On Sunday night, D.C. United faced off against one of their biggest opponents in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union. With the Black-and-Red sitting at No. 4 in the East and the Union at No. 2, this game presented an opportunity for D.C. United to rise up in the standings.
In the third minute, Union captain Alejandro Bedoya slotted the ball past two defenders and goalkeeper Bill Hamid, giving the Union a 1-0 lead. The Union continued with a strong press and the Black-and-Red relied on Hamid to make some early saves.
In the first fifteen minutes, defensive midfielder Chris Durkin went down with an injury. He came off in the 16th minute for Joseph Mora. The Philadelphia Union continued to generate chances through the first half. In the 38th minute, D.C. United defenders took down Kacper Przybylko in the box. The referee awarded a penalty and reviewed it, deciding to give Júnior Moreno a red card instead of a yellow.
Przybylko took the penalty for the Union but sent the ball too high. The Union continued to press and before the end of the first half, they were able to tack on another goal. Marco Fabian scored in stoppage time, sending the ball just below the crossbar. D.C. United went into the locker room at halftime down 2-0 and down a player.
The Union didn’t slow down in the second half. In the 52nd minute, Przybylko got his goal. With nothing but Bill Hamid standing between him and the back of the net, he slotted the ball into the far corner and put Philadelphia up 3-0. But just two minutes later, D.C. United got one back. The Black-and-Red got a free kick about 30 yards out and while Andre Blake made the initial save on Steve Birnbaum’s header, he couldn’t grab onto the ball. Frédéric Brilliant followed up and the ball rolled into the back of the net.
With a bit of fire under them, D.C. United started to generate more attacking chances. Not long after the goal, Paul Arriola got his foot on the end of a long ball that nearly went into the back of the net. It went well over the head of Blake but sailed just outside the goal.
Just as it seemed like the Black-and-Red were starting to gain momentum, the Union got another goal. In the 70th minute, Fabian slotted his second goal of the night past Hamid. He managed to just wedge the ball into the near corner, and with Hamid already starting to move the other direction, he couldn’t get there in time to block it. Heading into the final fifteen minutes, D.C. United was now down 4-1.
In the final fifteen minutes, D.C. United was unable to come up with any magic to salvage a point. In the 90th minute, the Union got their fifth goal from the feet of Fabrice-Jean Picault. And the final whistle blew with a 5-1 scoreline. The team will now move on to their match against the LA Galaxy next Sunday, August 11th.