How one paragraph brought fuel to the fire of an already intense Union-United rivalry
"We're going to win. We've made it our lives", Hamid said. "Three points is what we need and three points is what we are going to get."
That was the quote from D.C United goalkeeper Bill Hamid, cut from the Washington Post, circled, and posted in the Philadelphia Union locker room.
It was just one of the many motivating factors that spurred the Union to Sunday's 3-2 win, the club's first ever three points at RFK Stadium.
"I'm gonna be honest, I don't like this stadium," said Union right back Sheanon Williams, who was red carded on his last trip to RFK. "I'm sure I'm not the only one who dislikes this stadium. It's a (good win), it's against a rival, it's three points that we needed. We had the newspaper up there. (Those guys) in the other locker room were guaranteeing wins, so we definitely wanted to come out and make sure that didn't happen."
Williams played last summer with Hamid and Amobi Okugo in the U.S. under-23 squad.
"It's a big motivating factor," Okugo added. "A lot of us know Bill from the U.S. youth national team, so we know how 'far' he can get. Coach Hackworth read (the quote) this morning, so he made sure to put it up, and I think some of us are going to heckle (Hamid) a little bit for that quote."
Read: Recap: Union 3, United 2
Postgame jabs aside, the Union offense was in top form on Sunday, scoring three times in the first 26 minutes of the match.
Jack McInerney's brace pushed him to a league-best six goals on the year. Philadelphia is also tied for the league-lead with seven goals scored on the road.
"I just think we're tactically playing better," explained manager John Hackworth. "We understand what we need to do on the road when we come into these really tough environments. Everything is going to go against us, (it's about) how we need to try to manage it, and our team is growing up. I think, as a result, you're seeing us being able to really compete for points on the road."
The Union have brought home seven out of 12 possible road points in 2013, improving to a 2-1-1 mark outside of PPL Park.
"It's something that, before the season started, we had a meeting together and we said that we wanted to be better on the road," Williams said. "We know that we can be good at PPL Park. We expect to get points there and if we continue to string together points on the road we'll be in a good spot."
"When we're on the road, it's a different mentality," said second-half substitute Michael Lahoud. "It's very much a business mentality. It doesn't matter where we go. Me, being from this area, along with Brian Carroll and a couple other of guys who have played for D.C. - family, friends, there are lots of distractions, but when it comes to playing we're all about business. We came here for three points, and we got that."
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org