[U.S. OPEN CUP]
D.C. United fielded many of its reserves for a U.S. Open Cup match against the PDL (fourth-tier) Ocean City Barons, and encountered enough resistance that
it needed one of its veterans to supply the breakthrough. Christian Gomez
converted a penalty kick in the 74th minute and Ange N'Silu
added a second
goal late into stoppage time Tuesday at the Maryland SoccerPlex to carry United past Ocean City, 2-0, and into the quarterfinals. USL-2 team Harrisburg, which upset New England, will play D.C. United
in the next round.
Gomez and rookie Chris Pontius
came into the match as substitute to liven up United's performance. Coach Tom Soehn
roles to keeper Milos Kocic
, midfielders John DiRaimondo, Andrew Jacobson
and Brandon Barklage
, and paired N'Silu with forward Boyzzz
up top. Regulars Greg Janicki, Devon McTavish
and Marc Burch
comprised the defense. Rookie midfielder Rodney Wallace
starting spot and veteran midfielder Ben Olsen
wore the captain's armband.
A contentious first half that ended 0-0 had prompted Ocean City coach Neil
to scream his criticisms of ref Jeff Gontarek
at full volume, and early in the second half Gontarek sauntered over to the Barons' bench and dismissed their coach.
By then, Pontius had replaced Olsen, yet still United's play didn't satisfy Soehn, and midway through the second half an injury to DiRaimondo resulted in the insertion of Gomez. Six
minutes later, his run at goal took him past two challenges to slot a pass for N'Silu, whose sharp cut forced a desperate lunge by goalie Tunde Ogunbiyi
that knocked N'Silu off his
The keeper, who finished the game with 10 saves, picked the correct side yet still couldn't keep Gomez low shot out of the net and United went up, 1-0.
Back surged the
plucky PDL team to force a pair of good saves from Kocic and several corner kicks. United escaped again during a scramble when a Barons shot came back from the crossbar, and got its second goal when
N'Silu tucked away Ogunbiyi's save of a Burch free kick.
Ocean City had reached the third round by beating another local team, Real Maryland (USL-2), 1-0 in overtime when J.T.
Noone converted a penalty kick in the 108th minute.
June 30 in Boyds, Md.
D.C. United 2 (MLS), Ocean City Barons (PDL) 0.
(penalty kick) 74, N'Silu 93+.
D.C. United - Kocic; Janicki, Burch, McTavish, Olsen (Pontius, 46), Barklage, Wallace (Simms, 75), Jacobson, DiRaimondo (Gomez, 68), Khumalo,
Ocean City - Ogunbiyi; Neptune, Banks, McCrae, Reddick (Richter, 76), Brown, Davis, Carmichael (Miller, 77), Curran (Melchionni, 71), Noone, Swetra.
Referee: Jeff Gontarek.