Chris Pontius' goal in first-half stoppage time has D.C. United up 1-0 on the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps as the Black-and-Red seek their first win at RFK since May 4.
Pontius' goal was made almost entirely by Dwayne De Rosario, who twisted and turned away from three Vancouver defenders before flicking a perfect cross across the edge of the six-yard area. The ball eluded the dive of Whitecaps keeper Jay Nolly and presented itself perfectly for a sliding Pontius to redirect into the net.
The home side had the most possession and the most chances early in the first half, and very nearly went ahead ten minutes in when Dwayne De Rosario, playing as a second forward alongside Charlie Davies, redirected a Chris Pontius ball just wide of the net. Four minutes later, after a cheap giveaway by Vancouver, Santino Quaranta -- making consecutive starts for the first time since April 9 -- raced forward and stung a shot that swerved just wide from about 35 yards out.
As the half wore on, however, United's attack began to run out of ideas, with Charlie Davies --in the starting lineup for the first time since July 20--particularly profligate with the ball up front. In fact, it was only through the intervention of rookie goalkeeper Joe Willis that United avoided falling behind prior to halftime.
In the 40th minute, Whitecaps striker Camilo Sanvezzo won a soft free kick about 20 yards from D.C. United's net. Willis dove as far as he could to his right and was able to deflect Camilo's shot upward and off the underside of the crossbar. In the madness that followed, Jordan Harvey had a chance blocked by Daniel Woolard, and both Jonathan Leathers and Gershon Koffie had chances at the loose rebound, but neither defender could get the ball over the kneeling Willis, who was eventually able to grab the bouncing ball and hold on.