D.C. United and Philadelphia Union last met during MLS Rivalry Week to disastrous results. The Black-and-Red sought to turn the tide with a home win but were overcome, losing 0-6 at Audi Field.
6 - @PhilaUnion are the second team in @MLS history to score 6+ goals in two matches against a single opponent in a single season (Galaxy vs. Rapids in 4 meetings in 1998). Pile-on. pic.twitter.com/AwV0i8Z4ih— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) August 21, 2022
D.C. United started the match off strong with a cross from Jackson Hopkins on the right wing. Hopkins flung the ball into the six toward a waiting Miguel Berry. However, a deflection off Jack Elliott’s arm redirected the ball. Berry was still able to get a foot on the ball to make a shot from the left side of the box but missed his attempt, skying the ball.
While official Ted Unkel paused the match, there was determined to be no violation. While this call caused frustration, head coach Wayne Rooney said, “the best performance tonight was the referee...all of the big calls were spot on.”
Huh. pic.twitter.com/VhXq2Ok5Vr— D.C. United (@dcunited) August 20, 2022
The Union, quick in transition after the restart, made a run down the field to press D.C. and earn a corner kick in the 6’. However, good defensive play by the Black-and-Red denied Philadelphia a good opportunity on goal. Julián Carranza was denied in his attempt in the 8’ as well, inspiring confidence early in the first half.
A turnover from the Black-and-Red saw Victor Pálsson split two lines to find Ravel Morrison in the box; his attempt was saved. Then, absolute chaos in traffic ensued, and Jackson Hopkins kept D.C.’s hopes alive, finding another opportunity. While Hopkins’ shot missed, the Union was put on notice. The Black-and-Red were on the hunt for a goal.
Both teams traded snappy turnovers to try and strike first, but the match was still scoreless at the half-hour mark.
The Black-and-Red kept knocking on the door, trying to find their way past Philadelphia’s back line and Andre Blake. Unfortunately for D.C., the Union found the back of the net first. Dániel Gazdag won the ball after a tough challenge and found Carranza with space to spare. Running down the right wing, Carranza spotted Mikkel Uhre just at the top of the box. Uhre fired off a shot into space behind Romo to put the Union on the board.
While D.C. United didn’t receive the call for the clear handball, and the Union was awarded a penalty kick in stoppage time. Dániel Gazdag easily converted the penalty to notch the second for Philadelphia.
Julián Carranza found Philadelphia’s third of the match in the 47’, curving a ball from the top of the box around Rafael Romo and into goal. Carranza notched a brace and then a hat trick, scoring in the 70’ and 74’. Jack McGlynn made a tidy forward pass to Cory Burke, who found Philadelphia Union’s sixth of the match, firing a rocket from outside the box to finish it up for the visitors in the 79’.
The loss was devastating. Victor Pálsson, who wore the captain’s armband tonight, said, “I’m ashamed to be captain today, as well, losing six-zero, probably one of the worst days in my career. I take full responsibility. And we all should because we let ourselves down completely. Every single one of us.”
D.C. United will hope to go into the final stretch of a rough season on a high note as they head south to face Atlanta United on Sunday, August 28 at 4 pm ET.
- Chris Durkin stood out for his leadership. Head coach Wayne Rooney said, “I purposely stayed quiet on the side. I wanted to see which players were gonna take responsibility and show some leadership, and the only one was Chris Durkin. He kept going. He kept trying. He kept trying to put players into position. He was the only one who kept trying to do the right things and trying to organize the team and players and kept working other than, I think he was the only player who really can hold his head high.”
- Philadelphia Union has decided this “rivalry” is real. The Union has certainly leaned into the “rivalry” with D.C. United. While Black-and-Red supporters have always acknowledged the rivalry between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, MLS has pitted the Union against D.C. over the past few seasons during MLS Rivalry Week. The Union has gone for broke in both matches this season, overcoming D.C. 13-0 on aggregate.
- There is still a lot more work to do in building the team. Despite the hardships of this season, D.C. United can’t take its foot off the gas. Wayne Rooney said, “There’s no way I’ll allow them to take the foot off the pedal from now to the end season. We have to compete in every game, and tonight is, as I said before, I’ve never felt that as a player or a coach, what happened tonight. So, I don’t want to feel that again.”
MLS Regular Season - Game 26
Philadelphia Union: 6 Mikkel Uhre 37’, Julián Carranza (47’, 70’, 74’), Dániel Gazdag 45’ +4’ penalty, Cory Burke 79’
D.C. United: (4-3-3) Rafael Romo, Tony Alfaro, Sami Guediri (Kimarni Smith 69’), Chris Durkin, Andy Najar, Victor Pálsson, Ravel Morrison (Sofiane Djeffal 69’), Jackson Hopkins (Ted Ku-DiPietro 69’), Taxi Fountas, Martín Rodríguez (Ola Kamara 68’), Miguel Berry
Philadelphia Union: (4-1-2-1-2) Andre Blake; Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo (Nathan Harriel 85’), Jose Martinez, Jack McGlynn, Alejandro Bedoya (Leon Flach 77’), Dániel Gazdag (Paxton Aaronson 76’), Mikkael Uhre (Cory Burke 65’), Julián Carranza (Quinn Sullivan 85’)