D.C. United won 1-0 against Chicago Fire FC in their fifth match of the 2021 Major League Soccer Regular Season. Edison Flores’ first career MLS goal in the 7th minute proved to be the winner for the Black-and-Red as they returned home after three consecutive matches on the road.
D.C. United made three changes to the starting lineup from their previous match against Columbus SC. Jon Kempin made his first start in net for United with Brendan Hines-Ike, Frédéric Brillant, and Tony Alfaro starting as the back three. Julian Gressel and Andy Najar continued in their roles as the two wingbacks with Moses Nyeman and Junior Moreno starting as the two central midfielders. Edison Flores, Drew Skundrich, and Adrien Perez played as the front three for the Black-and-Red.
United began the match on the front foot and were rewarded with a goal in the 7th minute. After a good spell of possession, United made a couple quick passes that finished with Moses Nyeman playing a pass through to Adrien Perez who beat his man and picked out Edison Flores, who headed home past the Chicago goalkeeper. The goal was Flores’ first for the Black-and-Red and the first career MLS assist for Adrien Perez. Nyeman also collected an assist on the goal, the first of the season for the young Homegrown midfielder. United kept the pressure on and continued to create chances for the remainder of the half. Adrien Perez nearly capped off the first half with a goal when his shot from the left side of the box was narrowly saved in the second minute of added time. The Black-and-Red went into halftime leading 1-0.
United continued their strong defensive performance into the second half. The center back trio of Alfaro, Brillant, and Hines-Ike kept Chicago’s attack at bay all half, winning aerial duels in the box and breaking up their passing play when they got into the attacking third. The Black-and-Red remained a threat on the other side of the ball through the attacking partnership of Edison Flores and Adrien Perez. Neither team were able to find the back of the net and the match ended 1-0 in favor of D.C. United.
Jon Kempin, in his first career start for D.C. United, kept a clean sheet and made three saves. His most notable save came in the 72nd minute when he lunged to his right to stop a shot from in-close, keeping the score at 1-0.
Paul Arriola made his first appearance of the season after recovering from an injury he suffered while on loan at Swansea City AFC. He came on as a substitute in the 75th minute and helped the Black-and-Red secure the win.
D.C. United’s next match is against Orlando City SC on Sunday, May 16 at 8:00 p.m. EST at Audi Field. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.