Early Johnson goal gives D.C. United edge over Waterhouse F.C.

Eddie Johnson vs Waterhouse (USA TODAY SPORTS)
Photo by USA Today Sports Images

By MITCHELL NORTHAM

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a five-year absence from the tournament, D.C. United returned to the CONCACAF Champion’s League Wednesday night with a 1-0 win over Waterhouse F.C. in their first game of the group stage of the tournament.

It took just five minutes for D.C. United to take the lead, but they would hold it until the final whistle at RFK Stadium in front of a crowd of 3,300.

David Estrada received a long pass from Connor Shanosky and took possession down the right side, beating his man and carrying it into the penalty box. He played a smooth back pass to Eddie Johnson, who beat Waterhouse goalkeeper Richard McCallum with a shot over his head, connecting with the roof of the net for the game’s lone goal.

As the game wore on, chemistry issues for the unit made up of mostly reserves that Olsen trotted out were made very visible. D.C. United committed 21 fouls in the match and registered just three shots on goal.

“We were off a little bit with some of the patterns and the partnerships out there,” Olsen said. “But that’s normal when a team that hasn’t played together a lot out on the field.”

Estrada and Johnson played with each other last season for the Seattle Sounders, and Olsen saw tonight as an opportunity to re-unite a former bond.

“There’s a little bit of familiarity with them; I’m sure they passed it to each other a couple of times in Seattle,” Olsen said. “We worked all week to speed up some of the cohesion, some of the partnerships; we did a lot of pattern work, a lot of shape work, but it’s tough when you get into real games with guys that aren’t playing with each other week in and week out. “

In the 31st minute, Johnson found himself one-on-one with McCallum again, this time in a foot race with the goalkeeper, chasing after a long pass from Collin Martin. McCallum got there first by just seconds, knocking the ball away, notching another missed opportunity for the home team.

The second half was the same song and dance. On the offensive end, D.C. United struggled to muster up any cohesion, while on the defensive end, they stopped all efforts put forth from Waterhouse as the Jamaican side continued to try shots from distance.

“We watched some video and saw that they like to take long shots,” D.C. United goalkeeper Joe Willis said. “Pretty much anytime I saw someone dribbling inside our own half I was preparing for a shot.”

Perhaps the best chance of the night from Waterhouse was in the 63rd minute when Kenardo Forbes fired a shot-on-goal from about 25 yards out. A diving Willis was able to grab the shot heading towards the lower left corner.

“We pressed really hard in the last minutes,” Waterhouse F.C. head coach Anthony Patrick said. “(D.C. United) were closing up in front of the goal, so we had to take those long shots.”

Waterhouse fired 21 shots on the night, six of them on goal and six of them saved by Willis who has spent the majority of this season with D.C. United’s USL-Pro affiliate, the Richmond Kickers.

“I have so much confidence in Joe and he knows that,” Olsen said. “The back four and Joe played very well; credit them for getting the clean sheet.”

Watch the highlights below:

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11 Responses to Early Johnson goal gives D.C. United edge over Waterhouse F.C.

  1. DCLee says:

    Way to start the tourney with a win!

  2. Enos says:

    Waterhouse FC outplayed DC for all but about 10 minutes. Hollow victory for DC United’s B team.

    • JoeW says:

      No such thing as a hollow victory when it comes with 3 points in cup competition.

      DCU has 5 games in 15 days. It got the result it needed to get and didn’t play any regulars and even got by with playing guys horribly out of position (midfielder Caskey at left back, CB Attakora at right back). The team that DCU started has played in only 4 games (excluding EJ who is currently suspended by MLS) this year in MLS (with 3 starts).

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      In USOC or CCL, teams routinely field B sides and the only thing that matters is whether they get the result. There are no style points. You either take the heat off the starters (so they can play league) and advance, or you don’t.

      The more telling resut is a team like Newcastle tries to thread a cup needle and gets shellacked. But this is job done and on to the next game, when points are tallied no one cares how it went.

    • Matt says:

      That makes no sense. They fielded a weak B team and managed 3 points…that’s fantastic any way you look at it.

  3. Jimmy Bobo says:

    Did the Waterhouse club use their first team?

  4. slowleftarm says:

    This competition has a long way to go, judging by the number of Mickey Mouse game like this one, with B teams and tiny crowds.

    • Northzax says:

      MLS teams using b teams is a good thing, that’s what better teams do in the early stages of cups. And yes, the crowd was awful, but considering Waterhouse doesn’t have much of a following outside Jamaica, the thunderstorms that killed any chance of a walkup gate, that these tickets weren’t included in the STH package, and that this is vacation week in DC (schools start Monday, congress is in recess, and the weather is usually awful; the only other weeks dc is this dead is christmas and thanksgiving) it’s only to be expected.

  5. SIR_KNOX says:

    The Mickey Mouse nickname doesn’t make a lot of sense. Huge crowds at Disney Land Disney World etc hundreds of thousands go there everyday. Who doesn’t know who Mickey Mouse is? His friends are extremely popular too.
    Anyone want to offer new word to belittle our conference champions?

  6. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Hahahaha… i find the dramatic background music hilarious. Its so intense and then the highlights are shots goin wide and players falling over, knees getting iced.. hahaha. Give me a break.