An early gaffe proves expensive as D.C. United’s woes proceed vs. Montreal


Wayne Rooney had simply settled right into a suite-level seat Saturday night time — his normal perch till he receives a piece visa that can permit him to start teaching D.C. United — when distress struck earlier than a minute had elapsed at Audi Area.

Middle again Donovan Pines did not settle a easy go. Romell Quioto surged round goalkeeper Rafael Romo. Pines knocked down the scrambling Romo. The CF Montreal attacker slotted a low shot previous the sliding defender.

On this unhappy season, United’s issues have blanketed the 90-minute canvas. However on this humid night time, the tone was set in 44 seconds. D.C. confirmed resilience within the second half, however the 2-1 defeat dropped MLS’s worst aspect to 5-12-Three — with only one win in 11 video games since mid-Could — and left Rooney going through a large endeavor when he formally takes the helm.

Quioto, a Honduran nationwide crew attacker, scored twice within the first half, making the most of defective defending in each cases. The primary was comical, the second a show of uncooked superiority.

United did create some good alternatives — captain Steven Birnbaum scored early within the second half — however the lack of high quality was conspicuous.

“It’s going to come for us,” midfielder Jackson Hopkins mentioned. “We’re including an increasing number of high quality, and that’s going to present us the increase we have to get some wins.”

Assist has begun to reach. Striker Miguel Berry, acquired in a commerce with Columbus this previous week, was within the beginning lineup, and Chilean winger Martín Rodríguez debuted within the second half after receiving his work visa days in the past.

Rooney’s first abroad recruit, attacker Ravel Morrison, was in attendance however, like Rooney, his former Derby County coach, should look ahead to a visa. Others have been focused for acquisition earlier than the switch and commerce window closes Aug. four.

In all chance, Rooney will return to England within the subsequent day or two to finalize paperwork and exchange interim coach Chad Ashton earlier than subsequent Sunday’s match in opposition to visiting Orlando Metropolis.

As gamers arrive, “you’ll see that come collectively an increasing number of and extra, however clearly it takes time,” Ashton mentioned. “It takes time studying the system. It takes time understanding what the little nuances of it are, however you will note development shortly when you begin to have all these items on the sphere collectively.”

Montreal (11-Eight-2) wasted no time taking the lead, due to Pines’s miscue and Quioto’s polish.

“Clearly, the primary shut is a little bit of a mistake, however errors are all the time going to occur, and we have to reply a bit of bit higher and a bit of bit faster,” Ashton mentioned.

United was lucky the deficit didn’t develop earlier than the 20th minute: D.C. dedicated a foul a step exterior the penalty space, and an offside name negated Alistair Johnston’s obvious aim.

Quioto doubled the lead within the 35th minute, getting behind Gaossou Samaké on Joel Waterman’s lengthy ball and chipping the ball over the advancing Romo for his ninth aim.

It nearly acquired worse earlier than intermission. D.C.’s Sofiane Djeffal handed on to Quioto. The gaffe was so sudden, the Montreal participant launched a 40-yard shot over Romo stationed close to the highest of the field, however the bid landed on the highest of the web.

United examined goalkeeper James Pantemis a number of instances earlier than breaking by within the 56th minute.

Hopkins, an 18-year-old homegrown participant, served a 35-yard free kick to the center of the field. Birnbaum made a near-post run and drove an 11-yard header into the close to aspect for his first aim of the 12 months.

Pantemis made a sterling save on Berry. Taxi Fountas, United’s main scorer, hit the close to put up from a good angle. Substitute Kimarni Smith missed by a whisker after preserving his steadiness as an alternative of making an attempt to attract a penalty kick.

“If he stays on the bottom,” Ashton mentioned, “that’s most likely a reviewable play, then presumably get you a penalty.”

Chris Odoi-Atsem’s solo burst was interrupted on the final second deep within the field.

There was ambition and promise however in the end one other setback.

“We confirmed indicators of life,” Berry mentioned, “and that’s a great step ahead.”

Right here’s what else to learn about United’s loss:

The lineup selections — and the bench choices — have been filled with surprises. In session with Ashton, Rooney made them, partly, to reward gamers for performances in opposition to Bayern Munich in Wednesday’s pleasant but in addition as a result of he wants to achieve a greater understanding of people in match conditions.

The extent of his analysis earlier than accepting the job was to look at some matches reside, some on tape, whereas in England. He additionally accessed video of coaching classes.

Saturday marked the third league match — and fourth total — that he has witnessed in particular person.

Drew Skundrich, a pure midfielder, began at proper again instead of Andy Najar. Samaké and midfielder Ted Ku-DiPietro, a homegrown rookie who scored in opposition to Bayern Munich, made their first league begins.

Regulars Najar, Brendan Hines-Ike and Ola Kamara have been in reserve. Forwards Michael Estrada and Nigel Robertha and defender Tony Alfaro weren’t in uniform; none of them are injured.

Solely three starters have been with the crew final season: Skundrich, Birnbaum and Pines.

Defensive midfielder Russell Canouse was excused to be along with his spouse, Erika, who’s anticipating their first little one quickly. He has made 12 appearances (10 begins) and lately returned from a three-game harm absence.

Fairfax’s Espinal indicators

Fairfax’s Isaac Espinal, a 16-year-old ahead from D.C.’s youth academy, signed a professional contract with second-division Loudoun United. As an novice, he made six appearances as a sub. … At halftime, D.C.’s under-16 squad was honored for successful the MLS Subsequent Cup title this month in Frisco, Tex.

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