D.C. United, Major League Soccer's worst team, got its first win Wednesday night, beating FC Dallas, 4-2, in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier at RFK Stadium.
D.C. is off to an 0-4-0 start after drastically reducing its payroll in reaction to its difficulties in reaching a deal to build a stadium in the district or suburban Maryland. The club has released several top attacking players, including 2007 MLS MVP Luciano Emilio, and lost leadership when midfielder Ben Olsen was forced to retire.
Adam Cristman scored twice for D.C., which will face Real Salt Lake for a berth in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup, America's oldest soccer competition, dating to 1914. The Galaxy and Chivas USA qualified for the tournament with their regular-season finishes last year.
New York also advanced in qualifying, beating Philadelphia, 2-1, Tuesday as Conor Chinn scored two goals at Red Bull Arena. The Red Bulls will meet New England in a qualifying semifinal May 12 at Red Bull Arena, with the victor facing Colorado for a third-round berth.
French forward Sebastian Le Toux scored for Philadelphia, then had to exit because of a knee injury, preliminarily diagnosed as an MCL strain.
Toronto FC doesn't compete in the U.S. Open Cup, naturally, so it takes part annually in the Canadian Championship against the USSF Division 2's Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact. The Reds opened the double-round-robin event with a 2-0 win Wednesday over Montreal as Dwayne De Rosario scored one goal and set up another.
The Whitecaps are set to join MLS next season, and Montreal is the frontrunner to become MLS's 19th club.
Orange County native Scott French has been writing about soccer for more than 30 years for dozens of publications and Web sites. He was senior editor at Soccer America and was managing editor of MajorSoccerLeague Magazine from April 2007 until last summer. He has covered three World Cups for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Los Angeles Daily News, two Women's World Cups for Soccer America, the Olympic Games, European Championship, U-20 World Cup, eight MLS Cups and all four professional women's championship games.