Orlando- Before coming to Washington last year Wayne Rooney was one of the greatest players to ever represent England and last night he proved it to the Orlando Lions as they fell to league-leading DC United 2-1. Washington left town still on top in the MLS East at 3-0-1, with 10 points, which is their best start in 13 years, and they extended their regular season unbeaten streak to 14 games while Orlando is 1-2-2 and are currently 7th in the Eastern Conference.
So, the night belonged to Rooney first as he set up United defender Steven Birnbaum for the first tally of the night at the six-minute mark of the game heading in a pass that was perefectly crossed to him by his teammate.
The goal of the night was a vintage Rooney bender off of a free kick that landed firmly in the back of the net giving the striker his fourth goal of the season (ranking him second in the MLS) and Washington a 2-0 advantage.
However, the brilliant shot by Rooney did not come without some controversy. The Lions and their fans were very vocal about the foul called on Dom Dwyer.
Loud boos rang out from the stands as they did not agree with the referees call that Dwyer had made contact with Rooney that set up the free kick. It was not the first or the last time Sunday night that the Lions and their fans felt the game was not being fairly called.
Dwyer would get some revenge as his header in the 63rd minute would find the back of the net. It would give the Lions their lone goal of the night (the first goal allowed this season by DC) but it was very little satisfaction in the 2-1 home loss.
Less you think that DC dominated the night as a matter of fact with 54% possession for Orlando they controlled the action but they simply could not finish on their chances.
But after the game, it was the lack of consistent officiating that dominated the Lions press conference.
Orlando City Head Coach James O’ Connor disregarded his first question during the post-game conference and took some time to express his frustration with the league and their inability to take advantage of the VAR.
“I am at a stage now where the players need to be protected.” Stated O’Connor when discussing an obvious foul against Goalkeeper Brian Rowe from defender Frederic Brillant. “What’s the point of having VAR? He didn’t even go look at it! Yet everyone can see that it was foul! How many more times?! Yeah, we have VAR but why bother? They don’t even look! The whole stadium can see! It’s mind-boggling stuff!
“It’s unbelievable to be honest. I think after all the hard work that we burned tonight it’s sad that we have to look bad and that’s one of the turning points. I think that having VAR would help the referees but it seems to be doing the opposite. They are killing us at the moment.” Stated Lions Forward Dom Dwyer during Post-game conference. ” The league has to do something, It’s continuously happening. It’s a shame that the Refs keep making a difference.”
Lions: Continue at home next Saturday against the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m on MY65 TV.
D.C United: Headed home for next Saturday’s showdown against Los Angeles FC as the two best teams in the league clash 3 p.m. that will be seen nationally on FOX.