In a match that would have a big impact on who will be the top four teams in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Union (13-8-6, 45 Pts, 2nd Place) hosted DC United (10-9-9, 39 Pts, 5th Place).
The largest crowd of the season, 18,781, the fifth sellout, saw Philly fairly easily beat DC 3-1.
DC United Starting XI: 4,2,3,1
G Bill Hamid, Ds Frédéric Brillant, Leonardo Jara, Steven Birnbaum (C), Joseph Mora; MFs Felipe Martins, Júnior Moreno, Luciano Acosta, Ulises Segura, Paul Arriola, F Ola Kamara
Union Starting XI: 4,2,3,1
GK Andre Blake; Ds Mark McKenzie, Jack Elliott, Kai Wagner, Raymon Gaddis; MFs Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya (C), Brenden Aaronson, Jamiro Monteiro, Ilsinho; F Kacper Przybylko
It would be one of the best first 45′ in Union history as they dominated the play and scored three times. It easily could have been four or five.
It started very early on this nice play by Aaronson to Wagner to Przybylko (12).
Aaronson (2) would get on the score sheet again 11′ later with a a friendly assist by Kacper 16′
That would wind up being all the goals they would need, but the U would keep up the pressure, wearing down the United defense setting up this last goal by a man they call #Skillsinho (5) for a reason 36′
To show how the U dominated in the first half, DC did not have a shot, to the U’s 8, TOP 56.1 – 43.9. Most of DC’s possession came late in the half already down 3-0.
Only DC would score in this half as the U, while they had some nice runs, seemed to settle back in defensive mode. Acosta (6) ended the clean sheet to make it 3-1. 57′
DC would get the TOP a bit closer with a ton of possessions late, 51.7 – 48/3, but still the Union D kept the shots to a minimum with the final total being 15-5, 7-4 on target.
But where it counted the Union got the big three points against a conference rival, and kept DC in 5th place.
DC United Cards:
Jara 90′ +3′
DC United Subs:
Quincy Amarikwa for Kamara 64′
Emmanuel Boateng for Arriola 69′
Lucas Rodriguez for Felipe 79′
Marco Fabián for Ilsinho 70′
Fafa Picault for Aaronson 74′
Warren Creavalle for Montiero 87′
The Union looked like a totally different team this week, attacking early and often, and keeping the ball in the offensive zone. It was good to see and hopefully they can continue to play this way through this tough end of the season schedule.
The one negative of the night was Bedoya’s yellow card which will cause him to be suspended next week as he was on caution.
They will miss the Captain for the big match noted below, but that is the way things go in MLS. The best teams overcome these bumps in the road.
Here is how the standings look at this moment:
One more note. Anybody that read my posts earlier this season knows I have more than once gotten on the “phans” for not showing up to support their team. I can say tonight that they are now coming through in a big way. It has been a long time since I have seen this atmosphere at Talen, and I, as the team did on twitter below, congratulate them for the noise and excitement they have brought here the last two home matches. Keep it up Union Phaithful!
The Union stay at home to face their toughest Eastern Conference foe Atlanta United FC on Saturday 8/31 at 7:30. The Union will get a slight edge as Atlanta plays for the US Open Cup on Tuesday against Minnesota United FC at home. This match could go a long way to deciding who gets that coveted new first round bye that only goes to the top team in each conference this season.