D.C. United At San Jose Earthquakes: Dwayne De Rosario Leads D.C. United To Crucial 2-0 Win

Dwayne De Rosario scores two goals in ten minutes as United leap back into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

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D.C. United At San Jose Earthquakes: De Rosario's Double Leads United To Road Victory

Dwayne De Rosario scored two goals in ten second-half minutes against his former team as 10-man D.C. United vaulted back into the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 2-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium in Santa Clara.

De Rosario's first goal came in the 57th minute when Andy Najar's long ball from his own half dropped at the feet of the Canadian international. De Rosario collected the ball, leaving a stumbling Nana Attakora in his wake, and raced to the edge of the area before curling a right-footed shot past Jon Busch and into the top corner of the net. It was the least the visitors deserved, since they had been the more aggressive side in the second half. De Rosario had two shots from distance turned aside by Busch early in the second 45 minutes, while Chris Pontius' curling 55th minute try from a sharp angle on the left side of the box just whizzed past the left post.

De Rosario added his second in the 67th minute after playing a give-and-go with Pontius on the left wing. Pontius slid a diagonal ball into the center of the penalty area, where De Rosario was waiting to deposit the ball into the same corner that he had put his first goal.

United managed to kill the game off, but not without some trouble and controversy, as Andy Najar was correctly sent off in the 70th minute after a clumsy tackle from behind on Joey Gjertsen, who was running onto a long ball from Sam Cronin. Najar incurred an automatic one-game suspension as a result of the expulsion, meaning he will miss next weekend's home match against Toronto FC.

Despite being down a man for the final 20 minutes, United managed to preserve the clean sheet, though they needed an excellent save by Bill Hamid to deny Chris Wondolowski 10 minutes from the end.

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D.C. United At San Jose Earthquakes: No Score At Halftime Despite United Chances

Despite having three quality scoring chances in the first half, D.C. United have been unable to manage a goal so far as they go to halftime locked in a goalless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes in Santa Clara.

United's first chance to score came in the 18th minute as Chris Pontius created a bit of space for a shot from the left side of the penalty area, but the ball slid wide of Jon Busch's left post. Thirteen minutes later, a long ball from the right wing by Andy Najar picked out Blake Brettschneider in the penalty area, but the rookie couldn't immediately control the ball and had to contort himself into an awkward position to get a shot away. The rookie didn't get enough direction or power in his shot attempt and could only screw it wide of the net. A minute later, Dwayne De Rosario broke into the penalty area with Brettschneider to his left. The Canadian international opted to try his own luck, but only managed to miss the net wide.

Bill Hamid had a relatively quiet first half, only having to make one save on a soft, straightforward header by Alan Gordon in the 40th minute of play.

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D.C. United At San Jose Earthquakes: Jakovic Returns, Davies On Bench, Wolff Out

Dejan Jakovic returns to the D.C. United starting lineup for the first time since May 29 as United prepare to face the San Jose Earthquakes later tonight. Jakovic played the full 90 minutes in the 3-2 road win over the Portland Timbers, but suffered an injured hamstring while playing for the Canadian national team in a pre-Gold Cup friendly three days later. Jakovic will form one-half of the center-back partnership with former Earthquake Brandon McDonald.

Charlie Davies (left knee inflammation) will start tonight on the bench, while normal strike partner Josh Wolff (left hamstring) is not in the eligible 18 tonight. Nor, for that matter, is Joseph Ngwenya, who took a blow on the head in training earlier this week. As a result, Stephen King is brought into the midfield alongside Clyde Simms while Dwayne De Rosario will move into a forward attacking role alongside Blake Brettschneider, who's recently recovered from a concussion.

Full D.C. United Starting Lineup: Bill Hamid (GK), Perry Kitchen, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, Daniel Woolard, Andy Najar, Stephen King, Clyde Simms, Chris Pontius, Dwayne De Rosario, Blake Brettschneider.

Available D.C. United Substitutes: Steve Cronin (GK), Marc Burch, Ethan White, Chris Korb, Brandon Barklage, Austin da Luz, Charlie Davies.

San Jose Earthquakes Starting Lineup: Jon Busch (GK), Tim Ward, Nana Attakora, Ramiro Corrales, Bobby Convey, Chris Wondolowski, Sam Cronin, Khari Stephenson, Jacob Peterson, Scott Sealy, Alan Gordon.

Available San Jose Earthquakes Substitutes: David Bingham (GK), Anthony Ampaipitakwong, Joey Gjertsen, Chris Leitch, Matt Luzunaris, Justin Morrow, Ellis McLoughlin.

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D.C. United At San Jose Earthquakes: United Try To Start New Streak

Ten days after having their five-game unbeaten streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to New England and seven days after taking heavy criticism from head coach Ben Olsen following a 3-1 friendly defeat to Everton, D.C. United strike out for the West Coast to face the struggling San Jose Earthquakes, who haven't won since defeating United 4-2 at RFK on June 11 with the help of a Steven Lenhart hat trick.

D.C. United (5-6-8) at San Jose Earthquakes (5-7-9)

When: 10:30 p.m., Saturday July 30

Where: Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, California

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Team News and Tactics

D.C. United: Brandon McDonald is likely to start at center-back as he faces his former club for the first time since the trade that brought him to D.C. on June 27. Charlie Davies (left knee inflammation) and Josh Wolff (left hamstring strain) are questionable, though both did travel with the team. Blake Brettschneider and Brandon Barklage should both make the bench after recovering from concussions suffered earlier this month. If one of Wolff or Davies can't go, Joseph Ngwenya should get the start up front. If both can't go, it would not be surprising if Olsen brings on an extra midfielder (probably Stephen King) and has Dwayne De Rosario push up behind Ngwenya as an attacking midfielder. 

San Jose Earthquakes: Two enforced changes for Frank Yallop, as Bobby Burling (red card against Real Salt Lake last week) and Brad Ring (yellow card accumulation) will miss out tonight. The thinking here is that Chris Leitch and Ramiro Corrales will be brought in to shore up the defense, while Bobby Convey is moved from left-back to left midfield and Rafael Baca drops to the bench. Lenhart, the hat-trick hero of the last meeting between these two, might miss tonight's match due to personal issues. If he does, look for Scott Sealy to take his place alongside Chris Wondolowski.

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