The Philadelphia Union's Heineken Rivalry Week (oh yea) clash with D.C. United was a total snoozer, but Richie Marquez scored late to save his side from a fourth-consecutive draw. The win sees the Union rise to first place in the Eastern Conference, a position with which they are quite familiar at this point.
Marquez grabbed the goal in the first minute of stoppage time, slotting home a perfect cross from Sebastien Le Toux. After a failed set-piece, Marquez decided to linger in the box instead of rushing back to the defensive third. His decision to stay forward, fueled by advice from his coaches, paid off. The goal, his first in MLS, was taken beautifully, as he connected on the full-volley to beat Lancaster native Travis Worra.
Aside from the goal, the Union really only had one other clear-cut opportunity. In the 52nd minute, Le Toux found himself with the ball at his feet and no defenders within a few feet of him. Worra had acrobatically batted away a dangerous cross from Fabinho, but his clearance fell right to Le Toux. With an open net staring him in the face, the Frenchman took one touch too many before an opponent closed him down and the opportunity had passed.
DC United only recorded two shots on goal, but one of them required a trademark Andre Blake save. After a corner, Alvaro Saborio got on his bike and ripped a shot on goal from close range. Just as quickly as Saborio got the shot off, Blake dove toward the far post to deny the Costa Rican.
The Union now have five days off before they travel down to Florida to take on Orlando City. Three days later, they'll match up with the league-leading Rapids in Colorado.
- Vincent Nogueira's absence changed the complexion of the Union's midfield. Warren Creavalle and Brian Carroll struggled to replicate the passing ability of the French midfielder, who missed Friday night's match due to an oblique strain. DCU hassled the midfield pair intermittently, but fortunately for the Union, the away side was not able to capitalize on their opponents' shortcomings.
- Josh Yaro is looking more and more comfortable alongside Marquez. His MLS career got off to a bit of a rough start, but he's really settled down as of late. He's been part of a back line that has only allowed 11 goals thus far, the second-lowest total in MLS.
- It's been a little over a year since Zach Pfeffer scored in the 93rd minute to sink DC United at PPL Park. That game also ended 1-0. Now, the stadium's name has changed and Pfeffer is on loan with the Charlotte Independence. The more things change, the more they stay the same.