With a chance to jump into sixth place in the MLS playoff standings, D.C. United lost their second game at home this season, dropping a 2-1 result to San Jose Sunday afternoon at RFK StadiumWashington, D.C. --The stage was set for United to gain a valuable three points at home to strengthen their position for the playoffs after a strong first half. But United failed to hold on to that lead, and conceded twice in the second half to fall to San Jose.
For San Jose, it was their first win on the road in their last 21 road games. Their 20 game road winless streak was the second longest ever in the league, only trailing the New York Red Bulls' current streak of 25 matches.
"It's kind of been coming for a while though, we've been playing pretty well away from home most of the season," stated 'Quakes coach Frank Yallop after the match. "We rode our luck a bit in this game, but that happens away from home."
After being dominated in the first half by United, Yallop pinpointed the substitution of Arturo Alvarez as one of the main reasons why San Jose played much better in the second half, whic eventually resulted in a win.
"He is a very slippery player, he's fast, he's quick," said Yallop after the game in reference to Alvarez. "He gave us a little more balance, and I think it gave us a better shape."
On the other side of the coin, United coach Tom Soehn was disappointed by the intensity and effort showed by his players in the second half of the match. In what was seemingly a must win game for United, their effort did not mirror the sentiment, which lead to the eventual defeat.
"I thought our energy was terrible in the second half," stated Soehn in a press conference following the game. "And they came out with a little bit of bite, and we did not adjust to it. We just stayed in a lull, and it wasn't until they scored that we realized that we had to get back into the game."
United were hit with a major injury early in the second half, as 'keeper Josh Wicks was forced off after dislocating his left shoulder on a corner kick. D.C. was forced to bring backup Milos Kocic on, for what was just his third appearance in the league all season. Kocic may now be called upon to start more games in the league, until Wicks is back healthy.
After the match, the United fans voiced their displeasure at the team's result and performance, which was noticed by some of the players in the locker room following the match.
"Things like this happen, it is a sport," stated Kocic after the match. "All of us have to be focused, and we really need the fans' support right now."
Up next for United is San Juan Jabloteh at home in the Champions League on Wednesday night. On Saturday, they host Chivas USA in what is an absolute must win game if they plan on making the playoffs.
Steven Streff, Goal.com
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