WHENEVER the Union and D.C. United meet, it is safe to expect things to get physical.
Last night's fourth-round match of the 2013 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was more of the same as the Union lost, 3-1, in game that featured 32 fouls at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
"I'm really disappointed in our performance; in particular the way we started the game is unacceptable on a lot of levels," Union manager John Hackworth said. "I give full credit to D.C. tonight, and we knew they were going to come and bring it."
D.C. United advanced to the quarterfinals and will host the New England Revolution on June 26.
United now has more wins in the Open Cup (two) then it does in the MLS regular season (one).
Entering last night's match, Hackworth talked about the importance of scoring early against the Black-and-Red. But it was United that jumped on the board first.
In the 24th minute, D.C. captain Dwayne De Rosario netted his first of three goals, and second in U.S. Open Cup play this season.
It was United's only shot on goal in the half. The Union didn't have any.
De Rosario had been no stranger to finding the back of the net during his 13-year MLS career. The 35-year-old is one of only a handful of players in the league's 100-goal club. Two seasons ago, he was named the league's MVP.
And yet, until last night, he had only scored one goal this season.
"I've known [De Rosario] for a long time and he's a fantastic player," Hackworth said. "There is a reason he was MVP of this league and he has that ability."
From 2010-2011 with D.C. United, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, De Rosario scored 31 MLS goals and two international-play goals.
The physical match featured 13 fouls in the first half, eight by the Union.
In the 75th minute, De Rosario scored his second goal, to give United a 2-0 lead.
The Union answered 1 minute later when forward Jack McInerney scored his second goal of the Open Cup.
But just when it looked as if the momentum had shifted, De Rosario pushed his third goal past Union keeper Zac MacMath in the 85th minute.
"I think we had as much of a chance to win as they did but unfortunately they got a goal in the first half that put a damper in us," MacMath said. "Overall, we didn't have the effort and the ability tonight."
The Union's next game is a friendly against the City Islanders in Harrisburg on Tuesday.
Its next league game is June 23 against New York at PPL Park at 5 p.m.