WASHINGTON, D.C. - MARCH 19: Charlie Davies #9 of D.C. United celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew at RFK Stadium on March 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

D.C. United Beats Columbus Crew 3-1 As Charlie Davies Scores 2 Goals In 2011 Season Opener

Entering the match in the 51st minute, Charlie Davies scored two goals in his D.C. United debut. Josh Wolff scored as well to give United a 3-1 win.

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Columbus Vs. D.C. United: Ben Olsen Calls Josh Wolff 'Player Of The Game'

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Following D.C. United's 3-1 win to start the 2011 season, Coach Ben Olsen credited forward Josh Wolff, the scorer of the first goal, as his Man of the Match. Olsen also address the 33-year-old's celebration, in which he removed his shirt and jumped into the stands.

Wolffy was the player of the game. Fantastic. The way he held the ball up, he was composed. I haven't seen him play that way in a while ... He looks good for a man his age. He was entitled.

Olsen also discussed the role that Pat Onstad had in leading the team to victory..

He's a calming influence back there. He's like having a coach on the field. Actually he is.

Onstad, a long-time MLS veteran, began the season as an assistant coach under Olsen, but returned to the playing field after injuries to Steve Cronin and Bill Hamid rendered United without a proven starting goalkeeper. Onstad looks to retain to the starting job until Hamid is ready to play.

United's third overall draft pick Perry Kitchen, who happens to be 25 years younger than Onstad, also mentioned in the locker room after the game that the goalkeeper helped keep the defenders in line by "directing traffic."


Columbus Crew Vs. D.C. United: Charlie Davies Scores 2 Goals As United Wins 3-1

The 51st minute of the 2011 MLS season was a magical one for D.C. United. The team scored its first goal of the year, and as the players were celebrating, Charlie Davies' name was announced and he emerged onto the field to make his United debut.

The goal was scored by veteran forward Josh Wolff, his first in a United shirt since joining the team this offseason. Wolff was played through up the rigth wing by Jed Zayner and slotted the ball low inside Will Hesmer's post. The forward then celebrated the goal as anyone would - by removing his shirt and jumping into the Barra Brava section of RFK Stadium.

With Davies on the field, United kept the pressure on and may have been robbed of a penalty kick opportunity moments later as Dax McCarty was taken down from behind by a Crew defender in the box. Referee Mark Geiger made up for the non-call though in the 63rd minute, pointing to the spot as Chris Pontius collided with Sebastian Miranda in the box. United nominated Davies to take the penalty, and RFK Stadium erupted as he finished it cleanly.

Davies wasn't done though. He earned his second goal of the night in the 77th minute as a lofted ball from Marc Burch over the top of the Columbus Crew's defense found Davies all alone after central defender Chad Marshall slipped.

The Crew added a late goal on a penalty kick as Robbie Rogers kicked the ball into the arm of Dejan Jakovic and took the penalty kick himself, but the damage was already done. United prevailed by a score of 3-1 to jump temporarily to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.


Columbus Vs. D.C. United Scoreless At Halftime As RFK Stadium Awaits Charle Davies' Debut

In a way, the first half on D.C. United's season opener reminded us of 2010. The team held possession for much of the half, shut down their opponent's attacks succinctly, generated chances, but were unable to finish.

Newcomer and recently named team captain Dax McCarty had the best chance of the match early in the first half, but his open shot from the top of the box went just wide of Will Hesmer's goal after Josh Wolff had beaten Rich Balchan on the right wing and sent a cross inside. Forward Joseph Ngwenya also had multiple chances for United, but sent two shots clear over the crossbar. Coach Ben Olsen may choose to insert Charlie Davies in the second half.

United's aggression in defending seems to be the biggest change when comparing this team to what we saw in 2010. D.C.'s central midfield combination of McCarty and Clyde Simms did a good job of ensuring that the Columbus Crew would finish the first half without more than a few very minor chances. The score remains 0-0 after 45 minutes.


D.C. United Vs. Columbus Crew: United Kicks Off 2011 Season At RFK Stadium

After having the worst season in club history in 2010, D.C. United will try to kick off the 2011 MLS season on the right foot against the visiting Columbus Crew.

United finished the 2010 season with a record of 6-20-4, collecting only 10 of a possible 30 points at home. But RFK Stadium is sure to be rocking tonight as fans pack the aging stands for their first chance to see forward Charlie Davies in his first professional soccer match since recovering from injuries suffered in a car accident in October 2010.

Davies will begin tonight's match on the bench, but seems sure to enter in the second half.

United's opponent tonight is just one year removed from being just a point away from winning the Eastern Conference, but the Crew have undergone a rebuilding process of their own that has seen the departure of club icons Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Frankie Hejduk.

The game kicks off at 7:30 PM and will be broadcast locally on Comcast SportsNet. Fans should be sure to head over to SB Nation's D.C. United blog Black And Red United to discuss in the GameThread.

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