Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 4-1 D.C. United

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Remaining undefeated at home, the Philadelphia Union went on to defeat rival D.C. United tonight, 4-1. The scoring started early for the Union who started off strong and with a few changes to their lineup. Dominating all night, the Union were easily able to pick up three points against an injury-ridden D.C. side to improve this season’s home record to 2-0.

The first minute was in favor of D.C., but a quick counter turned over possession easily and rather definitively as the Union had several shots go over the crossbar. All of their pressing would pay off early though. Off a corner from Jamiro Monteiro that glanced off the head of Alejandro Bedoya, the ball fell to an open Kacper Przybylko who tucked it past Chris Seitz to open up the scoring in the seventh minute.

Andre Blake would record his first save of the match in the 11th minute, easily grabbing a free kick following El Brujo’s yellow out of the air. Blake didn’t Przybylko would get his brace in the 16th minute when a ball would fall to him at the top of the box. Quickly moving the ball onto his right foot, the Striker Muffin would hit a bending ball past the diving Seitz to make it 2-0 early. Five minutes later, Sergio Santos extended the lead to 3-0 after getting the ball from Martinez and taking it up the left sideline to hit a top shelf rocket over the keeper.

An already recovering and questionable Kai Wagner would be replaced by Matt Real in the 27th minute. The Union would continue to control the match, making some nice passes to generate their attacks wide and the back line shutting down any real opportunities for United. Bedoya would come close in the 41st, hitting the outside netting following a series of pretty passes that cut apart D.C.’s defense and resulted in a flash of the DOOP and GOAL graphics. Brenden Aaronson would have two opportunities but prove unsuccessful. An eventful first half ended with the Union up 3-0.

There was a half time substitution for the Union as Warren Creavalle came on for Martinez who earned a yellow card in the first half, but Philly resumed their drive for goal number four, now in the rain. Santos hit the post running onto a ball from Przybylko that went across the box in the 53rd, marking the Union’s first real chance of the second half.  Aaronson finally got his goal in the 61st to put Philly up 4-0. Mbaizo hit a long ball, switching the pitch to allow Przybylko to run onto it and cross it to Aaronson who buried it in the lower left corner.

But D.C. would put one on the board, coming off the foot of Julian Gressel in the 64th minute, to make it 4-1. Immediately after, Ilsinho and Andrew Wooten would replace Przybylko and Santos up top, showing that the Union were still hungry for goals and looking to give their usual top strikers a little extra time off. Wooten almost had a goal in the 76th, receiving a flick on pass and blasting a shot right at Seitz who held on tight to eliminate any chance of a rebound. The Union would hold off the desperate attempts of D.C. United and control the ball in the last few minutes, winning their second home match of the season, 4-1.

The Union will play next on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against the Columbus Crew in Ohio. Their next home match will be on September 12th at 7:30 p.m., facing off against the New England Revolution.

Three points
  • Squad rotation? Curtin rotating the CBs has become normal, but the absence of Ray Gaddis is the most notable difference. Gaddis holds the club’s all-time records for games played, games started, and minutes for the club, starting in 45-consecutive matches since October 6, 2018. Breaking that streak could mean that Curtin is finally embracing squad rotation. Another important note is the Curtin actually used four subs tonight, giving more guys like Jack de Vries more minutes.
  • Przybylko’s returned. On Tuesday night I had questioned if his goal in the team’s 1-0 victory over NYRB had marked the beginning of Kacper’s return to his usual self. A brace in tonight’s 3-0 victory definitely shows the Friendly Striker/Striker Muffin has shaken off his issues.
  • Nothing new. Over the past five years the Union have an 8-1-1 record over D.C. United with Philly outscoring D.C. 25-8. Blake would be unable to earn his seventh clean sheet against United, but a 4-1 result is still pretty great and nothing new.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake; Olivier Mbaizo, Jakob Glesnes, Jack Elliott, Kai Wagner (Matt Real, 27′); José Martinez (Warren Creavalle, HT), Alejandro Bedoya, Jamiro Monteiro, Brenden Aaronson (Jack de Vries, 88′); Kacper Przybylko (Andrew Wooten, 64′), Sergio Santos (Ilsinho, 64′)
Unused subs: Joe Bendik, Ray Gaddis, Mark McKenzie, Anthony Fontana

D.C. United

Chris Seitz; Axel Sjoberg, Donovan Pines, Joseph Mora; Felipe Martins, Junior Moreno (Mohammed Abu, 64′), Julian Gressel (Moses Nyeman, 79′), Yamid Asad (Griffin Yow, HT), Kevin Paredes; Ola Kamara (Erik Sorga, 57′), Ulises Segura
Unused subs: Earl Edwards Jr., Frederico Higuain

Scoring summary

PHL: Kacper Przybylko – 7′

PHL: Kacper Przybylko – 16′

PHL: Sergio Santos – 21′

PHL: Brenden Aaronson – ‘ (Kacper Przybylko)

Disciplinary summary

PHL: Jose Martinez – 11′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)

DC: Felipe – 19′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)

PHL: Olivier Mbaizo – 56′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)

PHL: Ilsinho – 69′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)

PHL: Warren Creavalle – 81′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)

HL: Monteiro – 88′ – Yellow (unsporting behavior)


  1. Obliterated them. DC… terrible team. Feel bad for Gressel a bit. Curious why Bedoya played so much.
    In other news, I love Ray – but cede he cant make that pass Mbazio made. Sheesh.

    • This game showed some of the promise that Mbazio has showed in the past preseasons. Of course it is against a near USL United.

