MLS Snapshot: DC United 2-2 Philadelphia Union (video)

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Philadelphia Union were widely considered the big winners of this week’s MLS transfer deadline. On Saturday, the Union were nearly big winners on the field as Jim Curtin’s side came from a goal down to nearly win away to D.C. United and move back into a tie with Toronto FC (on 33 points, four back of first-place New York City FC) for second place in the East. Instead, they conceded a 94th-minute equalizer and cost themselves a pair of monumental points. The Union without their biggest catch of the summer window, U.S. national team midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who won’t make his MLS debut until next weekend. Taylor Kemp scored an unbelievable opener, but Tranquillo Barnetta matched spectacular for spectacular with a brilliant free kick, and Chris Pontius popped up in the decisive moment to score what looked to be the winner against his former team. Steve Birnbaum beat Andre Blake with a header with less than two minutes left to play, pushing United to within two points of the sixth and final playoff place.

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Three moments that mattered 

16′ — Kemp gallops half the length of the field for 1-0 — Taylor Kemp only scores great goals. Remember this one almost one year ago to the day?

45+1′ — Barnetta curls a free kick past Hamid for 1-1 — Let us, as an MLS following, cease to sleep on Tranquillo Barnetta as one of the league’s best free-kick takers.

57′ — Pontius scores against his former team — Luciano Acosta is supremely talented, but he has no business dribbling through traffic 30 yards from his own goal. This kind of silliness deserves to be punished.

90+4′ — Birnbaum rises up to make it 2-2 — Patrick Nyarko played the ball in with everyone forward.

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Man of the match: Steve Birnbaum

Goalscorers: Kemp (16′), Barnetta (45+1′), Pontius (57′), Birnbaum (90+4′)