Fixture history: Union v United
The Philadelphia Union is still a young franchise – just two and a half years old.
D.C. United, on the other hand, has the most history, and most success, of any franchise in Major League Soccer.
When Philadelphia and D.C. meet at RFK Stadium today, it will be the eighth time the teams have met since 2010. The Union have played against D.C. more times than any other team in the league.
For whatever reason, there's never a lack of excitement when these regional rivals meet on the pitch. The first seven matches have been played at four different venues. Five of those games have been decided by just one goal.
And, go figure, the all time record is split down the middle: three wins for Philly, three wins for D.C., and one draw.
1) April 10th, 2010 – Philadelphia 3, D.C. 2 (at Lincoln Financial Field)
This game had it all.
Philadelphia's first home game. Philadelphia's first goal. Philadelphia's first hat-trick.
Sebastien Le Toux stole the show with a three goal performance that, two seasons later, still hasn't been matched. The Frenchman struck in the 4th and 40th minutes to give the Union a 2-0 lead. That lead was erased after Santino Quaranta and Jaime Moreno both scored, the latter goal coming from a Chris Seitz gaffe inside the Union penalty area. But Le Toux found the winner on an 80th minute free kick, after Dejan Jakovic was red carded for pulling down Alejandro Moreno on a breakaway.
Vice President Joe Biden was on hand, along with some 35,000 soccer fans who filled up the lower bowl of the Eagles' stadium.
2) August 22nd, 2010 – D.C. 2, Philadelphia 0 (at RFK Stadium)
This was a rainy, sloppy affair in Washington.
Interim head coach Ben Olsen had recently taken over for Curt Onalfo, and D.C. was on a 5 game losing streak.
Australian striker Danny Allsop scored a brace, and United won their first home game in nearly three months.
It was also D.C.'s first shutout of the entire season. United had entered the game with a record of 3-14-3.
A 17 year old named Andy Najar impressed on the wings, drawing speculation as to whether he might devote his international future to Honduras, or the USA.
3) April 6th, 2011 – D.C. 2, Philadelphia 2 (4-2 on Pks, U.S. Open Cup at Maryland SoccerPlex)
Talk about a wild one.
This was an Open Cup game at the SoccerPlex in Boyds, Maryland.
Carlos Ruiz scored the opener on 18 minutes, but Josh Wolff found the equalizer before the end of the first half.
In the 87th minute, there was an altercation involving Carlos Valdes, and the Union center half was ejected after picking up his second yellow card. Daniel Woolard put D.C. ahead in the 111th minute, then Brian Carroll got the 10-man Union back to level terms in the 118th minute. Manager Peter Nowak was ejected for "excessive celebration", and the game went into penalty kicks.
Sebastien Le Toux and Chris Pontius both scored on their opening Pks, but Jack McInerney missed the net before Bill Hamid saved Roger Torres' attempt. D.C. won 4-2 in the shootout and advanced to the next round of the tournament.
4) July 2nd, 2011 – D.C. 2, Philadelphia 2 (at RFK Stadium)
This was the debut of Dwayne De Rosario in a United shirt.
"De Ro" assisted on the 44th minute opener, after he drew two Union defenders and played a square ball for Wolff to slot home.
Philadelphia leveled on the 49th, when Veljko Paunovic hit a cross that rookie Perry Kitchen shanked into the net.
After Najar's rocket shot beat Faryd Mondragon from 35+ yards, Philadelphia carved out a late game equalizer. Le Toux was able to play in Sheanon Williams, who got behind the defense and crossed for Carlos Ruiz. The Guatemalan's late goal earned the Union their first point at RFK.
5) September 29th, 2011 – Philadelphia 3, D.C. 2 (at PPL Park)
This was the first time D.C. United played at PPL Park. The Union won 3-2 in a game televised nationally on ESPN 2. The 3 points were critical in an Eastern Conference playoff race that was really beginning to tighten up.
Le Toux scored a brace, with both goals coming from direct balls over the top of Brandon McDonald and Ethan White. Philadelphia was playing in the successful 4-5-1 hybrid shape that included Paunovic in a combined M/F role.
Just like the first meeting between these teams, D.C. found a way to even the score at 2-2. De Rosario and Najar both netted goals for United.
But it was rookie Michael Farfan, who assisted on the second goal, that scored the game-winner. The midfielder took a pass from Torres, dribbled untouched to the top of the box, and slammed home a left footed shot from 20 yards out.
6) June 5th, 2012 – Philadelphia 2, D.C. 1 (U.S. Open Cup at Maryland SoccerPlex)
Philadelphia's first road win against D.C.
Just like the 2011 version at the SoccerPlex, this game also featured late drama and controversy. Philadelphia was coming off a deflating loss to Toronto FC in league play, but won their first round Open Cup game against Rochester at PPL Park.
Ironically enough, Brian Carroll scored his second goal in consecutive years against D.C. at the SoccerPlex. And even more ironic – Josh Wolff equalized for D.C. As Yogi Berra would say, it was like "deja vu all over again".
This game went into extra time for the second year in a row. Rookie Antoine Hoppenot scored the eventual winner in the 93rd minute.
After Zac MacMath's critical save on Hamdi Salihi, a brawl broke out on the D.C. end of the field. Brandon McDonald was ejected, and Carlos Valdes was also ejected for the second time at the SoccerPlex.
It was an odd set of circumstances. Brian Carroll scored his second goal at the SoccerPlex, and Carlos Valdes was red carded at the same venue where he was tossed in 2011.
7) June 16th, 2012 – D.C. 1, Philadelphia 0 (at PPL Park)
The beginning of the John Hackworth era, and a bit of revenge for D.C.
This game was played just 11 days after the Open Cup match in Boyds.
Philadelphia looked energized from the start, creating scoring chances but failing to get on the board.
The game was deadlocked until the 78th minute, when Valdes was yellow carded for challenge on Chris Pontius. Replay showed that Valdes had gotten a touch on the ball, but referee Ricardo Salazar awarded D.C. a set piece. Branko Boskovic hit a brilliant free kick that was slotted home by Pontius at the far post.
8) August 19th, 2012 - ??? (at RFK Stadium)