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Namoff's goal gets United by Fire 1-0

Aug 30, 2009 - 4:24 AM By CHRIS ALTRUDA STATS Editor

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (STATS) - Despite their road struggles the past two seasons, D.C. United have found Chicago to be their home away from home.

Bryan Namoff's header in the 11th minute accounted for the lone goal and Josh Wicks made several key saves late as United picked up three much-needed points on the road with a 1-0 victory over the Fire on Saturday night.

United (7-5-11) have gone 4-16-8 on the road in MLS play since the start of 2008 but are 3-0-1 in that span at Toyota Park.

"I was most pleased with the defensive effort," coach Tom Soehn said. "We had more urgency going in. We know we've had success in this building and we wanted three points."

D.C., which stopped a four-match winless streak overall with its first road victory since April 26, moved into fourth place in the Eastern Conference. United also ended a nine-game road winless run.

"It's great, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at us, but we did our job," said Wicks, who finished with six saves. "We're a good team, we're putting the pieces together and the defense was very solid."

It was the second straight shutout for D.C., which entered having allowed an MLS-worst 26 road goals.

During the frantic final minutes, Wicks and defender Dejan Jakovic had to be separated by teammates after a miscommunication on a free kick gave the Fire (10-6-8) a quality scoring chance. Soehn chalked the flare-up to "emotions of the game."

Chicago, which fell to 4-4-4 at home, missed an opportunity to overtake reigning MLS Cup champion Columbus atop the conference, though the Crew still have two games in hand.

"I'm disappointed," coach Denis Hamlett said. "We had some opportunities, created some good chances, but it's the same old story."

Namoff, a native of Rockford, Ill., streaked into the penalty area to meet a perfectly placed free kick from 35 yards on the right side by Christian Gomez and nodded the ball into the lower left corner from just outside the 6-yard box.

"It's a play we've been working on in practice, making sure our runs are dynamic," said Namoff, who estimated he had 15 family members at the match. "I ran around a couple of picks to create some space and Christian hit it perfectly."

The goal ended a 194-minute scoreless streak for United dating to the 87th minute of their 4-3 loss at Houston on Aug. 1.

The Fire, who are tied for the worst in the MLS with 11 goals at home, failed to score despite earning eight corner kicks, outshooting United 17-5 and placing six of their shots on goal.

Chicago again played without injured starting defenders Wilman Conde and Gonzalo Segares. Fellow defender Dasan Robinson was suspended after picking up his second yellow card of Sunday's 3-2 match celebrating his winning goal.

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Story from: STATS LLC, http://www.stats.com.