Watson winner powers FC Dallas over D.C. United

DeLeonLoyd (GettyImages)Jackson (ISI)

By THOMAS FLOYD

FC Dallas’ scorching start to 2013 has been paced by fluid midfield play, quality depth and opportunistic finishing. D.C. United’s bumbling run has included plenty of early deficits and set-piece struggles.

So all in all, Saturday’s meeting at FC Dallas Stadium went exactly as expected.

Jackson opened the scoring for Dallas early and Je-Vaughn Watson converted a late corner kick as Dallas (7-1-3) extended its unbeaten run to nine games with a 2-1 win over United (1-8-1).

Although Dwayne De Rosario’s free-kick strike gave D.C. its first road goal of the year, it wasn’t enough to snap what now is a seven-game losing streak.

Both sides mixed up their lineups, with Dallas holding Raul Fernandez, George John, Andrew Jacobson, David Ferreira and Kenny Cooper out of the starting lineup, while United sat Bill Hamid, Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Lionard Pajoy and Rafael. Still working his way back from a groin injury, Chris Pontius (groin) didn’t dress for United.

To a D.C. team that has been torched early in matches throughout its six-game losing streak, Saturday’s opening minutes offered no relief from that unsettling trend. Moments after United forward Casey Townsend struck the post, Dallas grabbed the opener at the other end.

After Eric Hassli danced around a series of challenges and found an unmarked Jackson in the box, the Brazilian winger hit a rising shot past Joe Willis to give the home side an 11th-minute lead.

But instead of putting their heads down, Ben Olsen’s retooled United lineup responded. The possession became more dangerous. De Rosario dictated from his withdrawn forward role. Townsend stayed active.

And one minute before halftime, United were rewarded when Nick DeLeon teed up a free kick for De Rosario and the D.C. captain fired a low shot into the far corner.

In the second half, however, Dallas began to regain control of the match, winning balls in midfield and upping the pressure in the final third.

When Michel’s 77th-minute corner kick whipped in, bounced inside the goal box and ricocheted off Watson’s chest into the net, the sequence seemed inevitable. Those types of plays tend to benefit first-place clubs and go against those sitting in the cellar.

Here are the match highlights:

 

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5 Responses to Watson winner powers FC Dallas over D.C. United

  1. dan says:

    Floyd…. any thoughts to how long before Olsen is let go? any ideas what is going on with the team’s lack of performance?

    • Cavan says:

      I wouldn’t fire him at all. He did build from a 2010 team whose cupboard was completely bare to a playoff contender in 2011 to a championship contender in 2012. A lot of this season was a young coach trying to use what worked in the past rather than seeing that he needed to take a new approach. Let him finish the season and see if the team starts to improve later on.

      Dallas was the best team down the stretch in 2010 and almost won a championship. They faded down the stretch in 2011 after an injury to Ferriera. They had an injury-ravaged 2012 and didn’t make the playoffs. If FCD had fired Hyndman last year, they wouldn’t be the early candidate for championship contender this year.

  2. Nate Dollars says:

    although dc is still awful, i kind of like that benny’s made wholesale changes to the lineup. at least we looked like we gave a crap this game.

  3. Elgringorico says:

    I hope they don’t fire Olsen. He did wonders with this squad last season, they at least need to let him finish this one.

  4. Jeter says:

    In order for teams to win, that means someone has to lose. Toronto, Chivas, Seattle, and countless others have been there before and now it’s DC’s turn. The season is not over yet.