Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - D.C. United will go in search of its first win of the 2014 season on Saturday when the club hosts the Chicago Fire at RFK Stadium.
After opening the season with a disheartening 3-0 loss on home soil against the Columbus Crew, the new-look D.C. United played much better in Toronto last weekend, but were done in by a Jermain Defoe goal and fell to TFC, 1-0, at BMO Field.
United controlled much of the possession and generated several scoring opportunities, but had trouble finishing and were punished when Michael Bradley slipped a through ball to Gilberto, who ripped a shot on goal that was stopped by United goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
But the ball rebounded right to the feet of Defoe and the England international made no mistake, firing it home for his third goal of the season.
It's a loss but I think when I look back I think we will see that we really took some steps forward," United head coach Ben Olsen said. "We didn't struggle. There are the things we worked on in the past few weeks and we implemented a lot of that. It was a day that things just didn't fall our way in our offensive third and hopefully that will come. On their goal, we cleared the ball and it goes right to Defoe. I think we needed that little bit of luck today to get the result."
Chicago, meanwhile, is also searching for its first win of the season after battling Red Bull New York to a 1-1 draw on Sunday at Toyota Park.
The Fire got off to a blistering start just six minutes into Sunday's match when midfielder Jeff Larentowicz got free in the penalty area and nodded home a Harrison Shipp corner kick to give the hosts the early advantage.
But they were unable to hold the lead as Red Bull drew level in the 21st minute on a set-piece as a corner kick from the right flag dropped into the box and Dax McCarty was able to stab it past Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson amidst a sea of feet to put the sides back on level terms.
"Obviously disappointed to not come away with a win, but for the effort, I thought both teams played pretty well on a difficult surface today," Fire head coach Frank Yallop said.
"What I did like about our guys was that we were probably closer to winning the match than to losing it, so that's always good. We had a couple of good chances to get that second goal. I think that one chance, I haven't seen the game on tape, Mike Magee's chance late with his left foot there. Having said that, we didn't lose the match; I thought we did some bright stuff, we tried to play the way we want to play, but I guess in the end, a draw is a fair result."
"We definitely had a good start to the game, we had some good chances after to make it 2-0, but unfortunately they pulled a goal back," Shipp said. "Overall, I thought it was a pretty good start heading into the half."
The sides met three times last season, with Chicago winning all three matches and outscoring United, 9-1.