IMAGE: Rooney Acosta

United debut Audi Field with a bang, defeat Vancouver 3-1

It's good to be home.

D.C. United debuted Audi Field in ideal fashion on Saturday night, reigning victorious over the Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 in front of more than 20,000 fans in their inaugural match at the club's new home. 

Yamil Asad made history in the 26th minute of the contest with a brilliant 23-yard strike that found the top corner—D.C. United's first-ever goal at Audi Field. The ball rebounded out from the right wing and found Zoltán Stieber, who then feathered a pass across to Asad, who hit a perfect strike to give United a 1-0 lead. The goal gave Asad a new season-high in scoring, surpassing his seven goals during his rookie season in 2017.

United entered halftime with a promising 1-0 lead after a sharp, aggressive first 45. More history was made in the 57th minute of the match when international star Wayne Rooney made his Major League Soccer and D.C. United debut, coming on for Darren Mattocks.

While Rooney's debut produced a wave of cheers from the Black-and-Red faithful, Audi Field fully erupted when Paul Arriola scored to put United up 2-0 in the 67th minute. Asad collected his second point of the contest (goal and an assist) after he switched the run of play to Zoltán Stieber, who one-timed a pass from the right flank into the path of Arriola. Arriola took advantage of his opportunity with a low finish to the left inside of the netting—his third goal of the season.

The Californian wasn't done yet. Arriola bagged a brace in the 80th minute of the contest after Acosta and Rooney connected with each other and split the Whitecaps' defense. Rooney collected the ball at the top of the box and passed to the onrushing Arriola, who blew one by Brian Rowe to make the score 3-0. The assist was Rooney's first-ever point with D.C. United and in Major League Soccer. 

In the closing moments of the match, Vancouver's Alphonso Davies notched a consolation goal with a strong strike outside the box. The Black-and-Red stole the show in their new home's debut, though, as their fiery performance allowed the home side to secure a massive three points in the first page of their new chapter at Audi Field. 

D.C. United's next stop will be Mercedes-Benz Stadium, where they will take on Atlanta United on Saturday, July 21, at 3:30 PM ET. United then return home for their first-ever rivalry match at Audi Field, hosting the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday, July 25. Click here for tickets