last weekend for the Virginia team), also made an appearance for Olsen late in the second half.
United now return home to the nation's capital ahead of their third match in a week, a date with the LA Galaxy on Saturday, June 3 at 7 PM.