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

photo: Marjorie Elzey

Philadelphia Union returned to MLS play with a 3-1 victory over D.C. United in the nation’s capital on Saturday night. Mikkel Uhre, Jack McGlynn, and Daniel Gazdag were all on target for Philly in the first half while Theodore Ku-Dipietro added a late consolation goal for the hosts.

Jim Curtin reverted to his preferred 4-4-2 in the Union’s first league game since July 15. Julian Carranza recovered from his hamstring injury in time to start. Jesus Bueno kept his spot in the starting XI after a strong performance in the Leagues Cup.

The Union took the lead in just the 5th minute. Daniel Gazdag did well to poke the ball away from Derrick Williams near the United end line as D.C. tried to play out of the back. Gazdag’s poke went straight to Carranza on the edge of the box and the Argentine slid a ball inside that was just behind Uhre, but the striker did well to get good contact and fire past Tyler Miller at the near post on the right side from 7 yards out.

Philadelphia would make it two in the 13th minute through McGlynn. Jose Martinez made a brilliant run with the ball, picking it up on the top of his own 18-yard box after a D.C. free kick. The midfielder drove down the right touch line, advancing all the way to the edge of the D.C. box before firing in a cross that deflected off of Christopher Durkin and fell to McGlynn at the back post. The midfielder hit his shot on target and it skidded through the legs of a retreating United defender and into the back of the net.

Gazdag would make it 3-0 Union with a goal from the penalty spot in the 38th minute. Carranza found space to run in behind the D.C. backline on the right side as the ball was played over the top from Gazdag. Carranza was able to beat Miller to the ball just inside the United box and the goalkeeper clumsily clattered into the striker. Gazdag stepped up to take the penalty and sent Miller the wrong way to score his 10th goal of the season.

Andre Blake made a brilliant save on 49 minutes to deny Christian Benteke. A cross from the D.C. right found the striker at the back post, and Benteke rose highest over Nate Harriel, but Blake reacted quickly and saved smartly right on the goal line. Jakob Glesnes then headed clear the rebound chance from Mateusz Klich.

Carranza had a brilliant chance to make it 4-0 on 61 minutes. Gazdag played the striker in behind and Carranza was in on goal with only substitute Alex Bono to beat. But the United goalkeeper was able to deny the shot, saving with his face from close range.

D.C. had the ball in the back of the net on 84 minutes through Jose Fajardo’s header after the Union failed to completely clear a D.C. corner. But the linesman correctly ruled the goal out for offside.

The home side would pull a goal back in the 87th minute. Substitute Theodore Ku-Dipietro drove at the Union backline and hammered a fierce shot from just outside the box that beat Blake to his right.

Philadelphia is next in action on Wednesday, when they travel north of the border to take on Toronto FC (7:30 p.m.).

Three Points

  • Back at it. The Union returned to league play and turned in a great performance with a win over D.C. Jim Curtin will be disappointed that the Union only scored three when they had the chance to score 6 or 7.
  • Glesnes. The reining Defender of the Year put in an immense performance. He hardly put a foot wrong, winning his aerial battles, clearing off the line, and putting in a number of smart tackles (including a brilliant tackle that he somehow got a yellow card for).
  • Depth chart. New striker Tai Baribo didn’t make it onto the field even as Jim Curtin substituted both Julian Carranza and Mikkel Uhre in the second half. Chris Donovan and Quinn Sullivan both were preferred to the new boy.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake, Jack Elliott, Nathan Harriel, Jakob Glesnes, Jack McGlynn, José Martínez (Leon Flach 25′), Kai Wagner, Jesús Bueno (Alejandro Bedoya 64′), Mikkel Uhre (Quinn Sullivan 90+2′), Dániel Gazdag, Julián Carranza (Chris Donovan 64′)
Subs: Joe Bendik, Tai Baribo, Matthew Real, Olivier Mbaizo, Joaquín Torres

D.C. United

Tyler Miller (Alex Bono 46′), Steve Birnbaum, Derrick Williams, Brendan Hines-Ike (Jose Fajardo 79′), Christopher Durkin (Ruan 46′), Russell Canouse, Pedro Santos (Eric Davis 74′), Yamil Asad (Theodore Ku-Dipietro 74′), Christian Benteke, Gabriel Pirani, Mateusz Klich
Subs: Jackson Hopkins, Erik Hurtado, Donovan Pine, Cristián Dájome

Scoring Summary

PHI: Mikkel Uhre – 5′ (Carranza, Gazdag)
PHI: Jack McGlynn – 13′
PHI: Daniel Gazdag – 38′ (PK)
D.C.: Theodore Ku-Dipietro – 88′

