United picked up their third consecutive win in their final preseason friendly on Saturday night, defeating the USL's Las Vegas Lights FC 4-2. After a quiet first half, the Black-and-Red scored three times in the final 40 minutes to thwart Las Vegas' attempts at a comeback win.
Box-to-box play in the first 45 kept the score leveled at 0 until United found their breakthrough in the 42nd minute. Ulises Segura made a smart touch forward to Paul Arriola, who took off up the left flank and into the box, where he sent a ball across the face of the goal to Yamil Asad. Asad confidently buried his chance for his first-ever goal with the Black-and-Red, while Paul Arriola tallied his second assist in as many friendlies.
Arriola was just getting started, though. Shortly after halftime, United doubled their lead off a Darren Mattocks goal in the 51st minute. Arriola again found plenty of space up the wing, this time the right side, and took off past Las Vegas' scrambling back line. From the top of the box, the midfielder sent a ball across to Mattocks, and the striker finished off the bounce for his third goal of preseason.
The Lights were able to pull within one in the 53rd minute after converting a penalty kick that was the result of a handball in the box, but the Black-and-Red increased their lead back to two in the 80th minute. With the match opening up and United finding plenty of chances in front of goal, they netted their third of the night off of yet another well-placed ball in from Arriola. Patrick Mullins, who subbed on moments before, powered through a Las Vegas defender and fed Arriola, who again was making a run on the right flank without a defender in sight. Arriola got into the box and dished almost an identical ball across, this time to Ian Harkes, who also subbed on moments moments earlier, and Harkes beat the keeper on the far post.
The Lights found the back of the net again in the 87th minute, but it was too little too late, as a Luciano Acosta goal in the 90th minute off of a poorly taken goal kick sealed the 4-2 victory for the visitors.
With their third win in eight days and their final preseason friendly complete, the Black-and-Red return to D.C. to put the finishing touches on their preparation for the season opener. Ben Olsen's side open the MLS regular season on March 3 against Orlando City at Orlando City Stadium.