By MITCHELL NORTHAM
WASHINGTON – Playing without starters Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and Obafemi Martins proved to be no problem for the Seattle Sounders on Saturday evening at RFK Stadium.
Thanks to a first-half goal from forward Chad Barrett, the Sounders beat D.C. United, 1-0, on the road in a top of the table clash. The win extended the Sounders unbeaten streak to seven games.
D.C. United controlled a majority of the possession in the first half, but it was the Sounders who struck gold midway through the half after a poor clearance after a corner kick from D.C. United midfielder Chris Rolfe.
Sounders midfielder Gonzalo Pineda controlled the clearance and lofted it into the box to find Barrett, who rose above several defenders to head the ball in for a goal in the 38th minute. The goal was Barrett’s fourth of the season.
Aside from Barrett’s goal, action in the first half was scarce between the two sides. D.C. United midfielder Luis Silva was able to get an early shot-on-goal in the fourth minute, but the ground ball was swallowed up by Sounders’ keeper Stefan Frei.
In the second half, D.C. United brought on Jared Jeffrey but without Fabian Espindola in the lineup, the hosts struggled in their build-up play, with Osvaldo Alonso and Pineda breaking up play well in the midfield.
The hosts had a final chance to tie up the score in the 90th minute when rookie defender Steve Birnbaum found himself wide-open on a corner kick. Birnbaum though, to his dismay, headed the ball well wide of goal, spoiling a golden chance to open his MLS scoring account.