WASHINGTON — The Union needed a statement win Sunday night at D.C. United, after finally being caught by Atlanta United at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
They delivered not just a statement win, but their biggest win of the season.
Alejandro Bedoya scored in just the third minute, Marco Fabián scored twice, and Kacper Przybylko tallied his team-leading 10th goal of the season in a 5-1 rout that gave the Union (12-7-6, 42 points) sole ownership of first place.
Bedoya celebrated his goal by running over to a field mic and shouting: “Hey, Congress: Do something now! End gun violence! Let’s go!” It’s a subject near to the Union captain’s heart since he grew up in Weston, Fla., not far from the site of last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Bedoya’s goal set the tone, and it came with help from some of the Union’s other big stars.
Andre Blake started the play with a long clearance that Andrew Wooten, making his first start, controlled after stiff-arming D.C.'s Leonardo Jara out of the way. Wooten played the ball across to Fabián, who sent a pass to Bedoya for the score from just outside the 18-yard box.
Przybylko had a chance to double the lead from the penalty spot in the 41st. Junior Moreno hauled Przybylko down and was sent off for the infraction, but he put his kick over the bar.
Fabián made up for the miss in the second minute of first-half stoppage time. Kai Wagner delivered a fine low cross from the left edge of the 18-yard box, and Fabián struck a perfect first-time shot.
Seven minutes into the second half, Przybylko made his own amends. Warren Creavalle, making his first start since suffering a broken foot in June, forced a turnover at midfield, then fed the ball ahead. Przybylko collected it, held the ball up for a moment, then calmly slotted it home.
D.C. (9-7-9, 36 points) scored two minutes later, but Fabián delivered the Union’s fourth in the 70th. It was just as pretty as his first, built with a nifty cutback after a give-and-go with Haris Medunjanin. Fafa Picault scored the final goal in the 90th minute.