Union / Union match reports / US Open Cup

Match report: D.C. United 2-1 Philadelphia Union

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

D.C. United scored in the 118th and 120th minutes to defeat the Philadelphia Union 2-1 in the U.S. Open Cup. Anthony Fontana looked to have given the Union the win with a goal in the 113th minute, but Philadelphia couldn’t see the match out and are out of the tournament.

Jim Curtin named a strong starting lineup, particularly on the offensive side of things with Sergio Santos backed up by midfield of Fafa Picault, Jamiro Monteiro, Ilsinho, Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin. The defensive group was much changed, with Fabinho, Olivier Mbaizo, Mark McKenzie and Aurelien Collin getting the call in front of Matt Freese.

All of the goals would come in the second half of extra time after regular time saw few quality chances for either side.

Anthony Fontana, playing at center forward and only on the field for four minutes, opened the scoring with a goal in the 113th minute. Jamiro Monteiro did well to win the ball back after D.C. failed to clear their lines and played a flipped pass through to Fontana. The youngster took a touch to settle and did well to finish with his second touch at the near post from 10 yards out.

United would equalize five minutes later in the 118th minute. Wayne Rooney played a corner from the right side that Matt Freese tried to come for but couldn’t reach and Chris McCann headed into the empty net from five yards out.

With penalty kicks looming, D.C. United would find a winner from the penalty spot in the 120th minute. Luciano Acosta was adjudged to have been fouled in the box and Rooney stepped up to take the spot kick. Freese guessed right but Rooney’s shot was powerful and beat the young goalkeeper to his left for the winner.

The loss was the first time the Union have been eliminated in their first U.S. Open Cup match in club history.

Line Ups

Philadelphia Union
Matt Freese, Fabinho (Matt Real 90′), Aurelien Collin, Mark McKenzie, Olivier Mbaizo (Ray Gaddis 98′), Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Fafa Picault (Zachary Zandi 100′), Sergio Santos (Anthony Fontana 109′)
Unused Subs: Carlos Coronel, Benjamin Ofeimu, Issa Rayyan

D.C. United
Chris Seitz, Jalen Robinson (Quincy Amarikwa 90′), Frederic Brillant, Steven Birnbaum, Joseph Mora (Chris McCann 96′), Antonio Bustamante (Griffin Yow 73′), Leonardo Jara, Ulises Segura, Luciano Acosta, Lucas Rodriguez, Wayne Rooney
Unused Subs: Earl Edwards Jr, Noah Pilato

Scoring Summary
PHI: Anthony Fontana – 113′ (Jamiro Monteiro)
DC: Chris McCann – 118′ (Wayne Rooney)
DC: Wayne Rooney – 120′ (PK)

Disciplinary Summary
DC: Jalen Robinson – 68′ (unsporting behavior)
DC: Lucas Rodriguez – 83′ (unsporting behavior)
PHI: Alejandro Bedoya – 95′ (unsporting behavior)
PHI: Mark McKenzie – 96′ (handball)
PHI: Ilsinho – 115′ (unsporting behavior)


  1. Andy Muenz says:

    Unfortunate that they couldn’t capitalize during the first half when they were dominating possession but I know we’ve seen that movie before.
    In the long run, I think the loss is a good thing as it gives Bedoya and Medunjanin a much needed two week rest and the team won’t have open cup games to worry about in the next couple of months.
    Having watched on ESPN+, I also think the Union need to find a way to hire Bobby Warshaw and dump Tommy Smyth.

    • Completely agree with points 2 & 3.

    • Bobby Warshaw? Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

    • If there is year to ignore Open Cup, this is the year. Let’s focus on making playoffs with the highest possible seed, especially with new playoff format.

      I also watched it on ESPN+ (got it just for this game) and really liked the commentary.

    • I was saying to my kids last night that the commentary team was some of the most intelligent, insightful commentary I have ever heard on a soccer broadcast.

    • Who was with Warshaw on the call?

    • Yeah quietly the best result we can hope for. Some of our key players do need this 2 week break. We got 4 games in 11 days, all against eastern conference rivals.

  2. Patrick O'Leary says:

    Now we focus on the real prize.

