D.C. United fell to a 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union in a rain-soaked preseason match at Subaru Park yesterday afternoon. Two first-half goals from Anthony Fontana sunk United, who were facing their first MLS opposition since hiring new coach Hernán Losada.
Since the club opted to not share the stream the Union made available to fans inside their league-mandated “geofence,” we’re once again cobbling together everything in this post based on tweets from people who saw the game as well as things gleaned from highlights and still photos.
After receiving some (minor) bad news on the injury front, United’s lineup on the day was a mix of probable starters like Ola Kamara and Edison Flores combined with no fewer than four unsigned players. For the record, it appears that two of these players are 2021 draft pick Logan Panchot (who appeared to play at right wingback) and Loudoun United midfielder Drew Skundrich (who took up an attacking midfield position for the first hour).
The Union fielded a mixed group as well, though their team contained six or seven likely starters once league play opens up in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately for United, one of those likely starters ended up making a very quick impact: Fontana’s attempt to find a teammate was cut out by a United player, but the ball bounced right back to him, and before the defense could adjust, the Union homegrown midfielder pinged a shot past Chris Seitz for a 3rd minute lead.
United had the next two looks of note that anyone felt compelled to mention, but couldn’t conjure up an equalizer. That would come back to bite them in the 37th minute, as some pressure on one of the unsigned players for United forced a turnover. An initial shot attempt was blocked by United, but the ball looped across the box and fell perfectly for Fontana, who finished with ease to make it 2-0.
United made four substitutions at halftime, and to the best of our knowledge, began the second half lined up as follows (right-to-left):
(3421): Chris Seitz; Brendan Hines-Ike, Frederic Brillant, Trialist; Logan Panchot, Russell Canouse, Moses Nyeman, Joseph Mora; Drew Skundrich, Yamil Asad; Adrien Perez
Asad and Perez combined to give the latter a look soon after play resumed, but the Union went much closer three minutes later, nearly turning a blind cross from a throw-in into a third goal. Fontana’s hat trick bid was only denied by the post, amid some poor communication at the back:
54' | Fontana with a beaut of a front-post run, but clanks it off the post. He wants to make it three pic.twitter.com/sNEySKHS4x— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) March 31, 2021
United brought Julian Gressel in on the right flank for Panchot in the 56th minute, though it’s unclear whether that came before or after Perez being denied by a strong save from Andre Blake:
56' | They don't call him Brick Wall Blake for nothin' pic.twitter.com/zT0IQII46t— PhilaUnion (@PhilaUnion) March 31, 2021
At the other end, the Union were given a penalty kick, though from the video it looks like Russell Canouse was called for a ball that struck his chest and shoulder:
In any case, Kai Wagner’s spot kick ended up hitting the post, sparing the Black-and-Red from a three-goal deficit.
United made three more changes in the 61st minute, bringing Jon Kempin, Donovan Pines, and Kimarni Smith into the fray. That resulted in the following adjustment to the lineup:
Lineup as of 61st minute: Kempin; Pines, Brillant, ?; Gressel, ?, Canouse, Mora; Smith, Asad, Perez.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) March 31, 2021
While United offered some threats from Perez, Asad, and Pines in the final half-hour or so, ultimately the game’s eventfulness seemed to dissolve amid the number of subs entering while the skies continued to offer up a downpour.
United will be back in Chester in just a few days, as their next preseason match against NYCFC is set for Sunday, April 4, with the game to be played at the Union’s Power Training Complex at 3:00pm.
Preseason - Game 3
Philadelphia Union 2 (Fontana 3, 37)
D.C. United 0
Union (4312): Andre Blake; Nathan Harriel (Matt Real 61), Jakob Glesnes (Aurelien Collin 76), Jack Elliott (Stuart Findlay 76), Kai Wagner; Alejandro Bedoya (Leon Flach 76), José Martinez (Cole Turner 46), Jack McGlynn (Matej Oravec 76); Anthony Fontana; Quinn Sullivan (Brandon Craig 46), Paxten Aaronson (Shanyder Borgelin 61)
DCU (3421): Chris Seitz (Jon Kempin 61); Academy player (Frederic Brillant 46), Brendan Hines-Ike (Donovan Pines 61), Trialist; Logan Panchot (Julian Gressel 56), Moses Nyeman (Kimarni Smith 61), Junior Moreno (Russell Canouse 46), Adrien Perez; Drew Skundrich, Edison Flores (Yamil Asad 46); Ola Kamara (Joseph Mora 46)
Union - None (we think)
DCU - None (we think)