Chester, PA – The John Hackworth era began with a bang but there were no fire-works at PPL Park as the Philadelphia Union fell 1-0 to first place D.C. United.
Philadelphia came out of the gates on fire and controlled the tempo. The Union were backed by a sellout crowd of 18,876 at PPL Park and it was the loudest yet this season. New interim manager John Hackworth started Freddy Adu and Jack McInerney up front, the two showed a lot energy and spark. McInerney missed two chances to score in the first half by inches and his partner up front Adu helped spread the D.C. defense wide. The fans haven’t seen this style of attack but for a only few brief moments in the Mother’s Day game against New York. Even that attack was a short lived as Adu was sent off with a red card just before halftime (May 13). If this is the new brand of football the Union will play then the team is just a tweaks from finding its rhythm up front. Hackworth said this the type of style they want the Union to play, he stressed it’s not all about what he wants but more of brand that is “Philadelphia Union” (soccer).
The party in stands and excitement hit a wall in the 78th minute when Chris Pontius scored in the on a beautiful free-kick served up by Branko Boskovic. Several Union players calling for off-sides seemed confused about the non-call on the goal. Even Hackworth later wasn’t too happy about the foul that lead to free-kick. After the goal the Union pushed hard for the game tying goal but a lot wind had been taken out their sails and team seemed emotional drained.
D.C. United held on a took the 3 points despite the Union putting everything they had into the attack. The Union controlled most game, they had more time of possession, out shot D.C. 15 to 7 and had 7 corner kicks to United’s 2. But like John Hackworth said after the game, “Sometimes it’s a cruel game.”
D.C. is now 9-4-3 and remain for first place in the Eastern Conference. They are riding a four-game winning streak, their longest in 4 years. Also the D.C. now have matched their win total from year.
The Union now 2-8-2 have a winless steak of six games. They haven’t won in MLS play since April 21 at Chivas USA. The Union’s last home win was April 14 a 1-0 win over Columbus.
Philadelphia returns home Saturday June 23, where they will host Sporting KC. Last season the Union drew 0-0 with Sporting KC on June 22, 2011. Sporting KC beat Toronto FC 2 -0 tonight and mid-week will travel to Seattle to face the Sounders.
Philadelphia Union v. DC United – Highlights
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