April 21, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Philadelphia Union
Chester, Pa. (April 21, 2013) - Philadelphia Union recorded the club's first-ever victory in RFK Stadium Sunday afternoon in a 3-2 contest over Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United. The Union scored three goals in the first half, as two from forward Jack McInerney and one from Conor Casey proved the difference for Philadelphia, who advance to 11 points (3-2-2) on the year.
"Right now we separate ourselves from other teams, which is the most important thing," said Union midfielder Danny Cruz. "We are extremely excited and I am definitely excited about where we are going as a club. We got our first win in D.C. as a club, our first point in Columbus as a club and I think we are doing the right things right now - we need to continue that."
What the Union had to do was contain a United squad that came out pressing hard and trying to assert itself on the game early. However, it was Jack McInerney who quieted D.C. United after he collected a ball in space and muscled himself past two United defenders to put the Union ahead in just the seventh minute of play. Four minutes later, Casey made it two, but the credit went to a great run from Cruz who cut the ball behind the defender, serving Casey a gift which he coolly finished.
McInerney would then net another in the 26th, pouncing on a loose ball in the box for his sixth goal in MLS regular season play and his third in as many matches.
"Confidence is everything for a young player. If you don't have it, you are never going to play as good as you can," McInerney said following the match. "I think scoring obviously raises my confidence and if we keep winning games from me scoring then it's only going to get better."
D.C. United would threaten the Union's cushion as midfielder Perry Kitchen scored in the 18th minute to tie the match, while former Union forward Lionard Pajoy netted his second against the Union and his second of the season. Pajoy put a header near post to get United within one, but a stingy defensive effort headlined by Jeff Parke solidified the Union's vital three point stand.
"It's a huge three points," said Union manager John Hackworth. "It's on the road and it's in a place in which we've never won before and that massive for us. A little bit of a crazy game, but you would expect nothing else coming down here and having these two teams play. I thought we did some really good things, we didn't hold [the lead] the way I would have wanted us...but we have three points here and that's huge."
Next up for the Union is another road challenge in New England (7:30 p.m., The Comcast Network). The collective mindset is one well aware that the tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon weigh heavy on a Revs side looking to win one at home for its fans in Foxboro.
"I think we need to sit down and go back to the drawing board and really analyze a game like this," Cruz said. "Our coaches always prepare us for tough fights and this is going to be another one. We going into next week [against New England] playing a team that is a little bit down right now, but is going to be scrapping just like [D.C. United] did. We just have to be ready."