D.C. United Pick Up Third Consecutive Win With 2-0 Victory Over Sounders

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D.C. United made it three consecutive wins for the first time this season, as the Black-and-Red beat the visiting Seattle Sounders for the first time since 2011 in a 2-0 win at Audi Field on Sunday night in Washington, D.C. 

Lucas Rodriguez supplied the opener in the first half, and Frederic Brillant ensured all three points in the second half, steering home a free kick from Wayne Rooney. 

The win marked the third game in a row in which United held their opponents without a goal, the second time United has done so this year. With the win, D.C. jumped into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, moving past Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, who beat the Philadelphia Union earlier in the day.

Results on Saturday night meant that United had already clinched their playoff spot this year, but there is still plenty of work for Ben Olsen's side to be able to host their first-round playoff game. A week after the 1-0 win against the Portland Timbers, Olsen named the same starting lineup, with Ola Kamara still out with injury.

United started well against the Sounders, with Paul Arriola shooting just wide in the fifth minute as a result of D.C.'s pressure. However, two minutes later, the crossbar came to United's aid, as defender Brad Smith opted to shoot with Raul Ruidiaz open in the middle of the box, smacking a shot off of the woodwork. 

Hamid then had to make a save on Ruidiaz in the 12th minute, before Rooney hit the woodwork at the other end, having got a shot past Stefan Frei from outside the box.

Moments later, Rodriguez popped up to score his sixth goal of the season, giving United a crucial lead at home. Ulises Segura's cross was blocked in the box, but Rodriguez was able to bring the ball down at the top of the box. Holding off one defender, the Argentine sent a low shot past a diving Frei for the 1-0 lead. 

Frei was equal to Arriola's shot in the 23rd minute, as the midfielder raced onto a ball from Junior Moreno. Under pressure, Arriola was able to get a shot off from the top of the box, but Frei palmed the shot over the goal, and United couldn't turn the resulting corner into a goal.

Though controlling proceedings for most of the half, United had to sweat out a Kelvin Leerdam shot in the 41st minute. A cross found its way through the box before Leerdam uncorked a powerful shot towards goal, which was blocked out by Steven Birnbaum.

To round of the first half, Rooney once again hit the woodwork, this time finding the corner of the uprights from a free kick. 

Seattle started the second half on top, but United had the first good chance of the second stanza, with Frei doing just enough to push a shot from Arriola wide in the 52nd minute. But there was nothing the keeper could in the 54th minute when Brillant doubled United's advantage. A low free kick was sent into danger by Rooney, and Brillant, on the doorstep of the goal, changed the course of the ball, for his second goal of the season.

That didn't quite wrap up the game, as a Sounders side on short rest pushed for a chance to get back into the game. A redirection from Ruidiaz was saved by Hamid in the 63rd minute before substitute Luis Silva fired wide of the frame from just inside the box.

Smith saved Seattle from going down by three in the 75th minute when the defender kept up with substitute Quincy Amarikwa and got a block on a shot just in front of Frei. Rooney tried to catch out Frei from the resulting corner kick, but the keeper punched the ball off the line to prevent Rooney from scoring an Olimpico

United hit the woodwork for the third and final time in the 82nd minute, when Luciano Acosta, who came on for Rooney, played the ball out wide for Segura. The Costa Rican sent the ball back across the box, with his pass curling around Frei, and hitting the upright. 

But that third goal wasn't needed, as United ended an eight-game winless streak against the Sounders, moving into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. With 48 points from 32 games, United face an all-important game next Sunday, when they travel to take on the Red Bulls. 

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