With Wayne Rooney back in the lineup, D.C. United could not turn a plethora of shots into a goal on Saturday night, falling 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place. Yordy Reyna scored the game's only goal in the 18th minute, as United failed to pick up their first two-game winning streak since May. The loss dropped the Black-and-Red down into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, just one point ahead of rivals the New York Red Bulls, who come to town on Wednesday.
While Rooney returned to the lineup after missing the 2-1 win over the LA Galaxy due to illness, Luciano Acosta was once again on the bench, after not being used in any manner in the win on Sunday. Joining him on the bench was new signing Ola Kamara, who would come on in the second half to make his debut, as would Emmanuel Boateng.
Having won their last meeting at Vancouver, United nearly got on the board early on, when Paul Arriola forced a sharp save out of keeper Maxime Crépeau in the 2nd minute. A feed from Rooney found the US international in space in the box, but his low shot was denied by Crépeau.
United had a lion's share of possession and shots in the first half but were undone by a solo effort from Reyna in the 18th minute. With play waved on after a potential foul against United, Reyna collected possession outside the box and sent a hopeful shot from nearly 25 yards out. The ball skipped a couple of teams, squeaking past Bill Hamid for the game's only goal.
There certainly was plenty of effort from D.C. in trying to find an equalizer, and Ulises Segura went close a minute after the goal. Running onto a perfectly placed pass from Rooney, Segura got into the box and fired a shot that was knocked away by Crépeau, who made a kick save to deny the Costa Rican.
Arriola went just wide of the mark in the 31st minute, closely followed up by Lucas Rodriguez firing over, after settling a cross in the box in the 32nd minute. Two minutes later, Ali Adnan nearly doubled the host's lead, but the defender's curling effort whisked just past the far post.
Rooney had a one-timer blocked in the box near the end of the first half, before a block from Leonardo Jara crashed into the side netting, as Reyna came close to adding to his total as the first half neared its end.
A ridiculous save from Hamid in the 59th minute of the game kept the visitors in striking range, as the keeper denied Derek Cornelius. A corner from Fredy Montero found the defender in the box, but Hamid somehow redirected the powerful header over the bar with his right hand.
Hamid was then beat a minute later, as Reyna collected a long pass, and was able to make a free run at goal. Sizing up a shot from outside the box, Reyna got his effort over Hamid, but the ball crashed off the crossbar. Hamid was able to quickly react, and claim the ball, to end the threat.
Ben Olsen brought on a calvary of attacking subs in the second half, putting Acosta, Kamara, and Boateng into the game, while withdrawing Rooney in the 74th minute. The game opened up a bit more, but United still had chances for an equalizer.
The closest they came was in the 86th minute, when Felipe whipped a corner into the box, finding an unmarked Acosta. Instead of going in for an equalizer though, Acosta's header bounced off the base of the post, and into Crépeau's hands, just before Kamara could react to poke home the loose ball.
Seven minutes of stoppage time wasn't enough for D.C. to find an equalizer, leaving them with a loss to start their stretch of three games in eight days. They are back in action on Wednesday night, when they host the New York Red Bulls at Audi Field, followed by a trip to the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.