Match Recap

Union rally back for 2-2 draw at rivals D.C. United


Philadelphia Union continued its unbeaten road streak, overcoming a two-goal deficit to claim a point against Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United on Saturday night.

The Boys in Blue found themselves down 2-0 midway through the first half but kept fighting until the end with captain Alejandro Bedoya turning momentum in Philly's favor with a pefectly weighted finish in the 42nd minute. The Union completed the comeback in grand fasion with homegrown Jack McGlynn delivered a blast from well outside the box for the equalizer that is sure to be shown over and over again throughout 2024 to seal the point on the road.

Philadelphia Union took a trip down the road to the nation’s Capitol for a rainy Saturday night matchup against D.C. United. A vast contingent of Union Supporters made the trip too, braving the weather to show their unwavering support.

After two consecutive losses, Head Coach Jim Curtin shook up his Starting XI with Leon Flach making his return from a pectoral injury suffered in preseason to earn his first start of 2024. Playing on the road against an Eastern Conference rival, the move hoped it would the team’s defense after conceding five goals over the last two matches. Oliver Semmle started in net for the second straight match with Andre Blake out with an injury. With Blake unavailable, Andrew Rick was signed to a Homegrown contract having surpassed his allotted short-term call-ups, so Saturday ceremoniously marked his first time on the matchday roster as an official first-team player.

It was another troublesome start for Philadelphia Union as D.C. United set the tone early, claiming a 1-0 lead in ninth minute. The hosts opened the scoring with a swift drive down the flank with leading assist man Jared Stroud cutting back a pass into the path of Cristian Dajome. The wingback took the strike in stride with a full weighted blast into the top right corner to give the home fans sitting in the pouring rain something to celebrate.

While smoke from D.C.’s celebratory pyrotechnics slowly cleared, the Union sought to respond immediately as homegrown Quinn Sullivan attempted a cross into the box, just missing connection with Gazdag’s descent toward the net.

Kai Wagner got a corner opportunity in the 19th minute after Jakob Glesnes clearance was misdirected out of bounds by an opposing player, but before the German could service it in, a pair of altercations between Carranza and D.C. midfielder Mateuz Klich, who was marking the Argentine striker, caused the official to showed him a yellow card. The discipline was a notable one as the forward will miss the team’s next match against Orlando City on Saturday due to card accumulation.

When Wagner was able to send it in at last, his pinpoint service found aerial Harriel for a forceful header, but the Homegrown’s attempt landed straight into keeper Alex Bono’s gloves. Philadelphia had an even more promising chance in the 31st minute when McGlynn tee’d up Carranza for a free kick, tapping it towards him for what was a beautiful strike, but it was again saved, that time by crossbar.

Despite their attempts to break through D.C.’s defense, it was the home side that found the second goal of the match. In the 33rd minute, the hosts doubled their lead when Jacob Murrell paused to unsteady Glesnes and shot it through the box past Semmle, who dove in an attempt to stop it but was just short of getting in its path.

D.C. United nearly made it back-to-back three-goal deficits for the Union inside a week in the 40th minute however Philly's goalkeeper made a crucial save. A quick switch of attack saw forward Jacob Murrell unmarked on the top of the box but Semmle saw the United player and quickly raced off his line to make the shot a difficult one. The decision was perfect as Semmle made the big stop with the blast coming off his chest.

Bolstered by the big stop on the defensive side of the pitch, the Boys in Blue turned the momentum into a goal via their team captain. Alejandro Bedoya didn’t let his opponents keep their healthy lead into halftime, instead, he energized his team and their corner section of Supporters in the 42nd minute, scoring his second goal of the season when his team needed it most. Wagner assisted the team captain on a set piece, sending the ball towards him as he peeled left of D.C. 's defense, sprinting to direct the ball upwards past Bono.

D.C. United tried to steal the momentum back just before the halftime whistle but once again Semmle made a massive save to deny Aaron Herrera near the crossbar.

The Boys in Blue came out with fight to start off the second half once more. After a relativity quiet opening 45 minutes from Sullivan, the Union homegrown nearly bagged an equalizer as he hit a strike from just past midfield line with the keeper off his line that sailed inches over the net in the 54th minute of play.

Head Coach Jim Curtin sent two subs in the 66th minute, exchanging Sullivan and Flach for Mikael Uhre and Jose Martinez. Flach got a rest after his first start since his injury, while Uhre moved up top, adding another natural forward to the mix alongside Julian Carranza.

Shortly after the pair of Union swaps, it was the defense rising up big once again with a pair of key blocks to keep the scoreline unchanged. The sequence came in the 72nd minute as former Leeds United playmaker Mateusz Klich displayed some crafty footwork to keep the ball in play near the end line. With the defense retreating, the midfielder sent a pass centrally to Theodore Ku-DiPietro for a one-time shot. Homegrown Nathan Harriel anticipated the play perfectly, reacting and putting himself into the right location to assist his goalkeeper to make a goal-saving stop. The ball then bounced to the edge of the box where Jose Martinez quickly raced back to deliver a key block.

Again it was a key defensive play turning the momentum for Philly as the equalizer came in a stunning, must-see fashion from Jack McGlynn. With the Union operating out wide and looking to potentially cross a volley into the box, McGlynn took matters into his own boot with a screamer from 35 yards out that beat everyone.

Philadelphia Union returns to Subaru Park next weekend as they host Orlando City SC for Philadelphia Union Foundation Night. The match presented by Penn Medicine will kick off at 7:30PM ET with limited tickets available by clicking here.

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Every match matters! In 2024, you do not want to miss your favorite matchups as the Union take on the best MLS has to offer! When we score, make sure you are there to get Subaru Park shaking!

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