WASHINGTON, D.C. - D.C. United's 2-2 draw against Chivas USA, a team that United beat 3-0 at the Home Depot Center 11 days ago, dropped the Black-and-Red's home record to 3-3-7. United has won just one of their last seven home matches now, and of the six matches that United have drawn or lost, they had the lead in five of them (the only exception being the 1-0 loss to lowly New England on July 20).
At some point, the home draws and losses will catch up to United, and Ben Olsen knows it, judging by the way he described his team's performance in his post-match press conference.
"We played like boys," said the United boss. "Not just in the second half. I thought in the first half, we played soft, we played naive ... I don't know if we should have been up 2-0, but we were.
"Part of it's youth, part of it's complacency," Olsen continued. "Up 2-0 and now we think the game's easy. So now, we think we don't have to tackle, we don't have to win second balls, let's just roll the dice and hope we get lucky. It's absolutely gonna stop. It has to stop, or we will not make the playoffs."
D.C. United's seventh home draw of the season cost the Black-and-Red the chance to vault above the New York Red Bulls in the MLS playoff standings, as Juan Pablo Angel scored two goals in the second half to erase a 2-0 United lead and earn Chivas USA a 2-2 draw in front of 14,849 fans at RFK.
To add to the agony and frustration, Dwayne De Rosario had a penalty kick saved in second-half stoppage time that would have surely won the match for the home side. Angel nearly became the villain for Chivas as referee Chris Penso penalized him for a push in De Rosario's back in the penalty area. The contact appeared minimal, but Dan Kennedy ensured that the penalty was diminished as a talking point by guessing correctly and saving De Rosario's tame penalty to his left.
Leading 1-0 at halftime, United had doubled their lead less than 90 seconds after the restart. Dwayne De Rosario's shot from a left-wing corner was saved by Kennedy, but the rebound fell to defender Ethan White, who scored his first MLS goal with a simple tap-in from about three yards away.
That should have killed the match off, but United's defensive frailties let them down again. Angel's first goal came in the 57th minute, when he outjumped Perry Kitchen to head Nick LaBrocca's right-wing cross past Bill Hamid to cut the visitors' deficit in half. LaBrocca almost brought Chivas level shortly after with a shot from outside the box, but the ball curled just wide.
The home side were not so lucky twenty minutes from time, when Angel outmuscled Brandon McDonald to receive Ante Jazic's left-wing cross. With McDonald helpless on the floor, his fellow center-back, White, couldn't get back in time to block the shot, which Angel slammed past Hamid to tie the match at 2-2.
Chivas kept pressing for a winner and had the better opportunities as the match wound down. Three minutes after his equalizer, Angel tried for a hit trick, but the attempt curled just wide. Then, three minutes before the end of normal time, substitute Laurent Courtois was sent away down United's right wing, but his shot was palmed away by Hamid.
Dwayne De Rosario's 39th minute goal has given D.C. United a 1-0 halftime lead over Chivas USA at RFK Stadium. The goal, De Rosario's 10th of the season and seventh since being traded to United, was one of the simpler ones he'll ever score. It came from an Andy Najar free kick after referee Chris Penso correctly penalized Jorge Flores for a deliberate handball just outside the right edge of the penalty area. Najar sent in the free kick and none of the Chivas defenders could track De Rosario's quick run through the penalty area. The Canadian international planted his header to the right of visiting goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
The goal capped a decent, if uneven half of play for United, who clamped down defensively after giving up two early chances and looked better as the half went on.
Chivas' first chance came in the second minute when Alejandro Moreno tried a tame overhead kick that was easily collected by the returning Bill Hamid. Four minutes later, Hamid was tested more severely and had to get low to his right quickly to save Marcos Mondaini's dipping shot from outside the box.
D.C. United came back quickly and almost went up ten minutes into the match, when De Rosario's deflected free kick fell to Josh Wolff on the right side of the area. The striker's shot from a tight angle was blocked by Kennedy, and the visitors cleared the rebound.
D.C. United's starting lineup for tonight's match against Chivas USA is out, and as expected, it features normal starting goaltender Bill Hamid (hamstring strain) and midfielder Santino Quaranta (slight hamstring strain), both of whom missed Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Seattle Sounders. After putting in 28 incident-free minutes as a substitute on Saturday night, Josh Wolff returns to the starting lineup for the first time since August 21 and will play alongside Charlie Davies.
For Chivas USA, U.S. international Heath Pearce is back in the starting lineup after missing the club's previous two games with a hamstring injury.