WASHINGTON, July 30, 2013 — Two goals in two games. Luis Silva’s arrival at D.C. United is one of the few bright spots in an otherwise forgettable season.
Silva, who joined United this month from Toronto FC, is bringing a glimmer of hope to the once imposing franchise. In his second game for United, and his first at home, the midfielder fired a low shot in the 8th minute from 25 yards out to beat New England Revolution goalie Bobby Shuttleworth at RFK Stadium on Saturday night. It was another delightful strike from the 24-year-old. For a moment, things looked good for the home-side, as United played with an intensity and spark not seen in recent games. After the break the team fell to its old ways: sloppy passes, lack of concentration and wasted chances, ultimately allowing the fast-paced Revolution to get back in the game and steal a 2-1 win. Once more, United’s players were left shaking their heads after the team’s 15th loss of the season.
Still, the fact that United is finally scoring some goals, even though the team is still losing games, is a good sign. United has notched just ten goals in 21 games and is desperate for anybody to put the ball in the back of the net. Top MLS team Real Salt Lake has 37.
With those two goals, Silva is tied with Dwayne De Rosario and Lionard Pajoy as the club’s leading goal scorer. Such has been United’s paucity at scoring, that Silva’s goals have been welcomed with great cheer from the United faithful.
United looked so inspired in the first 20 minutes of the Revolution game, playing some of its best soccer all season, but when New England scored in the 54th minute after striker Dimitry Imbongo converted Chris Tierney’s cross, it knocked the stuffing out of the home team. That’s what lack of confidence will do.
New England then took the lead on the 63rd minute-mark when Diego Fagundez header in the rebound off the crossbar from a Saer Sene shot. It was a lovely curling shot from Sene. Fagundez, who leads his team in goal scoring, found himself just a yard of the goal line to head in the rebound for his seventh goal of the campaign. United’s new signing Conor Doyle was replaced in the 66th minute by Dwayne De Rosario, but the veteran could do little to help the team.
United did have chances. Both Lionard Pajoy and Sainey Nyassi had good looks at goal but failed to convert. This team is certainly in a quandary and coach Ben Olsen has his work cut out to mold it into a functional unit.
“[Luis] Silva is a real piece, and we are looking to add as many real pieces to the club right now,” said coach Ben Olsen after the game. “I’ve got one eye here presently on the week-to-week MLS…I have another eye on the Open Cup, which is a big deal, and finding out what the best team is that we would have out there. And I have my third eye on the future of this club, and that’s a very important thing right now. I still believe in the future of this club and a bunch of these guys I have in this locker room.”
Silva will get another chance to try and bring some needed smiles to the United fans when the high-flying Montreal Impact arrive in town on Saturday.
Game Note: The most touching moment of the night was witnessing Revolution defender Kevin Alston come on the field as a late sub. Alston, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area, played in his first match since being diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia. His last game for the Revs was in late March.
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times for 20 years. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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