Fabian hits double as Philly stay top thanks to thumping win over DC United

The MLS rundown

They hit five goals away from home and head coach Jim Curtin knows the score line could have been even more. And, who can deny him his desire to advance the cause of the side he manages, Philadelphia Union. But, of course, he will settle for the 5-1 win at DC United to maintain Union’s position at the very top of the MLS Eastern Conference table. They are currently three points ahead of Atlanta United having played one game more than the second-placed outfit.

Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez hit a penalty after 72 minutes that put the icing on the cake with a 3-0 win over LA Galaxy to put them top ever so briefly with the home side benefitting from two own goals from the visitors thanks to blunders from Dave Romney and Giancarlo Gonzalez at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Philly win came from an all-round team effort but in every game, quality rises to the top and in this encounter, it was sheer forcefulness of ability that saw Mexican striker Marco Fabian — who joined from Eintracht Frankfurt back in February — net his first MLS double. It came on Sunday at Audi Field as the visitors picked up their fifth win on the trot.

But it was midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, recruited from FC Nantes of France’s Ligue 1, who set the tone for the day when he was first to notch before Kacper Przybylko struck his tenth of the campaign. Fafa Picault wrapped things up to seal the deal for Philly against a ten-man DC United. The home side saw Junior Moreno head for an early bath after bringing down the ever-lively Przybylko — but he then missed his resulting spot-kick. The hosts replied through Frederic Brillant but it was very much a case of too little too late for United.

Curtin spoke of his pride after the game and admitted that the red card was a huge factor in the game but at the same time he believes the victory was massively deserved. He also extolled the virtues of team ethic over individual effort. He said:

“There was a lot on the line against our rivals. And I was incredibly proud of my group. It seems that every time a little bit of noise starts up from the outside, our group responds. And different guys step up.

“We’re very much a team in the true sense of the word, getting healthy at a really good time. Obviously, the red card changes the game. Our intensity throughout I thought was very good. I think the fact that we had 26 shots on the road is something that was especially impressive. Overall, I couldn’t be prouder of the players and they deserve all the credit that they get.”