Union match reports

Match report: D.C. United 3-1 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Dwayne De Rosario scored a hat trick Wednesday to lead D.C. United to a 3-1 win over Philadelphia Union in the U.S. Open Cup.

United controlled the match from start to finish, exerting high defensive pressure through their 4-2-3-1 that largely took the Union midfield out of the game, which was played at the Maryland Soccerplex in Boyds, Md. The loss knocked Philadephia out of the tournament.

“We just came out really flat in the first half, the whole team,” Union striker Conor Casey said after the game. “There’s really no excuse for it.”

De Rosario scored his first goal in the 24th minute with a long distance blast that beat Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath just moments after the Union had seemed to clear the danger by blocking a long-range Nick DeLeon shot. De Rosario picked up two more goals after giveaways by MacMath and Union center backs Amobi Okugo and Jeff Parke.

The game was largely quiet for the first 75 minutes, save for De Rosaro’s first goal. Philadelphia took just one shot in the first half, and De Rosario’s goal was the only one of six United shots that went on target.

United defensive midfielders Perry Kitchen and John Thorrington joined De Rosario and forward Casey Townsend in pressuring the Union center midfield out of the game. As a result, Union defenders often opted for long balls to forwards, skipping the midfield entirely with minimal success. Keon Daniel did little to drive the Union attack in the first half and often played deeper than defensive midfielder Brian Carroll. Nearly every Union push upfield went through the center or up the right, so left back Ray Gaddis and left midfielder Michael Farfan rarely touched the ball. United left back Taylor Kemp added to the pressure by marking right midfielder Sebastien Le Toux very closely.

The second half played out more evenly than the first. Union manager John Hackworth replaced Daniel with Leo Fernandes at halftime. Farfan slid into the middle and proved marginally more effective than Daniel before leaving the match in the 73rd minute.

Still, there were few good chances on goal until a slip-up by Okugo in the 75th minute. Former Union striker Lionard Pajoy, who came on for an injured Ethan White in the 67th minute, picked Okugo’s pocket near midfield and drove a counterattack toward the middle. He then found a cutting De Rosario coming down the center of field. De Rosario collected the ball, juked the onrushing MacMath, and slid his shot into an open goal for a 2-0 lead.

The Union answered a minute later. Don Anding made his first Union appearance in a non-friendly, replacing Farfan. He promptly started creating trouble, and it was his pass that Jack McInerney blasted into the net to draw within a goal.

The energy picked up as both teams felt another goal coming. Anding took advantage of DeLeon, who had slid back from midfield to right back after starter James Riley left the game in the 23rd. Anding broke him down several times and sent in crosses almost at will. One low cross somehow found its way through traffic to Le Toux, but he couldn’t control it and failed to tally. After the game, Anding said Hackworth had told him to attack DeLeon because DeLeon wasn’t comfortable at right back.

Then in the 85th minute, another mistake buried the Union. MacMath collected a ball about 30 yards out from goal and to the far right of the field. He sent a low driving pass to Parke, who failed to control it cleanly. De Rosario pounced on the failed touch, rounded Parke and hit the open goal from 40 yards away. The match effectively ended that moment.

After the game, Hackworth agreed with Casey’s assessment that the club came out flat.

“We got to know we’re not that good that we can do that,” Hackworth said.

“It’s not acceptable,” he added. “I don’t understand it. I don’t get it.”

United now move on to the tournament’s quarterfinals to play the New England Revolution, who beat New York 4-2 in Boston on Wednesday.



Zac MacMath, Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Ray Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Sebastien Le Toux, Keon Daniel (Leo Fernandes ’46), Michael Farfan (Don Anding ’73), Conor Casey (Antoine Hoppenot ’65), Jack McInerney


Joe Willis, James Riley (Brandon McDonald ’63), Ethan White (Lionard Pajoy ’67), Daniel Woolard, Taylor Kemp, Perry Kitchen, John Thorrington, Nick DeLeon, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius (Sainey Nyassi ’46), Casey Townsend


  1. well, i’ll never get those 2 hours back. sigh. #wesucksomuch

  2. hack might wanna figure out how to “understand it” considering it is his job.

    • Seriously…he wasn’t up once to yell at the players during the game. What the heck? Everyone who was watching could see the lack of effort especially in the first half. I want a manager who realizes that playing like garbage is unacceptable during the game, not one who just accepts defeat and makes excuses post-game.
      He is not nearly vocal enough. Is it because he wants to be everyone(except Roger)’s friend?

  3. After the Columbus game I had a glimmer of hope about this team. But after settling for Wheeler as a good enough solution for defensive depth and this performance, I remember everything that irritated me about this team.

