The only player to score for D.C. United last weekend was 100 miles away from RFK Stadium.
While United (1-4-1, 4 points) was shut out for the second week in a row in a 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, Casey Townsend scored twice for the Richmond Kickers in a 4-1 win over the Charleston Battery in the minor league USL PRO.
United's prized offseason signing, Rafael, couldn't find the net after starting and playing 45 minutes. Although he gave a taste of his tantalizing potential with a 35-yard blast against Columbus on March 23, he's still raw. In addition, United's roster options at multiple positions have proven more redundant than versatile.
"I think he struggled," United coach Ben Olsen said. "Some of the injury situations have forced us to play in a way that maybe isn't as balanced as I like it. We got two No. 9's [Rafael and Lionard Pajoy] up there fighting for positions, and at times they're getting in the way."
At least Rafael didn't go home empty-handed, swapping jerseys with fellow Brazilian Juninho when he left the game at halftime.
Townsend, a second-year forward from Maryland, is further down the depth chart and spends the latter half of each week training and playing with the Kickers. But there's a sneaking suspicion that his scoring-starved MLS team, which has two goals in six matches, might just keep him around for Sunday's visit by the Philadelphia Union (2-2-2, 8 points).
"We know he can score goals," Olsen said. "So nothing is off the table right now."
- Craig Stouffer