- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2008

D.C. United finally got its game in with the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium on Wednesday night. At this point, United probably wishes it hadn’t.

After a nearly three-hour delay because of a light failure and severe weather conditions, D.C. United lost 2-0 to the Dynamo in a game that didn’t end until after midnight before a smattering of fans. The game already had been postponed twice, including Tuesday, when a power outage forced the game to move a day later.

“Just as a whole that was bad,” United coach Tom Soehn said. “We will take this time we’ve got a 10-day stretch - and we will make some changes. We will bring in reinforcements - people that will make us better.”

The loss ended a six-game unbeaten streak in MLS play and was the second defeat in five days at the hands of the Dynamo following a 3-1 loss in the SuperLiga on Saturday. It also marked the first time in franchise history that United (7-8-1, 22 points) has recorded a four-game losing streak at home involving all competitions.

Brian Mullan and Brian Ching scored for the Dynamo, which outshot United 23-4 before an announced crowd of 14,660.

If ever a game was cursed, it was this one. Already rescheduled twice because of weather conditions June 4 and Tuesday’s power outage, the match was stopped Wednesday night in the 54 minute when a thunderstorm knocked out the lights at 8:47 p.m. with the Dynamo leading 1-0. The field quickly became waterlogged. The game resumed at 11:41 p.m.

“Houston wanted it off, and we wanted to play and wait it out as long as we could,” Soehn said.

It was the second time this month the lights failed during a game at the 47-year-old venue. A light failure caused a 19-minute delay in United’s 2-1 victory against CD Guadalajara on July 12.

United entered the game after losing all three of its matches in the SuperLiga and looked sluggish against the defending MLS champions. Houston (5-4-8, 23 points), on the other hand - chalking up hotel bills while waiting around in the District after Saturday’s game - looked like a team that wanted to get out of town as quickly as possible and took the game to United.

The Dynamo took the lead when Mullan cut inside the 18-yard-box past Gonzalo Martinez and beat United goalie Zach Wells with a curving left-footer in the 20th minute.

The Dynamo continued to bombard Wells, forcing Soehn to substitute defender Pat Carroll for midfielder Rod Dyachenko in the 26th minute. Still, Wells had to make two huge saves against Houston’s Dwayne De Rosario.

United, meanwhile, didn’t put up much of an attack, getting one of its best chances in the 70th minute when Clyde Simms’ long-range shot forced Dynamo goalie Pat Onstad to make a big save.

“The conditions were tough, and coming back out [after the delay] we didn’t play it the way we should have,” Simms said. “We still played short balls instead of dumping long balls.”

In 79th minute, United’s night essentially was over after Ching headed home Brad Davis’ free kick from the right-flank.

“It was very strange the weather and the pitch,” United striker Francis Doe said. “We couldn’t get any control on the ball.”

United played the last seven minutes with 10 men after Gonzalo Martinez earned his second yellow card and was ejected.



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