Philadelphia Union produced an emphatic five goal performance as they knocked off DC United at Audi Field on national television Sunday night and returned to first place in the Eastern Conference. Captain Alejandro Bedoya opened the scoring in the third minute — the earliest goal the club has tallied this year — before Marco Fabian, Kacper Przybylko, and Fafa Picault put the match to bed. United saw Junior Moreno sent off in the first half for hauling down Przybylko when the striker was in alone on goal.
Andrew Wooten made his first start for Philadelphia and played a key role in the opening goal. Dispossessing Donovan Pines on the wing, Wooten found Fabian at the top of the box and the Mexican laid off for Bedoya to drive against the far post and in.
The Union captain celebrated with Ilsinho’s mother before making a statement about recent gun violence into the on-field microphone.
Fabian was a huge threat throughout the match and in the 12th minute he got on the end of a Haris Medunjanin throughball and blasted a shot that Bill Hamid was forced to push away. Jack Elliott was next to make Hamid work, and after the DC goalie parried his header off a Wooten cutback, Przybylko put the ball over with a reaching volley.
Fabian worked Jamid again in the 23rd minute before United settled into the match. That period wouldn’t last long though, and in the 37th minute Junior Moreno was sent off for pulling down Przybylko as he was preparing to fire home in the box.
Initially, Moreno received a caution but VAR showed he had clearly prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Przybylko missed the ensuing penalty but he would avenge that lost chance in the second half.
As the opening frame would down, the Union finally doubled their lead. Medunjanin played Kai Wagner down the line and his sharp, low cross found Fabian for a first time fininsh.
Seven minutes into the second half, Przybylko was on the board after Bedoya’s pressure created a loose ball that Warren Creavalle pounced on. Driving toward goal, the midfielder found Przybylko and he cut onto his right before finishing with ease.
Frederic Brillant pulled one back for the home side on a set piece but it was clear which team was ascendant. Medunjanin pulled off a gorgeous pass through the lines to Fabian in the 70th for the fourth goal before substitute Fafa Picault finished the rout in extra time.
The win returned Phillly to first place in the Eastern Conference and the third best goal differential in Major League Soccer.
The Union are back in action next Sunday at 6:00p.m. ET when they welcome Houston Dynamo to Talen Energy Stadium for Military Appreciation Night.