WASHINGTON - For a team that was given its last rights after a dreadful start to the season that followed an even worse finish to last year, the Union have picked themselves off the canvas in impressive fashion.
With Haris Medunjanin, Oguchi Onyewu and Fafa Picault scoring their first Major League Soccer goals and Fabian Herbers adding his first of the season, the Union defeated D.C. United, 4-0, on Saturday before 14,576 at RFK Stadium.
It was the second straight win for the Union, who broke a 15-game winless streak dating back to last year with last Saturday's 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
The Union (2-4-4) have earned points in four consecutive games and shutouts in three straight. United, which beat the Union, 2-1, on April 1 at RFK Stadium, fell to 3-5-2.
"This team really turned the corner in the Red Bull game," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "We've been through about as difficult a time and difficult a stretch as we could have gone through, and I think we are stronger because of it."
Medunjanin, who also had two assists, has by far been the best addition to the Union this season. He opened the scoring with a 30-yard blast in the 39th minute.
Taking a pass from former United midfielder Chris Pontius, Medunjanin sent a rising left footer that eluded diving keeper Bill Hamid.
Among the best goalies in MLS, Hamid appeared to be in position but saw the shot float inside the right corner. It would have been a difficult save, but Hamid made several big ones against the Union, and he is capable of stopping that type of shot.
"I didn't expect to score. I am more in a defensive role and try to build up from there," Medunjanin said.
The one knock is that he has been too unselfish and hasn't shot enough
"I want to put other guys in good position so they can create chances and score some goals. But when I can shoot from 20, 30 meters, I will shoot it," Medunjanin said. "Today the ball went in, but it is not important who scores. It is important that we win and stick with each other."
The Union earned a man advantage in the 55th minute when D.C. midfielder Luciano Acosta received a red card for a serious foul against Ilsinho. Not only did it make D.C. United play a man down, it took away Acosta, who gave the Union fits in the first half with his ability to break down defenders and create his own shot.
Medunjanin set up the second goal when his corner kick was headed in by Onyewu in the 64th minute. It was Onyewu's 35th birthday.
Medunjanin fed Picault for the Union's third goal in the 78th minute, and Herbers finished matters by scoring in the 88th minute.
With D.C. United moving into a new stadium next season, this was the Union's last regular-season game at RFK, a venue that hasn't been kind to the visitors.
The Union, 2-5-4 at RFK,, definitely saved their best game in this well-worn stadium for last.