    • Wracked Opinion says:

      Agree with your sentiments, Fritz.

      It was good to see Curtin more actively using the bench… as was appropriate this match… aside from leaving Capt. Ale in.

      At some point Jim has to find a trustworthy solution for resting Ale’s aging legs.

      Was happy to see Jim sub for Martinez… before disaster… but Ale could have used the 2nd half off.

      Since someone inevitably raised the subject… as for Ray… hopefully his eventual replacement will maintain Gaddis’ heart, effort, plus consistency: while providing an upgrade in the functional skill that the Union demands from the Wing Back position.

      Especially given the context of his use in the Union scheme, I’m loathe to drag on Ray and more inclined to thank him for consistently, literally, representing the best skilled player that he is capable of being at this point.

      But what do I know… LOL

    • I think Kai getting hurt threw a wrench into the subs……..

  2. In Tanner We Trust says:

    I’ll make the same joke I made twice last August: can we play them every week? Hahaha never gets old, to me at least.

  3. Watched this as best I could while Paul Blart Mall Cop was on the big screen.
    I’ll take it from the comments above that D.C. was as bad as it looked when I glanced at my phone.
    But bad teams should be handled easily by better teams. Good on Union for that.
    Nice to see some other players get some minutes. Agree with Fritz… give the Captain some rest.

  4. I’m ready for the Glesnes experiment to end

    • I think that Glesnes is a bit too slow physically to be great at this level. That being said, he puts himself in good spots usually and seems like a good enough player mentally. I think more time is required before making a decision on him.
      Just my two cents however.

    • In Tanner We Trust says:

      Completely disagree. He has to improve, but in no way is he a lost cause. If he starts playing a bit better, I see no reason he can’t be McKenzie’s replacement whenever a sale takes place. I could understand not being comfortable with him starting next Elliott given the lack of pace but he’s not an experiment. He’d start right now for more than half the teams in this league, and he was captain at his old club so you know he’s a good locker room guy.

  5. Excellent match. Finished better than midweek, starting lineup and subs were good, Przybylko looks like he regained his form from last season. Can’t wait for the next match.

  6. Andy Muenz says:

    Strong match overall…and Blake probably saves the goal if the ball wasn’t soaking wet.
    One correction to the Squad Rotation section of Three Points above. Curtin actually used 5 subs (Real, Creavalle, Wooten, Islinho, and De Vries). There was only one midfielder left on the bench (Fontana) which shows how hard it’s probably going to be to get Bedoya and Monteiro some rest this season.

  7. I don’t understand why Fontana wasn’t on for Bedoya after Aaronson made it 4-0. Was happy to see Gaddis and McKenzie given a break. And love seeing Przbylko find his form again.

    Man, DC is awful.

  8. Last two matches everyone is starting to look better. Bedoya’s starting to be himself again, agree he should have been rested or subbed. Does Aaronson get better every game or what? His movement, passing and possession were stellar this match. D.C. is horrible. It was like a MLS 1.0 team vs. MLS 3.0 team. I disagree with some above about Glesnes. I think he’ll be fine. He was playing well before Covid hit and the mistakes he makes are familiarity ones to me. The more time he gets in matches the better he’ll be.

    • He connects 30yard balls to our wide men better than any of them…..he dropped a couple to Mbaizo right in stride……I thought…..”oh, that’s why he is there”. Oh, and he has the possibility of unleashing a 40 yard howitzer too……..I think it’s a luxury having three capable CBs……….

  9. I’m shocked Ben kept his cool and didn’t get tossed…….Lolz! I was waiting for him to go BS crazy……….

    • …he at once looked furrowed browed anguished with a hint of total resignation.

      • Agree, I think he knew he had no answer. They said on the broadcast DC is missing like 6 guys or something. And for what it’s worth I don’t think they gave in or gave up. They just were out played.

    • Ben is still a class “A” nutter though…always has been. His cross armed furrowed brow was cracking me the hell up. They were down quite a few first teamers…..I think them playing the second half 1-1 helped too…….Lolz Him miked up in Florida with no crowd noises was epic…….Vermes too! Jim was like chill as hell…”all right guys….keep knocking it around and find Ilsinho”……..I was like that’s it Jim???? Wow, the nuance! All those badges for that????? Lolz

  10. Glesnes: fair enough. I’ll cede to better minds. I hope he is just adapting, and he is not an unproven, “experiment”. Still, he does not give me confort man marking at all.

    • Look it’s entirely possible for you to be right and us wrong. But here are some things that color my opinion. Playing with Elliot is not the same as Mckenzie. He hasn’t had consistent playing time with either. Like I said above the couple mistakes I saw were, one, he expected someone to make a cut for a ball, they didn’t, and the pass was left short, i.e. because of familiarity. And the other was he left a ball he expected someone else to play that he just should have cleared. Again familiarity. I think he sees the game really well honestly. He has a more European style. He’s definitely the slowest of the 3, but he’s by no means plodding. I think if you took his brain and put it in Mckenzie’s body you’d have a world class player. Oh and he has a howitzer that can score from 45 yards out. (HOLY SHIT). Sorry I love that part.
      Does any of this translate to him being Mckenzie’s replacement if he gets sold? I hope so. I think so.

  11. Glesnes is going to learn how to not operate as a total oil tanker out there. With McKenzie gone and Glesnes all but guaranteed the spot I think he’ll grow into it. Once his chemistry with Elliot is more established I think it’ll be just fine. There were two very specific instances where he was torched. But there were several other instances where he pinged some really terrific cross field passes. All in all, not bad.
    DC is so bad lol.

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