D.C. United Vs. Seattle: United Snaps Losing Skid With 2-1 Win

Goals from Josh Wolff and Charlie Davies give D.C. United their third win of the MLS season and snap a three-game losing streak in all competitions.

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D.C. United Player Grades Vs. Seattle Sounders: Andy Najar Shines In Return To Lineup

Sam Chamberlain grades D.C. United's performance after their 2-1 win over Seattle Wednesday night.

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D.C. United Vs. Seattle: United Hang On For 2-1 Victory

Charlie Davies scored his MLS-leading sixth goal of the season in the 52nd minute, and D.C. United survived a late penalty by Brad Evans to hold off the Seattle Sounders 2-1 Wednesday night at RFK Stadium.

Leading 1-0 after Josh Wolff's first-half goal, United appeared to have put the game to bed in the 52nd minute as Andy Najar passed out to Josh Wolff on the home side's right wing. In a mirror image of his opener, Wolff sent a low square ball across the six-yard box for Davies, who arrived at Kasey Keller's right post and made no mistake to put United up two goals.

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However, Seattle continued to press, sensing that United's new-look back four could be had, and they were rewarded for their perseverance in the 70th minute when Dejan Jakovic left his feet and clattered into Fredy Montero from behind, sending the Colombian tumbling in the box. Referee Hilario Grajeda awarded a penalty which was duly converted to Bill Hamid's right by Evans to cut Seattle's deficit to 2-1.

Evans's penalty denied Hamid a second clean sheet of the season, but the 20-year goalkeeper recovered remarkably well, as he made a diving save in the 73rd minute to deny Alvaro Fernandez's header its rightful place in the top right corner of the net. Three minutes later, Hamid got his fingertips to a scorching drive by Montero and redirected the ball over the top of the goal. 

At that point, D.C. United looked to be hanging on for dear life, but in reality, Seattle's last, best chance of getting something from the match had gone as United skillfully strangled the life out of the final 15 minutes with solid midfield possession.

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D.C. United Vs. Seattle: Josh Wolff Puts United Up 1-0 At Halftime

Josh Wolff's 32nd minute goal has D.C. United on track to snap their two-game losing streak in MLS as the Black-and-Red lead Seattle Sounders FC 1-0 at halftime here at RFK.

The goal was made as the result of a good low square ball from the right wing by Charlie Davies to Wolff, who slammed the ball home at  Kasey Keller's right post to score his second goal for D.C. United and his first since the season-opening 3-1 win over Columbus March 19. Davies's cross, however, would not have been possible without a wonderful through ball from just inside the halfway line by Andy Najar, who is making his first start since United's 2-1 loss to New England on March 26.

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Seattle will feel slightly aggrieved to be behind at halftime, having had the better scoring chances in the first 45 minutes. Moments after the opening kick-off, Fredy Montero practically stole the ball off the foot of center-back Ethan White and appeared to be through on goal, but his chipped shot merely settled into the greatful arms of Bill Hamid. The Sounders also had the ball in the net in the 24th minute, but referee Hilario Grajeda correctly ruled that Patrick Ianni had used his arm to knock the ball down in the box. That small controversy had been almost immediately preceded by an excellent sprawling save from Hamid to deny a header by Alvaro Fernandez.

United nearly went ahead immediately after being granted a respite by Grajeda, as Davies intercepted a loose pass in the Seattle half and found Najar, who was able to work himself free for a shot in the Seattle area after dribbling for what seemed like ages. Najar's shot beat the 41-year-old Keller, but not his left post, and the game remained scoreless for another few minutes until Wolff's marker.

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D.C. United Vs. Seattle: Andy Najar Starts, Perry Kitchen At Right-Back

Ben Olsen has given his back line a significant rejigger ahead of tonight's match. Ethan White partners Dejan Jakovic at center-back, while Perry Kitchen shifts to right back and Daniel Woolard starts just his second match of the season at left-back as Marc Burch, suffering from a strained hamstring, doesn't even make the bench. Less surprisingly, Andy Najar comes in on the right side of midfield and Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff partner each other up front for the 4th straight match.

Full D.C. United Starting Line-Up: Bill Hamid (GK), Perry Kitchen, Ethan White, Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Clyde Simms, Dax McCarty (Captain), Chris Pontius, Josh Wolff, Charlie Davies.

Available D.C. United Substitutes: Steve Cronin (GK), Blake Brettschneider, Joseph Ngwenya, Fred, Santino Quaranta, Stephen King, Chris Korb,

Seattle Sounders FC Starting Line-Up:  Kasey Keller (GK, Captain), James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Fredy Montero, Alvaro Fernandez, Nate Jaqua

Available Seattle Sounders FC Substitutes: Terry Boss (GK), Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, Servando Carrasco, Mauro Rosales, Mike Fucito, Roger Levesque.

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D.C. United Vs. Seattle: United Looks To Stop Losing Skid Against Sounders

After losing their last two league matches by a combined score of 8-1, D.C. United will look to regain some traction in the Eastern Conference standings as they host the Seattle Sounders, unbeaten in their last five matches.

D.C. United (2-4-1) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (3-2-3)

Time: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 4

Place: RFK Stadium, Washington D.C.

TV: None locally, unless you have MLS Direct Kick

Team News and Tactics

D.C. United: The Black-and-Red's midfield depth will be tested tonight without the services of Branko Boskovic, who will apparently opt for surgery on his damaged left knee after seeking out second and third medical opinions. It will be interesting to see how Ben Olsen chooses to arrange his midfield tonight. After two consecutive largely anonymous league starts on the right for Fred, it seems likely that Olsen will make a change to his starting 11, whether by bringing Santino Quaranta off the bench or renewing trust in Andy Najar, who came on as a halftime substitution Friday night against Houston. On defense, Jed Zayner is out tonight after being subbed off on the hour mark Friday when he apparently re-aggravated the hamstring injury that had kept him out for five previous weeks. Look for Chris Korb to slide back in to the line-up to replace him.

Seattle Sounders FC: Don't expect Sigi Schmid to make many changes to a side that beat Toronto FC 3-0 over the weekend. The only changes might come in midfield, with Schmid calling attacking midfielder Mauro Rosales (who did not play against Toronto FC) a gametime decision. Look for Seattle to play a 4-1-3-2 formation with Fredy Montero and Nate Jaqua leading the line and Osvaldo Alonso in the defensive midfielder role.

Key to the Game

Use the Wings Wisely: Seattle's narrow formation should mean that Chris Pontius and Andy Najar (if he starts), as well as Chris Korb and Marc Burch, should be able to find some free space down the wings and get balls into the box for Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff. However, that would require United's central midfield and defense to rediscover their vision and quickness on the ball, which has been sorely lacking in the past two games. We'll see what happens tonight.

Bonus Miscellaneous Stat

The Sounders have won all three matches they've played against D.C. United at RFK Stadium, including the 2009 U.S. Open Cup Final.

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