- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2007

CARSON, Calif. — D.C. United earned its first shutout of the season, just not in a fashion that was either expected or desirable.

United had to cope with a suddenly malfunctioning attack and the Los Angeles Galaxy’s incessant pressure to escape Home Depot Center with a 0-0 tie in front of 21,069 on Saturday night.

Only big defensive plays from Bryan Namoff and Bobby Boswell late in the second half enabled United (3-3-2) to extend its unbeaten streak to five games against the depleted Galaxy, which fielded only three reserve field players.

Los Angeles (1-3-3) had a chance to score in the 71st minute when Peter Vagenas stole the ball at midfield and passed to Landon Donovan. But Namoff’s marking at the penalty spot forced Donovan to pass to the onrushing Cobi Jones, who fired a 15-yard shot that Namoff cleared away from an open net.

Boswell made a bigger play in the 79th minute after the Galaxy’s Robbie Findley took Nate Jaqua’s quick throw-in, sped to the right side of the penalty area and crossed to Donovan at the penalty spot.

As Donovan shot from 14 yards, Boswell dropped to his left hip and blocked the ball with his right leg.

“We weren’t in the right positions to start off with,” Boswell said. “They got us running back toward the goal, and that’s never good. Landon made a cut inside; I saw him, and he had a good couple of yards on me.

“So I just picked a line where I thought I could do my best to save the ball. Luckily, he shot it and didn’t cut it back, so I’m now on every highlight reel this weekend.”

United coach Tom Soehn, however, doesn’t think his team’s performance would make a good training video.

“The keys to being successful tonight were establishing ourselves in the first 15 minutes and being good with the ball, and we didn’t do that,” Soehn said. “We turned the ball over in key spots and gave them a lot of opportunities.

“[The Galaxy] dictated the terms. With the way we started out, we could’ve been down two or three at halftime.”

Yet United had chances to score. In the 27th minute, Luciano Emilio took a 19-yard shot that goalkeeper Joe Cannon blocked on his knees; Jaime Moreno tried to convert the rebound from seven yards, but Cannon pounced on it. Moreno remained tied for the MLS career goals record with 108.

In the 38th minute, Cannon parried Fred’s 16-yard shot. In the 58th minute, he reached between his ankles to grab a sinking line drive off Emilio’s head from eight yards.

“We had a little better possession [in the second half], but we didn’t create a lot of quality chances,” Soehn said. “That final pass, that final strike was missing.”

Dynamo 2, FC Dallas 1

HOUSTON — Joseph Ngwenya scored a goal from 22 yards out in the 66th minute to give Houston a 2-1 victory over FC Dallas yesterday.

Fire 3, Crew 2

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — William Oliveira had a goal and an assist to lead Chicago past Columbus.

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