D.C. United vs. Orlando City Recap: March 31, 2019
D.C. United defeated Orlando City SC 2-1 in Orlando. The Lions outshot United 16-4, but it was not enough to take the win as United’s defense stepped up when they needed to. Goalie Bill Embid made four miracle saves, including one in Orlando’s celebratory smoke after their first goal. The whole team played some of their best soccer on a great night celebrating what had been an elusive road win.
The Black-and-Red won despite allowing their first goal all season. A kick by Orlando’s Tom Dwyer in the sixty-third minute made United wary, but they did not waver once. Once again, it was team captain Wayne Rooney who lead the way on two brilliant penalty shots. Steve Birnbaum just six minutes in scored on a free shot with Rooney’s assist. Then, Rooney himself scored again in the thirtieth minute, giving United a lead they would never relinquish. The Black-and-Red won despite allowing their first goal all season. A kick by Orlando’s Tom Dwyer in the sixty-third minute made United wary, but they did not waver once.
This is the first road win for D.C. United since May 2018. The eleven games prior were all either losses or draws, including a scoreless tie against NYCFC on March 10. United now holds 10 points and are tied with Columbus for the lead in the Eastern Conference. Their higher goal differential gives them the slight edge, but the season is still new and there are many more games to be played. Between a stingy defense and a powerful attack in Wayne Rooney in particular, United proved they can win on the road. If they are to challenge for the MLS Cup, they need to win no matter what. And this is just what happened here tonight.