  3. Bring BSFC Back to Bethlehem says:

    Another reason to get an independent club to the Lehigh Valley. Let us focus on winning the Open Cup, as is tradition, and the Union can go win MLS. It’s a win-win. We could even do a trophy tour together around Eastern PA :]

  4. Terribly disappointed they didn’t close that one down, was so excited for Fontana. Gutted for Freese, he had played a pretty good game until the whiff on that cross…Killer. Once again, Picault had three good looks (and one GREAT look) and couldn’t finish, it’s more than old now. Alas, it’s not the end of the season.
    On a positive note, I’d take those two announcers for Union broadcasts anytime. They were very entertaining and I absolutely heard more insightful analysis of gameplay and tactics in the first 20 minutes than I have from Tommy ever. I honestly enjoy JP, but if he ever wanted to move on…Sign the guys from last night up. They were great.

    • Agree with all your points. Love Fafa but it’s become obvious he can’t finish. Time to give him a rest and let Fontana take his spot in the XI.

      I also enjoy JP – and I do love it when Tommy talks about “The old onion bag” and “Give it a lash, son.” But I will take Bobby Warshaw and the other announcer (sorry, don’t remember his name) any day.

  5. John Harris says:

    Freese has some work to do on positioning.

  6. Chris Gibbons says:

    I would say that was a gut punch loss but it’s tough to make it that important. DC should win that match at home, midweek, against a completely new Union back five probably 6 times out of 10 and get a draw another 2. The Union played great for a while and then were completely gassed. Perhaps Curtin might have subbed in a guy or two earlier, perhaps not, but his bench was very literally Bethlehem Steel and Ray Gaddis. I’m proud of the fight, interested to see if the young guys get any more minutes going forward, and feel like the loss was akin to losing on penalties just a few minutes early. On to NYCFC.

  7. They worked and competed hard and had chances. Moving forward, Tanner needs to get you know who to spend for a lights out striker to pair with Santos. A US Open Cup would be nice. However this team should compete for and win the real trophy, not some watered down one off.

  8. Have to say, Tanner has done a great job putting the roster together, however, with only 26 of 30 spots used and 11 internationals (both numbers including Burke) it was always going to be a challenge in the Open Cup with even more limited internationals. Also they had to know that they would be missing some players with the U20s, U23s, Gold Cup, etc all this year.
    I think it shows the clear priority has been on the league. Keep your eyes on the prize boys!

  9. The Truth says:

    Couldn’t watch, monitored on twitter, wasn’t surprised by lack of finishing, and was ultimately amused by the conclusion. Ten years of Union tradition on display in minutes 114-120.
    Unfortunate elimination. Would like to see Fontana in the 18 next league match. Time to focus on the big prize, fellas.

  10. Andy Muenz says:

    This game was really an elaborate plot by Curtin to show why he’s NOT the dumbest coach in the world for not starting Ilshino.

    • hahha yep! cheat code doesnt have to play a first half for the rest of the season, and we wont be in the exhausting position of trying to win two cups. silver lining

      • Atomic Spartan says:

        Considering the intense hi energy output needed to do what he does, Skillsinho’s only reasonable role is supersub. Anyone who has his ability and approach can only have so many bullets in the chamber. 2 goals and an assist per game vs. tired legs? Not bad strategy to let him watch the game, measure the “wind and elevation,” and then turn him loose to shoot.

  11. Disappointing final result, but I thought DC was the better team for most of the game. Statistics aside, DC just looked more likely to score most of the second half.

    Still have to respect the effort of the team. Ilsinho went 120+ plus minutes; With the exception of the missed cross, Freese had a good game; Bedoya just had tired legs at the end after running hard all game – he has help on Acosta and didn’t need to foul there

    Highlight of the game for me was the commentary team. Truly intelligent analysis. Perfect for the crowd that would be watching that game (a mid-week US Open Cup game only available streaming – you know true soccer fans will be the ones watching)

    • Andy Muenz says:

      I think the Union were the better team for most of the first half but then the effect of having played Saturday showed up and the rested DC team started taking over.

  12. With Marco apparently still injured and no other #10 on the team, why did we agree to let Aaronson go to U23?
    Couldn’t we have released him after this game? I understand that since we don’t rotate our midfield much, this is not that bad a result, but think that the goal was still to win?

    • Andy Muenz says:

      To me, the bigger question is why the U-23’s scheduled the camp when they did given that teams are already shorthanded due to the Gold Cup and the fact that they can’t play all of their internationals. Even if Fabian had been healthy and not playing for Mexico (which is a big if), then the Union would have had to drop either Mbaizo, Santos, Medunjanen, or Monteiro.

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