DCU, Rapids aim to get back on winning track
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams hoping to get back on the winning track will clash on Sunday as the Colorado Rapids travel to RFK Stadium to battle D.C. United.
In a rematch of last season's U.S. Open Cup final between United and Real Salt Lake, United was buried by Jeff Cassar's club, 3-0, last Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
RSL grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck early as Joao Plata opened the scoring with his 10th goal of the season after just 11 minutes of play.
Two minutes later, RSL doubled the lead when Javier Morales fired through the legs of a United defender and RSL defender Chris Schuler blasted home a redirection for his first goal in league play in 52 games.
But Schuler wasn't quite finished as he headed home a corner kick from Morales in the 24th minute to put the result away for RSL.
"It was an extremely poor first half, obviously. We were just off the pace. They came in hungrier than we did; they came in with more energy, more commitment and we're not a good enough team to not have a chip on our shoulder when we play," D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen said. "I think we hopefully learned that lesson tonight."
Colorado, meanwhile, is also attempting to find that winning formula after a 3-1 loss to FC Dallas last week doomed the club to its third consecutive defeat, and the club is clinging to the final playoff spot in the West with 30 points from 23 matches played.
The Rapids were behind the eight-ball right from the outset as FC Dallas opened a two-goal cushion after just 11 minutes at Toyota Stadium.
Dallas was in front by the ninth minute when Walker Zimmerman's header was parried directly into the path of Matt Hedges, who was unmarked inside the six-yard box to complete the simple finish.
Two minutes later, Dallas earned a penalty when Marvell Wynne committed a needless sliding challenge on Tesho Akindele. Michel stepped up to hammer home the ensuing attempt from the spot.
Dallas was in cruise control for the remainder of the match but managed to tack on an insurance goal 10 minutes into the second half when Fabian Castillo smacked a failed clearance into the back of the net from the right flank.
Gabriel Torres pulled back a consolation goal four minutes from time, but it was not enough to soften the blow.
"We didn't do a good job of clearing the ball in certain situations that at first seemed harmless, and in the end, end up costing us a goal," said Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni. "Overall, the guys played really well. They controlled pretty much the whole game. We lost in the one metric that is most important, and that's the score."
08/15 18:32:04 ET