From: The Dynasty
This week in DC Sports: Nats soar, D.C. United struggles
Each week, The Dynasty will highlight the top sports stories in Washington D.C.
Last week, the red hot Nationals offense was highlighted as the big story of the week on the Dynasty. It would be redundant to include the streaking Nationals two weeks in a row. In short, the Nationals have won five of their last six, including taking two of three at home against the Major League best Chicago Cubs. The Nationals’ strong two weeks have seen Washington extend their lead in the National League East to five games over the New York Mets.
Washington’s soccer team, DC United, experienced a less successful week. Playing their first game in over two weeks, United fell to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, a team from America’s second tier, the North American Soccer League, 4-3 on penalty kicks in the fourth round of the U.S Open Cup.
The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest knockout competition in the United States, with the first Open being contested in 1914. The competition allows lower division and amateur teams in America to face off against teams from Major League Soccer. Amateur teams can qualify for the Open Cup by winning regional qualifiers. The first three rounds of the U.S. Open Cup are contested between lower division sides and amateur qualifiers. MLS teams enter the tournament in the fourth round, giving lower tier teams the opportunity to host teams from America’s top soccer league. D.C. United have struggled in the U.S. Open Cup in recent years, only advancing beyond the fifth round once since winning the Open Cup in 2013.
While the match did not feature many first-team players for D.C. United, sixteen-year-old midfielder Chris Durkin was given his United debut after being signed from the D.C. United youth team on Tuesday. Head Coach Ben Olsen also gave forward Alhaji Kamara his first appearance for the black and red.