Steven Lenhart, filling in for the absent Chris Wondolowski, has scored his second and third goals of the 2011 MLS season, but his efforts have been neutralized by goals from Andy Najar and Blake Bettschneider as the San Jose Earthquakes and D.C. United enter halftime tied at 2-2 at RFK Stadium.
The home side seized the early lead in the 13th minute after a period of early pressure. After a period of possession outside San Jose's penalty area, Josh Wolff found Najar with a beautiful diagonal ball that caught the Honduran in stride as he streaked to Jon Busch's left post. The 18-year-old made no mistake with a first-time, side-footed finish to give United a 1-0 lead.
But San Jose equalized in the 15th minute after D.C. United's back four was caught playing much too square in the lull after the opening goal, and a simple through ball from Khari Stephenson found Lenhart streaking past Perry Kitchen, who had unwittingly played the forward onside. Lenhart finished his one-on-one chance past Bill Hamid to make the score 1-1, then put the Earthquakes ahead seven minutes later. This goal was also set up by Stephenson, who forced Hamid into an awkward-looking leg save of a stinging shot from outside the area. The ball bounced out toward Lenhart, who beat Chris Korb and Ethan White to the spot and fired into the open net to put San Jose in front.
There was one more twist in the first half, however, and it came from Brettschneider, who took advantage of some slack defending by Bobby Burling and a slow reaction by Busch to turn on the edge of the penalty area and fire a rolling shot that snuck just inside the keeper's left-hand post.
Chris Pontius could have given United a 3-2 lead before halftime, but his curling shot from the left side of the box sailed over the bar.