DCU, ‘Caps set to battle at BC Place

Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) – D.C. United will attempt to extend its
unbeaten streak in league play to five matches on Saturday when the club
travels to BC Place to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

United has played well since the outset of the season and finds itself in a
three-way tie atop the Eastern Conference with 11 points and just one loss
through six matches.

Last time out, United claimed a point on home soil in a 1-1 draw against the
Houston Dynamo.

The visitors carved out the first quality chance of the game just six minutes
in when Giles Barnes let a shot go from the top of the penalty area, forcing
United goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra to make a diving stop.

United opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Chris Rolfe lined up a free
kick from about 20 yards out and blasted it into the top corner, just out of
the reach of the outstretched arm of Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric.

The Dynamo grabbed their equalizer with 25 minutes to play when Will Bruin
blasted a shot on target that was stopped by Dykstra, but he spilled the
rebound and Ricardo Clark was there to fire home his second goal in as many
weeks.

“Yeah, certainly disappointed with not getting all three (points),” said
United head coach Ben Olsen. “The other side of that, I’m happy to get one.
They had their chances and we had ours. It just seems like we’re not taking
our chances to kill off teams. If you let teams hang around in this league, or
any league, teams will find ways to get results.”

Despite missing starting goalkeeper Bill Hamid to injury last week, UNited
could get some positive news personnel front as striker Fabian Espindola is
eligible to return after serving a six-match suspension.

Vancouver, meanwhile, is coming off an impressive 1-0 victory over Real Salt
Lake and returns home looking for three points to stay on top of the West
standings.

The match was even until the 76th minute when RSL’s Sebastian Saucedo was
given his marching orders for a rash challenge on Mauro Rosales.

Vancouver wasted little time in capitalizing on the extra man as Russell
Teibert’s superb cross from the left flank was met by Darren Mattocks, who
sent a towering header just inside Nick Rimando’s left post with just 10
minutes remaining in the contest.

Mattocks’s winner was just the latest evidence that the 24-year-old Jamaica
international is enjoying a bounce-back season after struggling a bit last
year.

“We do things the right way [in Vancouver], just like the guys in Europe,”
Mattocks feels. “You definitely take things on board from everywhere that you
go to play, so hopefully you can take it back to your team. I think I’ve done
that and that has helped me this season.

“As a player, we always have meetings in the locker room. A day passed that
you don’t work is a day missing. So every single day you just got to take more
and more to help you get better.”