The all-time series with DC United is notable for long streaks of success by both teams. The teams went 5-5 in the 1990s, with Kansas City winning the first five games, followed by DC United winning five in a row. Kansas City had an unsuccessful run against DC United with only three wins from 2005 to 2009, but since then have won five of six games against DC. Kansas City's recent success has come from poor defending on set pieces by DC United, as we will detail on video replay.
|Series Recap: DC United
|First Played||June 20, 1996|
|Home games:||12-6-5 (45 GF, 27 GA)|
|Road games:||6-12-4 (25 GF, 33 GA)|
Video Replay #1a &1b:
March 10, 2012 Sporting KC 1, DC United 0
Sporting Kansas City opened the 2012 season with a road game in Washington, DC. There was some concern among Sporting KC fans that the team was going to start the 2012 season slowly after poor results in the preseason. Sporting KC turned in a good performance, dominating play but unable to score during the regular sequence of play. Kansas City finally found a goal after forcing a corner late in the game. Graham Zusi connected with CJ Sapong, who neatly headed the ball to the back post for the late goal to the delight of his friends and family (Sapong was raised in the DC area).
This result would begin a team-record seven game winning streak to start the season.
August 11, 2012 Sporting KC 2, DC United 1
Months later, virtually the exact same play would lead to the go-ahead goal against DC United. This time Teal Bunbury would head the ball in the goal from a Graham Zusi corner kick.
Video Replay #2:
May 12, 2011 Sporting KC 1, DC United 0
Another year, another Graham Zusi corner kick leading to a goal off poor set piece defense from DC United. This time Zusi would connect with Kei Kamara, but it would be Matt Besler who scored one of his best goals ever. Kamara's header hit the post, bounced back to Sporting KC forward Omar Bravo, who then poked the ball to Matt Besler. Besler created enough space between his defenders to turn, shoot across his body and find the the back of the net. Sporting KC was greatly assisted by DC United's defenders on the set piece--many stood still during the entire sequence rather than press or close shooting lanes.
You can skip to the goal at 04:39 HERE on Youtube.
The win secured first place in the Eastern Conference for Sporting KC: their first finish at the top since winning the Western Conference regular season in 2004.
November 14, 2004 MLS Cup: DC United 3, Kansas City Wizards 2 (in Carson, California.)
The 2004 edition of the Kansas City Wizards came closest to winning all three MLS trophies in a single year. The team won the US Open Cup and almost won the Supporter's Shield, losing on tiebreaks to Columbus Crew. The Wizards' postseason worked its way through California, defeating San Jose and LA Galaxy before facing DC United in Carson.
Were it not for the MLS Cup title, DC United in 2004 would be remembered most for their signing of Freddy Adu. The 14-year-old prodigy was a big story for the league and was arguably the most recognizable player in MLS before the arrival of David Beckham. He was an effective player for DCU in 2004, scoring 5 goals and "earning" an MLS All-Star spot in his first season.
Ask any longtime Wizards fan and the 2004 MLS Cup is infamous for the handball by DC United's Alecko Eskandarian. In the 23rd minute Jimmy Conrad's ball clearance was intercepted by Alecko Eskandarian's hand before scoring his second goal of the game. The Wizards protested that Eskandarian's handball negated the goal, but the play stood and DC would go up 2-1.
There was a second handball in the game and it resulted from poor set piece defending by DC United. A corner kick was headed by Wizards' Jimmy Conrad to the goal, but was swatted away by DC United midfielder Dema Kovalenko. Fortunately for KC, the referee saw the play, showed Kovalenko the red card and Josh Wolff converted the penalty kick to get the score to 3-2. Kansas City would play the next 35 minutes with a man advantage but could not find the equalizer.
Alternatively, you can skip to the called handball and penalty kick at 04:17 HERE on Youtube.
Eskandarian would later go on to date Kim Kardashian, amongst other things.
Original video courtesy Sporting Kansas City, MLS and MLSsoccer.com.
Any thoughts on the highlights? What are your favorite past moments with DC United? Comment below!