- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 3, 2011

Some fine play from the team’s newest arrival and a sensational goal from the club’s youngest player Saturday couldn’t make up for D.C. United’s bad habit of giving up late goals and dropping precious points at home.

United (4-5-7) had to make do with another tie after being held 2-2 by the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union at RFK Stadium.

What looked like a crucial home win, and perhaps a turning point in the club’s mediocre season, came to an unsatisfying conclusion after defensive errors allowed the Union to get back in the game.

“Overall, I’m very disappointed not getting the three points, but I’m pleased with some of the performances out there,” United coach Ben Olsen said. “It’s not the end of the world. If that’s the No. 1 team in the East, we’ve got a chance in the East. We just have to find a way to close out our games when we are up.”

In its last five home games, D.C. has lost one and tied four.

Dwayne De Rosario, who joined United last week in a blockbuster trade from the New York Red Bulls (a team D.C. will visit in its next match Saturday), set up Josh Wolff for United’s first strike. A stunning goal was scored by 18-year-old Andy Najar that many in the 13,365 in attendance will remember for a long time.

De Rosario, a four-time MLS Cup winner, was brought in to make an impact in the midfield, and he did just that.

Just before halftime, after 41 touches, 29 passes - 23 converted - and three shots, De Rosario’s hard work paid off. Collecting a pass from Najar on the left flank, the Canadian ace beat midfielder Brian Carroll and crossed the ball to Wolff. The veteran striker buried the ball from 5 yards out for his fourth goal of the season.

“He’s able to make plays simplified for guys around him, and for me that’s a great thing moving into the final third,” said Wolff on De Rosario’s play.

Before De Rosario’s arrival, all the club’s central midfielders combined - Clyde Simms, Dax McCarty, Fred, Stephen King and Kurt Morsink - had produced just three assists.

But, as has happened so often this year, United were let down by defensive errors.

“There were some great moments, and there were some moments that we need to work on - some mental lapses that we can correct,” De Rosario said. “Moving forward, there were a lot of positives to build on. We know that going forward in this league it’s very important to get three points at home.”

In the 49th minute, United defender Perry Kitchen, attempting to clear Veljko Paunovic’s cross, directed the ball into the D.C. net for an own goal.

United were back in the lead in the 58th minute off a stunning goal from Najar. After taking a pass from De Rosario inside the United half, the Honduran went on a run and let fly a blistering shot from more than 30 yards out for his second goal of the campaign.

De Rosario gave me the ball,” Najar said. “I was able to beat one defender. I looked up and the keeper was out, and I said to myself, ‘This is an opportunity for me to shoot.’ And thankfully I got the goal.”

Once again, however, United blew a lead at home. The ever-threatening Carlos Ruiz tied the game with six minutes left, connecting with a cross from Sheanon Williams after beating out United defender Ethan White.

“It’s a game we had no business giving away,” Wolff said.