DC United, Eastern Conference finalists in 2012, showed their strength against the NASL’s Tampa Bay Rowdies in a 4-0 shutout at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando on Saturday. A second-half explosion saw Colombian veteran Lionard Pajoy and young left back Taylor Kemp tally a pair of goals apiece for the runaway victory.
The Rowdies were unfazed in the first half by United’s starting 11, with DC coach Ben Olsen starting his full array of first-team talent against their second-tier opponent. While Pajoy and Dwayne De Rosario dominated possession for DC throughout the first 45 and put several quality chances on goal, Tampa Bay went into the intermission unscathed.
DC continued to press as soon as the second half commenced. Pajoy opened the floodgates in the 55th minute, heading in a cross from defender Chris Korb that beat Rowdies goalkeeper Andrew Fontein at the back post. Three minutes later, right before a mass substitution by Olsen, Pajoy earned his brace by getting behind the Tampa defense and chipping Fontein for his second.
One of the players to come into the contest at the 60-minute mark, Kemp — DC’s first-round pick in this year’s SuperDraft (17th overall) — would soon find his way onto the score sheet. Connecting on nearly identical headers in the 65th and 73rd minutes, the rookie from the University of Maryland put the game far out of Tampa Bay’s reach as United clamped down on both ends.
Both teams take to the field again on Wednesday, with Tampa Bay facing the Montreal Impact and DC squaring off against Sporting Kansas City in the following match.
Did you miss the match? Watch the full replay courtesy of MLS!