- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

D.C. United’s dwindling SuperLiga hopes ended early Saturday night, as it fell behind by a goal in the 12th minute before losing 3-1 to the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium.

United needed to beat the Dynamo by three goals to remain alive in the SuperLiga tournament, which pits the best MLS teams against the best clubs in Mexico.

But Ricardo Clark scored first for Houston, and Bobby Boswell silenced the crowd of 12,893 with a second goal before halftime.

“It’s been taxing,” United coach Tom Soehn said. “We’ve been through a rough stretch through the first part of the season. Guys have been putting in a lot of minutes and over the long haul, and it wears you down.”

How will the energy-sapping, three-game losing streak at RFK in the SuperLiga affect United’s rhythm?

“I’ll tell you after Tuesday night,” Soehn said.

That’s when United plays the Dynamo again at RFK, this time in an MLS makeup game.

United entered the SuperLiga tournament on a six-game unbeaten streak in MLS play. But that didn’t help United in the tournament, losing to CD Guadalajara, Atlante FC, and now Houston.

“Obviously we knew from the first minute D.C. had a difficult task, and us scoring first made it more difficult,” Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said.

Clark scored in the 12th minute, when Brad Davis swung in a corner kick to him at the near post. With no United player defending him, Clark easily headed the ball past United goalie Zach Wells.

Davis then played another fine cross from a free kick to the unmarked Boswell, who headed it past Wells.

“I though we controlled a lot of the first half, but we gave away two set pieces when players let there marks go,” Soehn said.

With United then needing five goals to advance, the game became a practice session and a chance to let some reserves play.

After halftime, Soehn rested Emilio, Clyde Simms, Fred and Bryan Namoff.

In the 76th minute, Francis Doe put United on the board, heading home a fine cross from Marc Burch. The Liberian striker scored his second goal in as many games.

Stuart Holden scored the match’s last goal for the Dynamo, who advance to the semifinals of the SuperLiga. Holden ran through the United defense and fired an amazing shot past Wells with six minutes.

Soehn didn’t play veteran Jaime Moreno but gave starts to young players Ryan Cordeiro and Pat Carroll.