Coming off a disappointing 1-0 loss against the Montreal Impact, the Philadelphia Union scored twice in the second half to overcome a first half goal from Wayne Rooney in a 2-1 preseason win over D.C. United on Wednesday night.
Marco Fabián, the Union’s shiny new number 10, scored his first goal in a Union jersey, while Cory (Scory) Burke, continued his trend of finding the back of the net.
The Union started their second game of the Suncoast Invitational in the new 4-4-2 diamond formation with Cory Burke and CJ Sapong starting up top as the two strikers (Sergio Santos was a scratch due to knee soreness). Ilsinho, who hasn’t been in the conversation with regard to earning a starting spot in midfield, started the game in the right mid spot of the diamond.
Coach said we'd attack, and that's a lineup for a showdown. @DCUnited the oppo tonight as we prep for March 2 at home.— Philadelphia Union (@PhilaUnion) February 20, 2019
Stream starts at 7pm: https://t.co/26dbBbRcor#DOOP #ThisIsPhilly pic.twitter.com/SM6RqKzaMt
The first chance for the Union came in the third minute of play, after Fabián earned a free kick, but Medunjanin, who had a rough game in terms of accuracy against Montreal, lofted a curling ball that almost played in like a shot on goal but safely went out of play.
Kai Wagner, who was highly criticized for his performance against the Impact a few days ago, looked much more settled in, playing in a few nice-looking crosses into the box and a great through ball in the 13th minute to find Alejandro Bedoya which ultimately led to a wasted corner.
It seemed a few times that D.C. United was going to break away down the middle of the field, and in the 23rd minute, D.C. finally executed with a pass down the middle finding Wayne Rooney who calmly put the ball past Andre Blake for the first goal of the game.
Wayne Rooney's goal for D.C.: pic.twitter.com/A8avf2NbGO— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 21, 2019
Yellow cards started to come out after the half hour point, with cards issued to Cory Burke (high boot) and Kai Wagner (tackle on Acosta).
In the 35th minute, Kai Wagner raced down the left sideline again and put another great ball into the box, but after a couple of shot attempts, Hamid was able to bring the ball down safely. Ilsinho had the best opportunity of the first half in the 44th minute, with a rocketed shot that was pushed away by Bill Hamid to keep the score 1-0. Moments later, Marco Fabián tested Hamid again with a long distance shot on goal that led to another Union corner (which was wasted again by Medunjanin).
Only one substitution was made to start the second half for Philly, with Fafa Picault coming on for CJ Sapong. Kai Wagner, who had a very good first half, ripped a great shot on goal two minutes into the second half which led to a corner (again, wasted).
In the 60th minute, Fabián scored his first goal in a Union jersey with an awkward shot taken after a deflected shot from Haris Medunjanin.
.@MarcoFabian_10's equalizer for the Union: pic.twitter.com/ScQCJ05nXe— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 21, 2019
After scoring his first goal for Fabián, he was subbed off in the 65th minute and replaced by Brenden Aaronson, the 18-year-old homegrown.
There was a scary moment in the 70th minute, where play was stopped as Ilsinho picked up an injury and laid on the ground for a few moments before walking off on his own power and coming off for Derrick Jones.
Right after the substitution, Fafa Picault was able to capitalize on a misplaced back pass to D.C. United keeper Chris Seitz, beating the keeper to the ball and smoothly passing back to Cory Burke who buried the ball into the bottom left corner to put the Union up 2-1.
Cory Burke's winner for the Union: pic.twitter.com/72Eq8ZyCgh— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) February 21, 2019
Once the Union grabbed the lead, they switched to a high possession style of play, looking for break away runs when possible. Picault and David Accam would find themselves with runs down the middle of the field towards of the end of the match, but were both called offside.
A few notable injuries were picked up in the final minutes of play, with Wagner picking up an injury and coming off for Matthew Real and Auston Trusty taking a hard hit from an unnamed D.C. United trialist.
The Union complete their trip to Clearwater on Saturday against the Ottawa Fury before opening the season on March 2 against Toronto FC at Talen Energy Stadium.