Philadelphia Union started their two week road trip with a 2-2 draw against D.C. United. The Union saw goals from Tranquillo Barnetta and Chris Pontius, but were unable to hold onto to their lead despite an incredible performance in net late from goalkeeper Andre Blake.
Despite not getting the result the team wanted, the club saw the debut of one of their newest acquisitions. Charlie Davies made his Union debut in the 80th minute at RFK Stadium on Saturday night. Davies was acquired from New England Revolution on Wednesday and was thrilled to be on the pitch with his new teammates.
“It feels good to get out there and play with these guys,” Davies said. “Obviously it’s a quick transition joining a new club, but I’m very excited and I’m happy I got my first minutes.”
The main storyline of the night however, was the return of Pontius. The veteran spent the first seven years of his MLS career playing for D.C. United. The pinnacle of Pontius’ time in D.C. came in 2012. He set career highs in goals (12), games played (31), games started (26), minutes (2,339), shots (71) and shots on goal (29). Six of the 12 goals that season were game-winners.
In 2012 Pontius netted his first-ever MLS hat trick in a 4-1 win over the New York Red Bulls and was selected to the 2012 MLS All-Star team and was named the All-Star Game’s MVP. Tonight, Pontius recorded his team-leading ninth goal of the season in the 57th minute against his former club, but chose not to celebrate.
“It was never a question whether I would celebrate or not,” Pontius said. “The organization and fans were good to me. I didn’t leave on a bad note at all. No, there was never a question.”
Pontius left the match in the 80th minute and was given a standing ovation from the fans who adored him for seven years. Although Pontius was able to score a goal against his former club, leaving RFK Stadium without three points was his main concern.
“It would have meant a lot more if we had won the game,” Pontius said. “It was weird being back in this locker-room seeing all the old faces, but I tried to push it aside until after the game. I wish the result was different.”
The Union will have an opportunity to earn three points next week when they travel to New England to square off against the Revolution. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 and will be televised on The Comcast Network.