Disciplinary Summary

D.C.: Tyler Miller – 36′ (foul)
PHI: Nate Harriel – 68′ (foul)
PHI: Jakob Glesnes – 76′ (poor refereeing)
PHI: Chris Donovan – 90+4′ (foul)


  1. Woooooo!
    good showing from the start. Blake and Glesnes saves in second half key to stymie a comeback.

  2. “poor refereeing” lmao

  3. Welcome back to league play. My son traveled to Alaska for 30 days, hiked 100 miles over those 30 days and flew back to PA since the last time this team played a league game. Hope Jose is alright. Glad they beat up on DC. Poor Wayne Rooney… Nah.
    In other news— what does it say about the state of soccer in New York…Imagine Miami and Messi’s Merry Pranksters playing a team from ‘NY’…”the greatest city” in the world… in what would be a league debut… with fans spending hundreds of dollars—- only for Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets… to be benched- in favor of load management. I love it.
    Serves Red Bull and that shit franchise right. You’re ‘nothing.’ It’s right there for us all to see. I love it. Pink Cows.
    In other other news… Daniel Gazdag is not perfect from the spot in MLS as those drool commentators were commentating. He actually missed arguably the most important penalty in franchise history on November 4th…. get the facts together.
    And lastly… Christian Benteke sits back at dinner tonight, picks up his glass of Merlot —-and thinks how in the fuck did he save that?

    • In fairness though, the ridiculous markup has to stop eventually. It’s a league. With a lot of games. He will have to be rested and eventually him showing up to a game will be “normal”. Without that circus.

    • Pachy…. Shootout PK’s aren’t part of the official stats. Gazdag has not to this point missed a PK in League play.

  4. A solid win when we needed one, should have scored more but we didn’t. Glesnes was insane though, What performance by him.

  5. Chris Gibbons says:

    Glesnes was great, Flach looked quite good (save for a horrendously errant pass in his own box which, to be fair, Martinez does too occasionally), and they get the husk of a franchise that is Toronto on Wednesday. Onward.

  6. Happy to see Glesnes back in the middle and not stretched out wide to the right.

    Why in the world wouldn’t you give Baribo time at the end of the match?

  7. An excellent first half showing by the U, even in the surfer jerseys, which let them coast to victory.

    1) Carranza makes a huge difference in the offense. He really helps things flow smoothly.

    2) They can handle Toronto without Martinez, but he is tremendously important against better teams. Did anyone else get a sense of deja vu when, after he went down the first time, he stayed in the game and reaggravated the injury? El Brujo is a warrior, but in my judgment, against DC with the Union up, he should have come out after the first sit-down.

    3) I thought the officiating was OK last night–I have seen far worse in MLS.

    4) On Crapple, the DC announcers tried to happy-talk their way through the game saying nice things about the home team, a decidedly mediocre bunch.

  8. Didn’t see the game yet. Will catch the Crapple replay. Was at the Phillies game for the first time in a lot of years. Enjoyed that win while keeping tabs on the boys in Blue! So 2 wins on the night and throughly enjoyed myself. Also in keeping with the Miami Messi show, great to see them rest the guy…lol! Sorry to the folks who paid a premium to see him on the bench. Nope…not sorry at all.

    • To be fair, probably still worth it as the NY fans did ultimately get to see his greatest league goal and play at the end. Had the U on split screen and switched over in time to see him blow our minds once again.

  9. Happy to see the Diamond return. Not a fan of three in the back. The U just look more comfortable and more dangerous in the 4-4-2. And the press worked better.

    Small worry with Jose, whose rampaging run down the right will be on all the highlights this weekend. He IS the best #6 in MLS. Let’s hope his time on the side is brief and beneficial.

  10. The Venezuelan King
    El Brujo! El Brujo! El Brujo!
    Running down the wing

    Hope he’s not out for too long. That run was brilliant (even if the tackle attempt he bounded over was really shit). Loved it.

    Also, agree with everyone IDing Glesnes as immense. I thinks he was man of the match last night. Good night out in DC.

  11. Andy Muenz says:

    Finally got to watch it late last night after driving back from vacation in Florida Saturday evening and most of the day yesterday.
    All 3 goals were typical Union 2022 goals. Forcing a turnover, a quick transition from one end to the other, and a ball over the top to draw a PK. If the team can keep doing that, they can make a deep run in the playoffs, especially if Miami somehow doesn’t make it.
    It’s tight with 5 teams within 2 points, but the Union have moved into second in the conference and 3rd in the shield race. And I’m not sure if 1st is any great spot if Miami gets 8th or 9th since that means you would have to play them in a 2 of 3 series.

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