This past Sunday against the MetroStars, DC United took 28 shots, including 14 on goal, dominated throughout the match, and came away with a 0-0 tie. Tonight against the Chicago Fire, United came out lethargic, were outhustled and outmuscled, and found themselves fortunate not to be down more than 2-0 before roaring back (with help from the referees) to win 4-3. United showed a lot of heart in fighting back for the win, one they badly needed after having fallen into a tie in the Eastern Conference cellar.
United's first goal came on a penalty kick after a questionable call. The third one came after a blatant offsides was ignored, inspiring the crowd to chant, "We love the referee," a first in my 10 years of going to games. From then on, however, United had all the momentum, while Chicago showed fatigue and bunkered down in an attempt to salvage a tie on the road. Even though it felt inevitable that United would get the fourth goal and the win, it was anything but, given that the team hadn't scored a single goal in their last their last three games, much less four. When that winning goal came was scored by rookie defender Bobby Boswell, those of us in the Nest and Barra Brava screamed, high fived, and hugged, demonstrating relief together with a hope that this was the game that will send us back into playoff contention.
Still, as I talked with friends while heading out of the stadium, I asked two questions, for which there was universal agreement:
Did we deserve the win? No
Do I care? No