    #wesucksomuch 4 eva

  4. The Black Hand says:

    That was bad. Hackworth provided us with a shapeless, non-threatening XI. Awful selection, made worse by poor substitutions. Shameful loss. DC United put three on us. Hack has to go!!! He sucks so much!

    • It was indeed shapeless and non-threatening. But it was almost exactly the same starting XI that dominated Columbus. I guess that means either: (1) Danny Cruz really is that important to this team, or (2) the entire outlook of this team is dependent on whether Gallant Keon or Goofus Keon shows up.

      • Great One says:

        Keon was in the same spot behind Carroll doing the same things as last game, only DC didn’t let him do his meandering and control the ball

      • The Black Hand says:

        Michael Farfan is the factoring change, from our Columbus lineup.

      • I agree Marfan has been bad, for sure. But so has Keon… and Cruz. Carroll has been average…. pretty good reason our midfield is such a weak link?

      • Marfan was far worse this game than Keon was. Granted, they were probably the worst two on the pitch. BC was also very ineffective this outing.
        Hackworth loves playing Cruz non-stop. Why the change? You’d think Hack would play that guy even with a broken leg.

      • Dan Walsh says:

        Cruz traveled, but he had a minor injury.

    • I disagree that the substitutions were poor. Hackworth had really no choice but to start the XI he did, and I think he fixed the obvious issues (Daniel, Marfan) with players who wanted and took advantage of their chance. Anding and Fernandes were both threatening once they came on, and were clearly better than the players they replaced. As for Hoppenot, this was not the type of game he excels at, so his inclusion is frustrating. I would have rather seen Torres try and spark the attack from the CAM position, though I realize that is very unlikely at this point.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Fernandez sub pushed Marfan to CAM, where he gave us nothing. It should have been Torres. Hoppenot should have started, not subbed on. Anding exploited the fill-in RB, so you could say that his sub was OK but that could have been done by anyone with fresh legs. We were terribly mismanaged!

  5. How could they play so poorly. I know they can play better, I have seen them do it recently

  6. Because, unfortunately, we suck so much

  7. D.C. United is a strong team. They have proved it again in last match. Really all of the players has looked very confident. Specially Dwayne De Rosario. He has scored a hat trick Wednesday. Congrats.

  8. They were so flat in this game. It seems to happen a little to often. The first 45 seemed like they didn’t care about this game.

  9. Gee, the midfield got taken out of the game. Might that have something to do with Hackworths continual use of poor midfielders.

    He talks about midfield depth as the reason Torres doesn’t start but he is FULL OF IT. He doesn’t like Torres because he puts him in the “Nowaks south American” boys category.

    There is no way that Cruz and Daniel have earned their starting roles based on performance.

    Hack sucks. Cant wait to meet the new manager.

  10. Know how you know you’re a fan? When you actually sit through something like that.

    • I couldn’t help but turn it off after their third goal. It would be one thing if it was from sublime play from DC but the reason we lost was a combination of anemic play and two mind boggling errors. Mind boggling is not a strong enough description but words fail when I try to describe how shit those errors were. I almost felt personally insulted.

    • Southside Johnny says:

      It was like watching the emergency crews clean up a horrible wreck while stuck in traffic on I95…had to watch, but hated myself for it. Literally painful. Fuzzy feed, shaky camera and crap play gave me a monster headache..

    • well it was cheaper than paying someone to step on your balls.

  11. I agree that Hack has to go. How he can watch Keon each and every week and continue to put him in the starting XI is baffling. He claims this team has depth, but he rotates the same 14 players each week.

    And where did Michael Farfan go? He seemed like a player to build the midfield around and he has disappeared.

    The lone positive seems to be the play of Anding. Maybe he gets a run in league play?

  12. scottymac says:

    John Hackworth is a symptom. Nick Sakiewicz is the actual illness.

    Sack is a part owner in the team. The rest of the ownership group is invisible (yes, we know names, but you never hear of involvement). Sack isn’t going anywhere. No new money seems to be reinvested in the product on the field.

    I’m trying to be outraged, but just can’t muster it. I watched all 90 minutes of that slop last night. I don’t even have it in me to mock Darlene for her inane comment about a 3 win team being strong.

    I am so utterly disappointed. Waited so long for a team, few years back before the club was awarded, I considered becoming a DC or NY fan, just to have a team. Never could jump into it though. Too many cross sport rivalries. The elation when the Soccer Don deigned to bequeath a club to us (over freaking Rochester of all places). The fun standing at the SuperDraft, at City Hall when the club was intro’d, the first game (and beating Biden into the Linc), ManU, Real Madrid, Celtic, what an instant add water awesome soccer culture.

