D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC: Chris Pontius Scores Two Goals As United Wins, 3-0

Chris Pontius scores two goals and Charlie Davies adds a third as United pick up their first road win of the season.

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D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC: Chris Pontius, Back Line Earn High Marks In Match Grades

After an emphatic 3-0 win over Toronto FC, we let you know how each individual player performed for D.C. United.

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D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC: Chris Pontius Scores Twice, United Wins, 3-0

Chris Pontius opened his goalscoring account for the 2011 MLS season with a brace, while Charlie Davies scored his MLS-leading fifth goal in his first D.C. United start as the Black-and-Red achieved their first road win of the season with a 3-0 win over Toronto FC Saturday night.

Pontius opened the scoring for the visitors less than five minutes into the game as he picked up a loose ball in the opposing half and ran to the edge of the area, where he slotted the ball into the lower right corner of the net past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

United doubled their advantage just five minutes later thanks to some nifty combination work from the striking duo of Davies and Josh Wolff. It was Davies who started the move, intercepting an errant pass in midfield and chipping a lovely ball for Wolff behind the Toronto defense. Wolff's shot was parried by Frei, but not held, and Davies was on the spot to roll the ball into the open net.

Things went from bad to worse for Toronto as Ty Harden was sent off in the 49th minute for bringing down Pontius on the edge of the penalty area as the D.C. United man was bearing down on the Toronto net. It was ruled that Harden had denied Pontius a clear goal-scoring opportunity and the Toronto man was shown a straight red card.

Toronto were able to pick themselves up somewhat after being reduced to 10 men and had a couple of chances to reduce their deficit, but Maicon Santos' shot from the edge of the area in the 64th minute went harmlessly wide of Bill Hamid's goal.

Pontius supplied the coup de grace, finishing off a counterattack by taking a pass from Brazilian midfielder Fred, striding into the area, beating substitute defender Dan Gargan, and firing into the corner in the 73rd minute. Get Microsoft Silverlight

 

Toronto FC had one more chance at a consolation goal, but a header from close range by Jacob Peterson was cleared off the line by defenseman Ethan White in the 77th minute.

Davies would up playing the full 90 minutes, but there was one brief moment of concern when he stayed down in the Toronto FC area after attempting a contest shot on net. Though Davies did stay down for quite some time after the initial shot, he was found to be suffering nothing more than a left calf cramp.

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D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC: Toronto Down To Ten Men As D.C. United Leads 3-0

Things have gone from bad to worse for Toronto FC as Ty Harden has been sent off in the 49th minute after bringing down Chris Pontius with the latter bearing down on the Toronto FC goal. It was ruled that Harden denied Pontius a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and it earned Harden a straight red card.

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It didn't take long for D.C. United to get going in its match against Toronto FC. The Black and Red look well on their way to getting their first win in a month, all thanks to Chris Pontius and Charlie Davies.

D.C. United took an early lead at Toronto FC as Pontius scored his first goal of the 2011 MLS Season past Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the fifth minute. It was a good goal for the native of West Covina, California, as he picked up a loose ball in Toronto's half of the field and skipped past a defender to bury his shot into the lower corner of Frei's net.

About five minutes later, it was Davies, making his first start for D.C. United, who doubled the Black-and-Red's advantage, as he intercepted a pass in Toronto's half before chipping the ball ahead to Josh Wolff. Wolff's initial shot was saved by Frei, but the rebound fell to Davies, who made no mistake.

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Charlie Davies Starts For D.C. United; Perry Kitchen On Bench

Charlie Davies does indeed earn his first start for United tonight. With Santino Quaranta suspended and Andy Najar out with the flu, Fred comes into the Black-and-Red midfield for his first start of the season. Perry Kitchen is on the bench as he continues his recovery from the flu. Maicon Santos does indeed get the start up top for Toronto alongside Alen Stevanovic and Javier Martina. Julian de Guzman is in midfield, while young Ty Harden goes into Toronto's back line.

The full D.C. United starting lineup is as follows: Bill Hamid (GK), Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Ethan White, Marc Burch, Fred, Clyde Simms, Dax McCarty (C), Chris Pontius, Josh Wolff, Charlie Davies.

Available D.C. United substitutes: Pat Onstad (GK), Perry Kitchen, Daniel Woolard; Branko Boskovic, Brandon Barklage, Joseph Ngwenya, Blake Brettschneider.

Toronto FC starting lineup: Stefan Frei (GK), Danleigh Borman, Ty Harden, Adrian Cann, Jacob Peterson, Tony Tchani, Julian de Guzman, Oscar Cordon, Alen Stevanovic, Maicon Santos (C), Javier Martina.

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D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC: (Preview)

Three days shy of the one-month anniversary of their season-opening win over the Columbus Crew, D.C. United heads north of the border as they look for their second win of the season against Toronto FC.

D.C. United (1-2-1) at Toronto FC (1-1-3)

Time: 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 16

Place: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV: Fox Soccer Channel

Team News and Tactics

D.C. United: The Black-and-Red will have to make one enforced change to the starting lineup, as Santino Quaranta will have to sit this match out after getting himself sent off in last weekend's 1-1 draw against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The most obvious candidate to replace Quaranta would be Andy Najar, who, like Quaranta, plays primarily on the right. But don't be surprised if Ben Olsen keeps the youngster on the bench in favor of either Fred or Branko Boskovic. Perry Kitchen is a game-time decision as he continues to recover from the stomach bug that forced him to miss last week's match.

There has been some thought that Charlie Davies would make his first start for the Black-and-Red tonight (he is, after all, the leading goal scorer in MLS with four goals in three appearances, all off the bench). If Davies does start tonight in the 4-4-2 formation that Ben Olsen went with last weekend against the Galaxy, it seems most likely he will take the place of Blake Brettschneider, whom Davies replaced after 53 minutes Saturday night. Steve Cronin (wrist), Junior Carreiro (ankle), Devon Mctavish (concussion), and Jed Zayner (hamstring) are the only United players unavailable for duty.

Toronto FC: Maicon Santos is set to return to action for Toronto FC after missing Wednesday's goalless draw against the Galaxy due to illness. Julian De Guzman is a 50-50 proposition to play as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery, as is Alan Gordon (adductor strain). Santos is likely to start up top tonight for Toronto FC, which would push Alen Stevanovic back to the left side after leading the line against the Galaxy Wednesday. Keep an eye as well on Gianluca Zavarise, who played well on the left wing for TFC Wednesday night. Look for the home team to play a kind of 4-1-2-3 with Santos, Stevanovic, and Javier Martina getting forward.

Key to the Game

Quickness and Fluidity: After last Saturday's 1-1 draw against Los Angeles, there was a lot of talk in the D.C. United locker room about improving the fludity of D.C. United's attack. The presence of an experienced striker like Davies in the starting lineup should help matters, but whether or not the midfield can link up with Davies and (likely) Josh Wolff is a much bigger question. I think a bigger presence for Najar would help immensely in this regard, as well.

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