By IVES GALARCEP
The Philadelphia Union entered Saturday’s showdown vs. D.C. United winless in eight matches and facing the very real possibility that another loss could doom their coach, John Hackworth, to the unemployment line.
Rather than come out with an inspired performance, the Union started out flat, and D.C. United took advantage, playing a disciplined match and riding a Chris Rolfe goal and some impressive Bill Hamid saves on their way to a 1-0 victory at PPL Park on Saturday.
D.C. needed just six minutes to open the scoring, with a Cristian Hernandez cross being deflected to a wide-open Rolfe in front of goal. Rolfe calmly chested the ball down and blasted a volley past Zac MacMath to make the score 1-0.
D.C. United nearly made it 2-0 in the 32nd minute when Eddie Johnson latched onto a through-pass and scored past MacMath only to be ruled offside. Replays showed Johnson to not be offside.
The Union came out firing in the second half, looking like a very different team. Unfortunately, the results didn’t change. They still couldn’t find a way past Hamid, who pulled off a pair of impressive saves to deny Conor Casey.
The D.C. United team defending stayed sharp for the rest of the match, helping Hamid keep the clean sheet and post their fourth win of the season, surpassing last year’s total just 10 weeks into the 2014 season.
The loss drops the Union to 1-5-5, and 0-4-5 in their past nine matches. A run that has put Hackworth’s job in serious jeopardy.
Here are the match highlights: