WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 01: D.C. United midfielder Lloyd Sam (8) dribbles down the sideline during a MLS match between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union on April 1, 2017, at RFK Stadium, in Washington D.C. D.C United defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1. (Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire)

United unable to reverse early Impact goal in 1-0 loss

D.C. United was unable reverse the 1-0 damage done by the Montreal Impact after an early goal and a disappointing first half.

For the third game in a row and the fourth time this season, United conceded a goal in the first fifteen minutes of the game.  

“It was a lost opportunity tonight,” coach Ben Olsen said. “The second half we responded, but it is easy to respond. I am looking for guys that can, from the whistle, understand what it takes in this league.”

Against New England, United conceded a goal in the fifth minute but came back to tie the game 2-2. United conceded a goal in the ninth minute but came back and won the game 3-1 against Atlanta. In its game against Montreal, United lacked the fight to comeback from a 1-0 deficit. Montreal has a knack for trapping and defending leads, but all it took was one goal against United.

“I thought the whole first half we were full of [it],” Olsen said. “We looked like posers. We looked like we thought it was going to be an easy day at the office. We didn’t have enough courage and we didn’t have enough soccer.”

Against Montreal, United gave up a goal in the 13th minute. Eighteen-year-old Ballou Jean-Yves beatout Jared Jeffrey on a breakaway, tripped up defender Kofi Opare and rocketed a shot from outside the 18-yard box past goalkeeper Travis Worra.

“We came out soft and we gave up a soft goal,” Jeffrey said. “It is all of us. I don’t think anybody came with it.”

United’s he second-half rally came too late and the “damage was done,” defender Bobby Boswell said after the game.

“I thought the whole first half we were full of [it],” Olsen said. “We looked like posers. We looked like we thought it was going to be an easy day at the office. We didn’t have enough courage and we didn’t have enough soccer.”

The team dealt with two gameday scratches against Montreal. Midfielder Julian Büscher was left off the gameday roster early in the day, leaving United with just six subs instead of seven. More detrimental to United’s play was the pregame scratch of starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid.

“We had a talk and there was hesitation,” Olsen said of the late Hamid scratch. “When there is hesitation with a player with a guy that means that much to us, I made the call to give him another week to make sure he is 100 percent.”

Hamid has been nursing a groin injury sustained against Atlanta last week, but until moments before the game was cleared to play.

“It was enough of a risk that I didn’t think it made sense,” Olsen said.

In the waning four minutes of stoppage time, United continued to fight for that last scrappy equalizing goal. Instead Bobby Boswell found a different fight. Boswell and Impact forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel both went up for the ball. On the way down, Jackson-Hamel appeared to have caught a bit of Boswell’s face.

“They came to this game with a real fight,” Olsen said. “That meant they were going to elbow us, and kick us, and do all the things that a team that is hungry does.”

After the game, Boswell and Jackson-Hamel exchanged tense words but were broken up by the players’ respective teammates before anything more happened. Boswell was upset with the play, but more upset with United’s performance as a whole.

“Got me pretty good up in here,” Boswell gestured to the underside of his lip. “It was more [than] the flailing arm. I’m a little more shocked [the referees]  didn’t see it.”

After earning points in the standings in two consecutive road games, United was unable to perform at home.

“It seemed like the game meant more to them than it did to us,” Olsen said. “That is unacceptable, in particular in this building when people come here to see our group and be proud of our team.”

Emily Olsen
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Emily Olsen

DC United Beat Writer at The Left Bench
Emily Olsen is the D.C. United beat reporter for The Left Bench. She has also covered basketball recruiting. Emily dreams of one day traveling the world reporting on the Olympics and World Cups. In her off time, Emily enjoys coloring outside the lines.
Emily Olsen
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About Emily Olsen 112 Articles
Emily Olsen is the D.C. United beat reporter for The Left Bench. She has also covered basketball recruiting. Emily dreams of one day traveling the world reporting on the Olympics and World Cups. In her off time, Emily enjoys coloring outside the lines.