D.C. United submitted an improved second-half effort, but couldn't find the net as they fell 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City and saw their hopes of securing one of the top three spots in the Eastern Conference take a moderate hit.
Dwayne De Rosario came on in place of Blake Brettschneider at halftime as Ben Olsen's first substitute of the evening. Not surprisingly, United's quality improved greatly in the second half, and the Canadian international actually had the Black-and-Red's best chance for an equalizer, but his right-footed shot from outside the box sailed high and wide of Jimmy Nielsen's goal in the 52nd minute.
As the half wore on, D.C. United's early energy wore off, and the late substitutions of Marc Buch (for Josh Wolff) and Joseph Ngwenya (for Daniel Woolard) had little effect. By the end of the match, Kansas City was more likely to get a second goal than D.C. United was to equalize. Graham Zusi's 25-yard blast was blocked over the bar by Joe Willis, while Dejan Jakovic was called upon to block a shot off the line 15 minutes from the end.
D.C. United return home to face the Portland Timbers on Saturday. Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m.