When referee Abbey Okulaja blew the final whistle on Saturday night's 2-2 draw between D.C. United and the Philadelphia Union, the Black-and-Red added to a ghastly statistic. Since a 2-1 midweek win over the Seattle Sounders back on May 4, United has played five MLS games on East Capitol Street. They have drawn four of those games and lost one, only taking four of a possible 15 points. As a result, instead of challenging for the top of the Eastern Conference with as many as 30 points to their credit, United sit in 5th place, having taken just 19 points from 16 games.
None of that seemed to faze D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen very much, however. In contrast to his disconsolate demeanor after last weekend's home draw against Houston, Olsen was much more pleased with the performance of his side Saturday night and was even moved to issue a proclamation of sorts.
"If [Philadelphia's] the number one team in the East," Olsen said, "then we've got a chance in the East."
"It's obviously disappointing," Olsen said of the draw, which came about as a result of Carlos' Ruiz's 84th minute goal, "and it hurts a little bit more because it was the second one [in a row]. But, putting that aside, we brought two new guys [Dwayne De Rosario and Brandon McDonald] into the team this week, and I thought it was a pretty good game, overall. It was a little too open, but that's what they do well. They counterattack well."
Olsen was full of praise for both De Rosario and McDonald, who both went the full 90 minutes. De Rosario even got on the score sheet in his D.C. United debut, assisting on United's first goal by Josh Wolff.
"[De Rosario] had a very good night," Olsen said. "He worked his tail off. It's been a long week for him, not just with the travel, but emotionally. McDonald was very good, too. I thought he was steady.
"I'm pleased with the performance," Olsen concluded. "I'm not pleased with the result."