Saturday, March 12, 2011

DC United Wins in Charleston

This past Wednesday DC United managed to win a crucial victory in the Carolina Cup Tournament being held in Charleston, South Carolina, posting a 1 - Nil victory over their MLS opponents, the Chicago Fire.  Last week United defeated second division side and tournament hosts Charleston Battery, so this second win places them only one victory away from claiming the Carolina Cup for the second year in a row.

The match was generally unspectacular, with the best moment coming in the first half when Santino Quaranta sent a beautiful free kick into the box, where United's Blake Brettschneider was waiting to head the ball into the goal.  After that the match became a defensive struggle, particularly after Chicago player Diego Chaves was ejected with a red card, leaving Chicago to play short-handed for the second match in a row.  Not surprisingly, after this Chicago had difficulty mounting an effective attack, allowing DC United to protect their one-goal advantage for the win.

This win brings DC United to 7 - 0 - 1 during the preseason, a fine mark, although only two matches have been against MLS competition.  The team preseason scoring leaders are newcomer Joseph Ngwenya with five goals, and Blake Brettschneider with four.  About Brettschneider, United Coach Ben Olsen had this to say:

"He was man of the match for me," Olsen said. "He was pretty sharp. He is a handful and has got a lot of desire, and from the day he got here, he has played his way onto the team."

High praise from the coach, lets hope that Brettschneider can keep up this level of performance as the regular season gets underway.  United plays its final match of the Carolina Challenge later today in Charleston against FC Toronto, and begins the regular season on March 27 at Kansas City.