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Philadelphia Union defeats D.C. United 3-1 in return to MLS play



Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union (13-7-4) defeated D.C. United (8-12-6) 3-1 at Audi Field Saturday night. It was both sides’ return to MLS action after the Leagues Cup break, which saw the Union take third place in the tournament and clinch a berth in the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup.

Goals from Mikael Uhre, Jack McGlynn and Daniel Gazdag were the difference for the Union as it played some fantastic soccer against one of MLS’ worse teams.

Jim Curtin rolled out a traditional lineup for Philadelphia, which featured Julian Carranza and Uhre as forwards and Jesus Bueno took up a position in right midfield as Alejandro Bedoya sat on the bench.

It didn’t take much time for the Union to get going. Uhre scored his second goal in as many games in the fifth minute off a poor D.C. United turnover. Gazdag took the ball near D.C.’s corner flag and passed it to Julian Carranza, who found Uhre in stride in front of the net.

Less than eight minutes later, the Union struck against. Jose Martinez made a long run down the right side of the field in the 12th minute before threading a pass through the box to McGlynn, who tucked the ball into the net effortlessly.

Philadelphia controlled the match well from the start of the match through McGlynn’s goal. The Union was in charge of possession, allowed few attacking chances, and moved the ball around the pitch with seeming ease.

Jose Martinez went down with an apparent injury before exiting the pitch in the 25th minute. While he opted not to take a stretcher off the pitch and left on his own weight, he was substituted for Leon Flach.

Philadelphia nearly found a third goal after a few quiet minutes without much attacking action. Carranza laid a ball off to Uhre in the box, who drove the ball just to the left of the post in the 34th minute. However, the shot was a good reminder that Philadelphia still had a presence in the match after allowing D.C. back into the match for some time after Martinez’ absence.

Just over one minute later, Philadelphia earned a penalty kick. Carranza was taken down in the box by D.C.’s goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who earned a yellow card for the offense. Soon after, Gazdag stepped up and sank a penalty kick to lengthen the Union’s lead to 3-0. Gazdag’s goal also tied him with CJ Sapong for the second-most goals in Union history.

D.C. nearly struck back early in the second half. Christian Benteke headed a ball on net in the 49th minute, but Andre Blake kept the ball on the goal-line by the thinnest of margins.

Miller’s substitute – Alex Bono – had more success 1v1 against Carranza. As the Argentine raced downfield in the 61st minute, Bono stepped up for a save. Carranza was soon substituted with Bueno for Chris Donovan and Bedoya.

D.C. thought that it had gotten a goal back in the 82nd minute, as a diving Blake placed a rebound at the feet of Jose Fajardo, who tapped his shot into the net. However, an offside flag saved the Union and preserved the shutout.

That shutout didn’t last long, though. D.C. earned one goal with a strike from 20 yards out by Ted Ku-DiPietro. The shot was hit with such a fury that while Blake got a palm to the ball, he could only deflect it to the top of the net.

The Union still comfortably pulled out the 3-1 win, though it could have run up the scoring a bit more had the effort and motivation been there.

After a difficult run of form, Philadelphia’s man of the match was Uhre. His goal got the Union off to a good start, and with his goal against Monterrey and his goal against D.C., he’s looking like he can once again be an integral part of the Union’s attack.

The Union will return to action at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30, when it faces Toronto FC on the road. The match will be broadcast on Apple TV for free.

Joe is a junior at Penn State studying journalism and sports studies, among other things. He's covered the Union since 2017 and has written for Brotherly Game / Philadelphia Soccer Now since 2019. He seeks to answer life's greatest questions, such as, "How did I get here?" and "Where is that large automobile?" You can find Joe on Twitter (iamjoelister) or via email (

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