After being relegated to the bench in D.C. United’s previous match against New England, Dwayne De Rosario showed he has plenty left to offer Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union in the fourth round of the US Open Cup.
D.C.’s captain scored a hat trick to help his club to a 3-1 victory on a pleasant night at the Maryland SoccerPlex, giving the home team, winless in league play since March 9, a much-needed victory.
Philadelphia forward Jack McInerney scored a minute after De Rosario netted his second goal to pull the Union within one, but DeRo’s clever strike from roughly 40 yards out sealed the deal late in the game.
With the victory United advance to the quarterfinals of the Open Cup – where they’ll face the winner of Wednesday night's match between New England and New York – back at the SoccerPlex on June 26. They also now have more Open Cup wins (2) than they do MLS wins (1).
The I-95 rival clubs split their previous two Open Cup meetings before D.C. outlasted Philadelphia on Wednesday.
De Rosario’s first goal came in the 24th minute when he blasted a ball into the lower left corner from outside the area. On the play, United midfielder Chris Pontius was taken down by Philadelphia defender Amobi Okugo and lost the ball, but referee Kevin Terry Jr. allowed play to continue. After the takedown, the ball bounced to De Rosario, who beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath with his left-footed liner.
In the 75th minute, forward Lionard Pajoy found De Rosario, who sprung behind the defense and beat an out-of-position MacMath to give United a 2-0 lead.
The Union wasted little time countering as defender Don Anding spotted MLS’ leading scorer McInerney, who beat D.C. goalkeeper Joe Willis low to pull Philly within one.
De Rosario arguably saved his best for last, however, and finished his standout night with a beauty. A turnover by Jeff Parke allowed the veteran attacker to lob the ball into the net from distance, catching MacMath well off his line five minutes from time.
United, meanwhile, built on their solid draw against New England this past weekend and will return to MLS competition Saturday when they play host to Toronto. BUY TICKETS