After falling to D.C. United U-23 1-0 at home, FC Baltimore were looking for a chance at redemption. Wednesday saw the expansion club travel to the nation’s capital and win their final exhibition match of the season 3-1.
Head Coach Brandon Quaranta had mentioned after the 8-5 win over Atlantic City that the defense needed to be straightened out, but in the first minute FCB gave the ball away which allowed D.C. United to score. Things began to slow down after that and Baltimore started to take some control in the game. The pressure started to build, opportunities were beginning to arise, and shots were taken, but the ball just could not find the back of the net. It was very reminiscent of the 1-0 defeat at home.
In the 38th minute, that changed. Jake Dengler, who scored twice in under five minutes against Atlantic City last Wednesday, tied things up. Dengler cruised with the ball from a defensive position for nearly 30 yards, then dished it to Tre Pulliam. The speed of Pulliam separated himself from the defender and he crossed it to an already trailing Dengler to slide in the tier.
Dengler, as a center back, now leads the team in goals, with three.
“He’s always had the ability to run forward…once he gets in the box, he’s able to score,” Quaranta said after the game. “I want defenders who are aggressive, I want defenders who want to get involved in the attack. Obviously center back has less of those moments, but Jake has license to do that anytime he sees it.”
The second half saw a few more chances taken, but this time two were put behind the second and third string keepers for D.C. United. In the 66th minute, the second string keeper could not hold on to a through ball from Jade Mesias. A few passes inside the penalty box later, Nate Hall scored his first goal of the year.
Not too long after, midfielder Collin Jouan went down with an apparent leg injury, but walked off under his own power. Quaranta, already out of subs, had to put striker Tre Pulliam back into the action. In the 75th minute, Pulliam found himself on the scoresheet for his second goal of the season. This extended the lead to 3-1 and that is how it ended. FC Baltimore looked for redemption, and they got it.
“We didn’t take any of our chances last game, we had plenty of opportunities,” Quaranta concluded. “Today, a little bit better in that department. Probably didn’t generate as many chances today as we did then, but we were able to finish a few.”
Contributor: Christian Taylor/FC Baltimore
Photo Credit: @SoccerKidsinDMV on Twitter