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DC United vs Philadelphia Union Game Review

The Starting Lineups 

D.C. United Lineup: Tyler Miller (Alex Bono 46'), Pedro Santos (Éric Davis 74'), Derrick Williams, Steven Birnbaum, Brendan Hines-Ike (José Fajardo 79'), Chris Durkin (Ruan 46'), Russell Canouse, Mateusz Klich, Gabriel Pirani, Yamil Asad (Ted Ku-DiPietro 74'), Christian Benteke

Unused Substitutes: Cristian Dájome, Donovan Pines, Jackson Hopkins, Erik Hurtado

Philadelphia Union Lineup: Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Nathan Harriel, Kai Wagner, Jose Martinez (Leon Flach 26'), Daniel Gazdag, Jack McGlynn, Jesus Bueno (Alejandro Bedoya 64'), Mikael Uhre (Quinn Sullivan 90'+2'), Julian Carranza (Chris Donovan 64')

Unused Substitutes: Joe Bendik, Matt Real, Olivier Mbazio, Joaquin Torres, Tai Baribo

Game Recap

First Half: 

Audi Field saw the Union smash the Black & Red to earn an emphatic win, scoring twice early and basically walk their way to a 3-1 win over DC United.

After scoreless draws in their two previous matches with the Union away, there was reason for optimism. United are as healthy as they have been all season, yet the team came out sluggish and seemed ill prepared for the Union’s intensity.

The Union’s Mikael Uhre got on the scoreboard first in the 5th minute. Derrick Williams received a pass from Pedro Santos deep in United’s half, almost at the end line. He took too long, and instead of just clearing the ball, succumbed to the press. The Union’s Gazdag pressured him into a turnover, poking it away to Julián Carranza who turned, and placed a perfect pass to Uhre between three United defenders. Uhre placed the first-touch shot in the back of the net.

The Union doubled the lead in the 13th, when Jack McGlynn easily scored at the back post from a deflected shot. If the first goal was depressing, the second was disheartening. Off of an unsuccessful free kick, José Martínez gained control of the loose ball on the right wing. With nothing but space in front of him, Martínez took off down the length of the field. Santos tried one of his slide-tackles to get the ball away from Martínez, but this attempt was poor, and Martínez kept going. Martínez then did something that United had issues doing all game when he swung a low cross toward Carranza. Chris Durkin had hustled back and was able to get a piece of the ball; unfortunately it deflected to an open McGlynn, as other United players were slow to get back. It seemed too easy as McGlynn placed his shot across the goal to the far pole.

Dániel Gazdag put the final nail in the coffin with a penalty kick goal in the 38th. This penalty was picked up by Tyler Miller who had come off his line and slammed into Carranza just inside the penalty box. The Union had put a long ball over the defense to an onrushing Carranza, who chipped the ball just before Miller got there. Since Miller didn’t get any of the ball, it was an easy call for the referee. Gazdag easily dispatched his 9th penalty and his 17th over all goal of the season.

The half would end with the Black & Red trailing 0-3.

Second Half: 

The second half starts with Tyler Miller being replaced by Alex Bono. There is reports of it being injury related, but it might have happened even without the injury. While Miller wasn’t really at fault for the first two goals, he was completely at fault for the third, and didn’t look comfortable. It appears his confidence is shot.

United came out with more energy and looked to have scored the 49th minute. Christian Benteke put an open header on goal. The ball appeared to cross the line as Blake fell backward while trying to punch it. The ball came back out, and ping-ponged around, and the Union players were able to block all attempts. Controversially the review crew didn’t order a halt to take a longer look when the ball finally went out of bounds. It should have required a review, and again highlighted the need for MLS to invest in goal line technology.

United didn’t give up which is the tiny sliver of positivity, and the Union took their foot off the gas, so the Black & Red did create some chances, but it looked like Blake was going to get another clean sheet against United, but Ted Ku-DiPietro was finally able to end that scoring drought. The United homegrown player brought energy and ambition into the attack. Not sure if he is on a minute count, but he needs to get more minutes in the games. Ted KDP torched Union player Leon Flach, and ran about 10 yards unchallenged, and rifled a shot from just outside the box that was too high and fast for Blake to parry. 

Still it was too little too late. The match ended 1-3, and the playoffs slipped further away.

Notes From the Top Row:

  • DC is on the back foot to start the match

  • Both teams are being physical but the Union are getting the better of it

  • Derrick Williams gets his pocket picked

  • Union goal was way too easy 

  • Martínez just made Santos look a fool 

  • Union Goal, way too easy 

  • Mikler just made a great save

  • Miller just plowed into Union player 

  • Ref pointed to the penalty 

  • Miller has to do better 

  • Too easy for Gazdag, third goal for the Union

  • Game feels like last season 

  • Halftime down 3

  • Bono on for Miller

  • Ruan in for Durkin

  • Benteke header into the goal

  • How is that not a score?

  • Fans are energized, ref hearing it

  • Gabriel Pirani is looking like a good pickup.

  • Ted Ku-DiPietro coming in for Yamil Asad, should have happened sooner 

  • Eric Davis coming in for Pedro Santos

  • Wish Santos had been the sub, and Davis started 

  • Ted Ku-DiPietro is a spark

  • Ted Ku-DiPietro!

  • DC finally get a goal on Blake.

  • Final whistle is both a relief and disappointing 

  • Not good enough 

  • Roster is a complete mess

Player Ratings (FotMob):

Tyler Miller                5.4

Brendan Hines-Ike     6.6

Derrick Williams        5.7

Steve Birnbaum          6.4

Chris Durkin               6.1

Russell Canouse         6.8   

Mateusz Klich            7.3

Pedro Santos              6.2

Yamil Asad                6.4

Gabriel Pirani            6.5

Christian Benteke      6.9


Ruan                          7.2

Alex Bono                 7.7

Ted Ku-DiPietro        7.4

Eric Davis                  6.2

Jose Fajardo               6.0

Next Match: DC United are home again next Saturday to host the Chicago Fire.

Written by: RJ Rolsen 

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