CHARLESTON, S.C. - The matchup of the two winners from the first day of the Carolina Challenge Cup was decided in the first half, as rookie Blake Brettschneider fired home the only goal in the 10th minute. For the second straight game, Chicago was forced to finish the game with just 10 players, as Diego Chaves was sent off in the 37th minute.
United featured a side completely changed from the team that played against Charleston. Keeper Pat Onstad was the only starter to keep his place. In defense, United manager Ben Olsen featured Brandon Barklage, Marc Burch, Rodrigo Brasesco, and Ethan White, while Santino Quaranta, Fred, Kurt Morsink, and Stephen King manned the midfield. Paired alongside Brettschneider was Charlie Davies.
Just like against Charleston, United got off to a quick start in the match. In the ninth minute, Brettschneider won a free kick near the box on the left side for the Black and Red. Quaranta, the captain for the night, took the free kick, and Brettschneider was the first to the cross, as he headed it home to hand United the advantage.
"He was man of the match for me," Olsen said of Brettschneider after the match. "He's a handful, and he has a lot of desire, and from the day he got here, he has literally played himself onto the team."
It was Brettschneider's fourth goal of the preseason for United, which is second most on the team. Those goals have also come in just over 90 minutes of play, meaning the 21-year-old is averaging one goal every 30 minutes.
On the other hand, Chicago played a team that featured only one change from the side that beat Toronto FC on Saturday. Jon Conway took the place of Sean Johnson in goal, while Jalil Anibaba, Cory Bigs, and Josip Mikulic were the three defenders in Carlos de los Cobos' 3-5-2 formation. In the midfield, Cobos stuck with Baggio Husidic, Logan Pause, Davis Paul, Marco Pappa, and Bratislav Risitc, with Uruguayans Diego Chaves and Gaston Puerari playing up top together.
But for the second straight game, Chicago had a player sent off in the first half. Against Toronto, it was Pause who got the early shower. Against D.C. United, Chaves picked up the straight red for a tackle from behind on Fred that caused a scuffle between the teams.
"It was a difficult match overall, because we lost a player after 35 minutes," De los Cobos told Goal.com after the match. "But the important thing is that the players played with order, and we were a solid team defensively."
The sending off made the game easier for United to control for the final 53 minutes. The Black and Red were in charge of the ball before the red card, but Chaves' dismissal opened up even more space for United to move the ball around.
"Normally, D.C. has control of the game," De los Cobos said. "With one more player it's difficult to balance the match."
By the end of the match, three of United's four midfielders in the game were teenagers, with Perry Kitchen, Conor Shanosky, and Andy Najar were playing alongside each. Combined, the three players total just 56 years of age. Olsen admitted after the match however, that he never even realized he was using all his youngsters, which he said was a good thing.
"We put them in there because they have the ability," Olsen told Goal.com. "I don't think of age, and that's a very good thing I assume when you have three teenagers out there."
United will look to finish up their Carolina Cup Challenge with a third win on Saturday as they play Toronto FC, followed by Chicago playing hosts Charleston Battery.
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