The team's rocky season continued to spiral downward after it was outclassed by a Dynamo side playing their second game in four days.
In front of an announced crowd of 10,116 that was more likely under 5,000, United capitulated 4-0 to the visiting Houston Dynamo, who were playing their second game in four days.
With the loss, United -- playing its first game since April 27 -- fell for the sixth straight match and sunk even further at the bottom of the league. After going unbeaten in 19 straight home games dating back to the beginning of last season, United has now lost four in a row at RFK Stadium.
“We have to make some changes," head coach Ben Olsen said after the game.
United fell behind 2-0 in the game's opening minutes thanks to some grade school defending. Several players spoke about Olsen -- perhaps in honor of the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson -- coming in at halftime and giving his team the classic hair dryer treatment.
"I still don’t get how it takes a coach to throw things and yell at you to now play with aggression and with the right spirit," Olsen said. "It's mind boggling to me. I don’t get it. If that’s what it takes, to get you to play desperate and with high concentration, some guys are in trouble."
The problems are well and truly all over the field. Bill Hamid made another in a series of mistakes to gift Houston its second goal. Dejan Jakovic was calamitous at center back, a week after Brandon McDonald had perhaps the worst half a defender can possibly have in a 3-0 loss at Columbus.
Injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued United further up the field. Dwayne De Rosario and Chris Pontius have combined for zero goals and one assist on the season. Offseason signings like Rafael, Marcos Sanchez, Kyle Porter and Carlos Ruiz have contributed little, which hasn't helped replace the outgoing Andy Najar and Branko Boskovic.
The result: A league-worst 1-7-1 record, with a league-worst four goals scored and (you guessed it) a league-worst 17 goals conceded.
And Olsen, seen as a rising young coaching talent before the season, is all of a sudden on thin ice.
"Is my job on the line? It better be," he said. "I’m the leader of this team, but I have faith in what I’m doing and I’ll continue to go about my work.”
It won't get any easier for United when it travels to conference-leading FC Dallas on Saturday. After Wednesday night's showing, there may be only one consolation: The only way to go is up.