D.C. United won 3-1 against the Philadelphia Union in their 22nd match of the 2021 Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season. United went down early to an unlucky own goal, but scored three unanswered goals to send them into the international break on a high note.
D.C. United started with Jon Kempin in net and Tony Alfaro, Andy Najar, and Steve Birnbaum played as the three center backs with Julian Gressel and Kevin Paredes as the two wingbacks. Junior Moreno and Russell Canouse partnered in the middle of the park and Yordy Reyna, Ola Kamara, and Edison Flores started up top as United’s front three.
Philadelphia scored the opening goal of the match in the 22nd minute when a cross by a Union attacker took an unfortunate deflection off Steve Birnbaum and into his own net. United nearly found a goal in the 28th minute, but Yordy Reyna’s first-time effort from inside the box was saved acrobatically by Philadelphia’s goalkeeper. United found the equalizing goal in the 36th minute when Ola Kamara scored his 12th goal of the season from a penalty kick. The match went into halftime tied 1-1.
United started the second half on the front foot and found the go-ahead goal in the 49th minute. Julian Gressel played in a ball to the front post that Kamara headed on target, forcing a save by the goalkeeper that Reyna pounced on to finish the rebound. United were strong defensively throughout the second half, not allowing Philadelphia any clear opportunities and clearing away all shots and crosses from getting into dangerous areas. Ramon Abila scored the match-sealing goal to extend the lead in stoppage time. Abila picked the ball up in the box, dribbled past a Philadelphia defender, and finished into the bottom left corner. The goal was Abila’s second since joining D.C. United. United won the match 3-1.
United have a record of 9-10-3 with 30 points accumulated on the season. They will head into the international break in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 12 matches still left to play in the 2021 MLS regular season.
D.C. United’s next match is against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, September 11 at 7:00 PM ET. Tune into NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos, and www.dcunited.com to watch the match.