The Union stayed in first place for another week with a 2-2 tie at home against Orlando City on Sunday that would have been a loss if not for a 90th minute equalizer by Kacper Przybylko.
It was a game that the Union (10-5-6, 36 points) did enough to not lose but perhaps didn’t do enough to win.
“Maybe we had a little bit of a sense that it was going to be an easy night," manager Jim Curtin said. “We found a way to drop two points."
Orlando (6-9-4, 22 points) opened up with a five-player back line, but Marco Fabián pierced it in just the fourth minute with a superb header off a cross from Fafa Picault.
The rest of the half was quiet and relatively comfortable, but the lack of goals proved costly in the second half. Former Manchester United winger Nani came in off the bench in the 64th minute, and three minutes later served up a free kick that Dom Dwyer headed in past a frozen Union defense.
Right before the goal, Curtin had withdrawn Fabián for Sergio Santos. It raised the pressure on Brenden Aaronson and Haris Medunjanin to shoot more. Up to then, they had passed and dribbed a lot, but rarely let rip when opportunities were there.
Curtin gave Anthony Fontana just his third appearance of the season in the 78th, withdrawing Aaronson. Orlando’s James O’Connor then made his last move, withdrawing Dwyer for reserve Santiago Patiño. The 22-year-old rookie promptly scored off a corner-kick scramble.
Salvation, or at least a measure of it, came in the 90th. Przybylko took a feed in traffic from late substitute Matt Real, kept his nerve and smashed in a shot from the left side of the 18-yard box. And there was nearly a last-minute winner, but Brian Rowe punched away Jack Elliott’s diving header with a full-stretch leap.