WASHINGTON — The Union edged D.C. United, 1-0, Sunday night at Audi Field on a goal from Kacper Przybylko late in the first half.
Here are some observations on the game.
Dániel Gazdag made his Union debut after just one practice session, entering the game in the 67th minute. He drew a big cheer from a traveling Union contingent that included a few dozen fans and team owners Jay Sugarman and Richard Leibovitch.
Gazdag didn’t end up doing much, recording just nine touches, one shot, and zero chances created. But the fact that he played at all was impressive. He arrived in Philadelphia only a few days ago, and will return to Hungary just as quickly for the national team’s pre-European Championship training camp.
The Magyars’ Euros group stage games are June 15 vs. Portugal, June 19 vs. France, and June 23 vs. Germany. That means we likely won’t see Gazdag play for the Union again until the July 3 game at Nashville. And if Hungary is able to upset any of their superpower opponents and reach the knockout rounds, the wait will be longer.
Still, it’s a testament to his desire to be here — and the Union’s desire to have him — that he came over for the cameo.
Monteiro returns to the 10
On a night when the Union (3-2-2, 11 points) had Gazdag, Anthony Fontana, and Sergio Santos on the bench, it was a bit surprising to see Jamiro Monteiro as the starting attacking midfielder. And when D.C. (2-5-0, 6 points) was the better team for much of the first half-hour, cynics were ready to pounce -- especially since United’s best attacking player, Edison Flores, left the game with a hamstring injury in the very first minute.
But Monteiro had the last laugh in the third minute of first-half stoppage time, with an outstanding chipped pass to Przybylko for the goal. On the night, Monteiro totaled 52 touches, one shot, one chance created, 10 duels won, six recoveries, three tackles, one block, and 24-of-28 passing.
Przybylko keeps scoring
There was a hydration break at the half-hour mark of the first half, and Jim Curtin might have offered a few choice words during it. The Union looked a lot better when play resumed, and Przybylko capped off the good spell with that goal.
His run through D.C.’s back line was so good that he was initially flagged as offside, but the video replay booth sent word down that he was on. Referee Timothy Ford didn’t need much time to change the call.
It was Przybylko’s seventh goal in 11 games in all competitions this season. Though it was just his second of the year in MLS play, it was his second in three league games.
Martínez returns from suspension
José Andrés Martínez’s first game since the end of his three-game suspension was a quiet success. That counts for something, since D.C. plays a physical, pressing defense under new manager Hernán Losada — a disciple of famed Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsea.
Martínez played 67 minutes before making way for Gazdag. He recorded 40 touches, six recoveries, one interception, three duels won, and 26-of-33 passing. Most importantly, he was whistled for just one foul, though that one foul earned him a yellow card.
Blake comes up big again
Goalkeeper Andre Blake had more work to do than he probably figured he would, especially in the second half when the game became much more open than the Union wanted it to be. But Blake came up big every time, making seven saves — including an outstanding full-stretch diving stop on D.C.’s Kevin Paredes in the 63rd minute.