The final game for the MLS Central Coast Showcase finally saw some good weather in front of 4,342 fans at Cal Poly’s University Alex G. Spanos Stadium. DC United and San Jose Earthquakes played on a muddy field and the outcome was a scoreless draw.
In the first half Marcello Gallardo of UC United but was forced to boot the ball as it was in a puddle that was ankle deep. The kick only went a few yards barely getting through the water. In the early part of the game both teams played hard and it was anything but a simple exhibition game. In the first 15 minutes of the game there were 11 fouls and 4 cautions. DC players Marc Burch, Dan Stratford and Devon McTavish and San Jose’s Joe Vide all received yellow cards.
The first major scoring opportunity in the game was in the 23rd minute when San Jose’s Kei Kamara skied for a deep ball sent into the DC box and he collided with DC keeper Zach Wells, getting a head on the ball but was whistled for a foul. Just before half in the 44th minute San Jose’s Ned Grabavoy headed a ball behind the DC United defense and Kamera took the ball to the net but was stopped by Gonzalo Martinez. Right before the first half whistle Gallardo fired a 25 yard shot with some pepper on it but it was right at San Jose keeper Dan Benton, as the half ended 0-0.
After halftime in the 50th minute DC’s Luciano Emilio created some space but San Jose’s Matt Taylor met him and stopped the attack right when Emilio was winding up to shoot from 10 yards out. The best scoring opportunity in the game came in the 59th minute as Kamara had a short shot on goal but it deflected off a DC United defenseman and was then cleared immediately. The game stayed in the midfield for most of the second half until Fred soared a shot from the corner just over the crossbar on the middle of the half.
As injury time was winding down Taylor looked to score the winning goal but Jose Carvallo, who came in for Wells in the second half, dove to his left to barely get his hand on the ball keeping it out of the net. Jason Hernandez ran to the ball and almost buried his shot as Cavallo ran to the ball but the shot was just wide.
The game was a positive outcome for San Jose and a disappointment for DC United, who are still tinkering with lineups after all the additions they made this off-season. The question in the Nation’s Capital is, can DC United find the right lineup that will maximize all the talent they brought in before the season begins? The club has around a month to find out.