Starters: Maarten Paes, Marco Farfan, Nkosi Tafari, Amet Korca (Herbert Endeley 75'), Sebastien Ibeagha, Sam Junqua, Facundo Quignon (Paxton Pomykal 63'), Edwin Cerrillo (Jose Mulato 84'), Jader Obrian, Alan Velasco (Katlego Ntsabeleng 75'), Bernard Kamungo (Sebastian Lletget 64')
Unused Subs: Jimmy Maurer, Collin Smith, Nolan Norris
Starter: Alex Bono, Ruan (Andy Najar 68'), Derrick Williams, Pedro Santos, Steven Birnbaum, Donovan Pines, Russell Canouse, Lewis O'Brien (Chris Durkin 78'), Yamil Asad (Mateusz Klich 68'), Kristian Fletcher (Nigel Robertha 68'), Taxi Fountas (Cristian Dájome 78')
Unused Subs: Tyler Miller, Brendan Hines-Ike, Erik Hurtado, Gaoussou Samaké
First Half: Wayne Rooney decided to make wholesale changes to the United lineup, so one could be forgiven if there wasn’t a lot of optimism for fans of the Black & Red. Alex Bono got his first MLS start with DC United, while Russell Canouse and Steven Birnbaum returned to the starting lineup. Yamil Asad and Kristen Fletcher also got the rare start.
The game started out pretty rough for both teams. In the first half both teams struggled to maintain the ball as the turf looked to be a bit rough. Players on both teams seemed to have issues not knowing how the ball would travel on it.
There weren't a lot of opportunities in the final third for either team as the play was stuck in the midfield. Between the pitch and the Black & Red’s defense, Dallas struggled to build any sustained attack against United’s defense, despite it being a makeshift lineup thrown together because of the quick turnaround. There was one really dangerous opportunity for Dallas, when their speedy striker ran onto a long ball passed over the top of the defense. He was denied by Alex Bono who was making his first MLS start with DC. That was one of only four shots made in the first half, one by DC and three by Dallas.
After 45 minutes the teams were tied at 0-0.
FC Dallas’s striker Bernard Kamungo had to leave with a possible head injury after a collision with Center Back Derrick Williams.
The game seemed destined to end in a draw when Rooney decided to give his team a boost, and made a triple substitution. It had the desired effect as Mateusz Klich and Andy Najar helped United get more control of the ball while Nigel Robertha gave the team a larger presence up front and a better target for long ball passes.
Forward Taxi Fountas scored his fifth goal of the season in the 73rd minute; after he received a pass from Mateusz Klich who picked up his eighth assist on the season with Fountas' goal. His initial shot was blocked and upon rewatch the ball appeared to hit the arm of Center Back Sebastien Ibeagha as he slid to the ground. But before anything could be called, Taxi played the rebound, who curled in a gorgeous, right-footed finish that bent around the dive of Dallas goalkeeper Maarten Paes and off the inside of the far-right post.
DC was holding on near the end, Jader Obrian barely missed the goal, firing a shot narrowly high from roughly fifteen yards out in the final minute of regulation after a dangerous Dallas attack down the right where Obrian shook off all DC defenders. Then deep into the nine minute stoppage time, Tsiki Ntsabeleng hit the crossbar with another dangerous shot from the top of the box after a weak clearance by Donovan Pines.
That was the last real opportunity for Dallas, as the Black & Red were able to stifle any other opportunities and run out the clock.
DC got the win!
Notes From the couch :
Dallas has a really great crowd for the Fourth
Shocked at the lineup changes
Just learned this was the first meeting between Dallas and United in exactly four years after playing on the 4th of July in 2019
The field looks rough
Play by both teams is rougher
Everything just looks out of sync
Yamil Asad really is a Center Midfielder now, just isn’t as fast anymore
Steven Birnbaum is looking better than last time out
Tied at the half
Dallas Striker Kamungo went for a header and caught Derrick William’s arm
Kamungo subs out
Nigel Robertha returned to MLS action for the first time since March
Robertha actually looking decent
Paxton Pomykal has really dropped off from his potential
Surprised Rooney is making two subs here, would have subbed one, and then a second in the next stoppage
Obrian just shook off Durkin’s attempt at a foul
United lucky Obrian’s shot was off target
Nine minutes Extratime is a lot, but also fair
That was close, Dallas shot hit the crossbar
More time wasting by DC
Cheap yellow card for Klich, can’t believe the ref gave that card for time wasting
Player Ratings (FotMob):
Alex Bono 7.2
Steven Birnbaum 7.7
Derrick Williams 7.4
Donovan Pines 7.6
Pedro Santos 7.8
Russell Canouse 6.1
Lewis O’Brien 7.5
Yamil Assad 7.0
Kristen Fletcher 6.1
Taxi Fuentas 6.8
Mateusz Klich 7.1
Nigel Robertha 5.9
Andy Najar 6.5
Chris Durkin 6.2
Christen Dajome 5.8
Next Match: DC United returns home to Audi Field to take on Inter Miami on July 8 at 7:30 pm ET.
Written by: RJ Rolsen