- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 23, 2009

D.C. United was once again cursed by the dreaded tie.

United dropped points at home in a scoreless deadlock with the Los Angeles Galaxy in rainy conditions Saturday night at RFK Stadium.

It was United’s 11th tie of the season - a club record - and its fifth draw at home, where it remains unbeaten. The team remains fourth in the Eastern Conference, having won just one league game in its past eight outings.

“You need three points in this situation, and to walk away with one is deflating,” said United assistant coach Chad Ashton, who filled in as head coach Tom Soehn missed the game with flulike symptoms. “We had too many of those this year where ties have felt like losses.”

United goalie Josh Wicks pulled off two late saves to preserve the tie, stopping a header from Alan Gordon and a David Beckham shot.

Still, it was a solid performance by United, which had an early goal disallowed by a disputed offside call.

“We really needed three points,” captain Ben Olsen said, “but stepping back - maybe tomorrow - we’ll look back on this game, and I think it’s maybe the most complete performance we have played. … We didn’t have those lapses in concentration, so that’s a big step for us because that’s been haunting us all year.

United had a number of good chances but could not penetrate a back line that included two former Maryland standouts - rookies Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza.

Four minutes into the game Beckham, who was booed every time he touched the ball, was allowed to get in one of his trademark passes from the right flank, which Wicks was forced to punch clear.

United felt it was robbed of a goal when Luciano Emilio put the ball in the net in the eighth minute after a great buildup but was called offside.

“I haven’t seen it, but I think the goal was onside,” Ashton said. “I don’t know for sure, but from our point of view he looked like [Emilio] made a really well-timed run and it was a good goal.”

Eddie Lewis then forced Wicks with a low left-footed drive.

Olsen was yellow-carded for a hip check on Beckham.

Galaxy ace Landon Donovan was able to escape from Olsen in the 28th minute and make a fine counterattacking run, but his pass failed to find Jovan Kirovski. Then a frustrated Donovan was cautioned for tackling Bryan Namoff from behind.

Santino Quaranta had one of United’s best efforts in the first half when he forced Galaxy goalie Donovan Ricketts to punch his shot over the crossbar. Namoff could have given United the lead on the ensuing corner kick, but he headed the ball into Ricketts’ arms.

Jaime Moreno came off the bench in the 51st minute to replace Christian Gomez and immediately made an impact, providing a number of crosses into the Galaxy box.

Quaranta responded for United, but his shot sailed over the bar. Then Marc Burch came close for the home team with a left-footed blast that went wide.

Rookie Chris Pontius replaced the worn-out Olsen in the 69th minute to give United more firepower, but the team couldn’t break through.

“I thought we fought really hard - I thought we made the game,” Ashton said. “I thought we created enough. Obviously, in the final third we were lacking. Given the conditions we could have put some more stuff on frame and made it harder on Ricketts to make saves.”

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