The recent U.S. Open champions began dangerously against Chicago, but their defense failed them when tested.
Chicago scored twice in the first half against the run of play, and they put themselves above the playoff line with a 3-0 win on the road at RFK Stadium on Friday.
Jeff Larentowicz took advantage of some shoddy defending, scoring Chicago’s opener in the 24th minute. Just two minutes later Bakary Soumare picked up his first career MLS goal when a free-kick rebound fell at his feet.
The third came from substitute Quincy Amarikwa, finishing on a cross late in the game to put it away.
Sean Johnson was brilliant in goal for Chicago, denying the home side on numerous occasions and giving his team opportunities to break on the counter.
Johnson was equally as sharp in the second half, repeatedly preserving the lead as DC United finished with 67% of the possession, and they had twice as many shots as Chicago until late pressure from the visitors closed the gap in the count. The American shotstopper ended up with a whopping 9 saves, almost all causing him to end up stretched out on the ground.
The result for Chicago puts them into the playoff picture, with a soft one-point lead over the Philadelphia Union and two above both New England and Columbus. It may not hold after tomorrow’s results, but three points at any time can improve a team’s shot at the postseason.
In addition, the 3-0 victory can only do great things for their goal differential, something that could possibly come into play with such a tight finish. It moves them to -4, still the lowest of those around them, but improvement nonetheless.