MLS's worst team has gotten the job done in Cup play, and they did so again on Wednesday, defeating the Chicago Fire 2-0 to book their spot in the final. Now D.C. is just one win away from their third U.S. Open Cup title and a trophy to to brighten an otherwise dismal season.
D.C. and Chicago are two of the worst teams in MLS and looked it in the early portion of the match. While they were plenty energetic and determined, they lacked skill so the match turned into a fast-paced mess of aimless crosses and desperate lunges.
It looked like the ugly half of soccer would end scoreless, but Sean Johnson made sure that wouldn't happen. The goalkeeper made a mess of what should have been a simple ball and dropped it right into the path of Dwayne De Rosario, who was plenty happy to capitalize on the mistake and knock the ball into the empty goal.
Nick De Leon added to the D.C. lead on the other side of the break when he wiggled his way out of several Chicago defenders before firing at goal. It wasn't a particularly dangerous shot, but then it took a deflection that left Johnson wrong-footed as the ball found the net.
The Fire did their best to come back, pressuring United on several occasions, but late blocks and bad luck kept the ball out of the net. D.C. held on for dear life and in the end, that -- as well as Johnson's mistake and some fortune -- proved to be enough for a spot in the U.S. Open Cup final.