United lost 4-3 to the Seattle Sounders despite leading 3-0 for the first 50 minutes of the match. Seattle scored all four of their goals in just under a half-hour. The win for Seattle was the first time in MLS history that any team completed a winning comeback after going down by three.
Being on the losing side of a record-breaking night is only the latest in a series of mid-season woes for United, who currently sit last in the league.
“The reality is we are in last place,” coach Ben Olsen said last week. “The other reality is we are a good team capable of making playoffs in this league.”
Olsen remained positive after the loss in an interview with NewsChannel8 and noted the building points from the match.
The offense showed new scoring life in the final third. Rookie Ian Harkes and new addition Deshorn Brown both scored their second goal in two games. Midfielder Lloyd Sam also tallied a goal, which was only his second of the season.
Sam used United’s week off before the trip to Seattle to step away from the game and refresh.
“I have just changed my hair, so I want to feel like a new player again,” Sam said. “The second half of season I want to inject a little bit more.”
Though United’s main problem was a lack of scoring, the club must evaluate its entire performance if they want to succeed in the coming month, which is filled with home field advantage. The first game comes this weekend against Houston Dynamo, who currently sit third in the Western Conference.
The Black-and-Red continue to gain “fresh blood” within their team with midfielder Nick DeLeon and defender Sean Franklin returning from injury, Olsen said. Franklin contributed immediately to the starting lineup Wednesday by assisting Harkes’ goal and increasing competition at the right back position.
“There are a lot of spots up for grabs right now for the starting lineup,” Olsen said. “We have asked everyone to come back from [the] break and be better individually.”
The loss to Seattle was not the turnaround United was hoping for, but they don’t have much time to dwell. The Houston Dynamo come to town Friday, July 21 for a 7 p.m. match at RFK Stadium.
“I am optimistic that the challenge ahead of us is one the group is ready to take on,” Olsen said.
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