    And now, what? This team is goodish enough to make a run at fifth, though that’s about how piss poor the East is rather than the U’s management. If they do make it, you get the feeling they’d be whacked by HOU, SKC, RBNY or MTL in fourth. Does a home and home whitewash taste like success? It did in 2011, maybe a tinge of bitter when you realize they could have made a run w/o 5 on the back line, but it was still hopeful.

    Today? I watched a team flatline in front of me last night. Even the awful handicam that DCU grabbed at Best Buy en route to stream it or the Univ Maryland intern calling the game couldn’t distract me from the fact that the Union are a team that was treading water, and now they’re starting to slip under the surface.

    Just don’t be shocked when Jack is sold in for a first rounder and allocation. Now that he’s on the books and not GenAdidas, he’s got a Sack sized bulls eye on his back. Amobi shouldnt shop for real estate either…

    • Great One says:

      Well said

    • I know you’re just ranting, but to be fair, Sakiewicz is the CEO so that’s why he is more involved. It’s his job to the be the face of the ownership.
      If we finish in 5th it wouldn’t be a home-and-home, it would be 1 road game AT the 4th place team, which would likely spell our demise. A home-and-home would be welcome.
      Also, the announcer was the man who does the pregame show for CSN, Tony Limarzi, and the color guy was Kerith Gabriel. JP & Alejandro they are not, but they did a good job.

      • Kerith did no color commentary just talked during halftime.
        Tony started out really shaky but eventually grew into the game. It is pretty obvious he is a Soccer fan and if he worked at it in a few years he could be a decent.

      • The Black Hand says:

        Tony was kinda rough.

      • Thanks for the catch on my miss for the playoff format.

        Other clubs have CEO/President/whatevers and still have an ownership group that you know, is seen at games or articulates a vision for the club. These are investors, nothing more.

        I appreciate Tony’s passion for the game, but since he was doing play by play AND commentary, well, he just wouldn’t shut up. So no, he did not do a good job. Except when he would occasionally flip the lens from telephoto to wide so we could see more of the pitch, that was awesome.

  13. Great One says:

    In Colombus; our midfield bossed the game, Le Toux proved to be a worthy winger, and the defense was mostly stifling and in shape.
    Unfortunately that game is the exception to all these things and not the rule. I think Le Toux has shown he has ability out there, but the rest of the midfield must be able to handle the Load that comes with him not really playing midfield. Daniel, Carroll (he was amazingly good vs Crew), Marfan, and Cruz have been outclassed all year long, no one can dispute that reasonably. Fernandes, Torres, and now even Anding have shown some potential. We need to at least give them some run of play just to at least see if there will be some better results, bc it’s painfully obvious the midfield as it is currently setup will not succeed in the long run.
    The biggest worry to me though is the defense. We are the only team currently in the playoffs with a negative goal differential and have one of the worst goals against in the league. It can’t all be bc of Gaddis. Our defense is just not solid at all.
    We are fortunate, given how we’ve played, to be In the playoff hunt. I so hope hackworth doesn’t kill that fortune, I so hope we get some different lineups in and maybe a quality transfer or two. (The union blew the Kaita situation).
    If nothing else we need to send a message to some guys. I’d like to see this lineup next game.
    Gaddis, Williams, Parke, Anding
    Le Toux, Okugo, Torres, Fernandes
    Casey, Macinerney

    • I doubt this game is the exception. The burden of evidence shows this game is more the rule.

      Remember the blowout we had against KC last year? That game was early in Hack’s tenure and we thought that the team had turned a corner and were on the right track. But since then we dropped a lot of questionable players but the play of most of our starting 11 has gotten worse and due to the lack of depth and Hackworths allergy to starting Roger if we make wholesale changes to the lineup it will be mostly rookies and unproven players, so essentially you will be conceding points to send a message and the Union will never do that.

  14. Hack says “I don’t understand it”.

    How about because you suck and are worthless as a coach?
    Every damn game this team looks like it’s the 1st time they’ve ever played together. That’s a true sign of a lack of coaching. He never chastises ANYONE – and every week this becomes more evident.

    If I went to the “summit” next week, I’d probably be thrown out for what i’d really want to ask that douchebag.

    Also – maybe if our starting XI weren’t out surfing, playing at the beach, or doing other “normal person” things the day before a match, they’d be in better position. The entire coaching staff needs to be pushed out –

    3 goals to the worst team in MLS – one that had 1 win in 14 games? Shame on you.

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