DC United is on to the second round of play-in action in the 2011 U.S. Open Cup. They certainly weren't the favorites, as the Philadelphia Union used a lineup composed almost entirely of their regular starters, while United used a blend of starters and reserves. But
The Union consistently brought on more and more firepower, as Roger Torres, Danny Mwanga, and Jack McInerney all entered for them in the second half, joining Sebastien Le Toux. Meanwhile, the depleted United team could only send in rookie forward Blake Brettschneider.
D.C. was helped by the red card that was handed to Carlos Valdes for his second yellow of the night. The home team had its share of chances in the first overtime period. In fact, they had all the chances. One open look from Brettschneider went off the post, while Faryd Mondragon narrowly saved an attempt from Joseph Ngwenya.
But it wasn't until the 111th minute that United pulled in front off a goal from Daniel Woolard on a deflected shot. However, with only two minutes remaining in the match, the Union equalized. Former United midfielder Brian Carroll struck the ball on target. It was initially saved by Bill Hamid, but ultimately deflected into the net off our hero Woolard.
The game would have to be settled with penalty kicks, and that's where the youth of United prevailed over the experienced firepower of the Union. Le Toux and Kyle Nakazawa scored for the Union, but Chris Pontius, Brandon Barklage, Andy Najar, and Branko Boskovic all tallied for United to give them a 4-2 win. This was after McInerney missed an attempt and D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid made a save on Torres.
United will move on to the next round to face the New England Revolution later this month. With a win against the Revolution, United would have to travel to face the Houston Dynamo in the final play-in round. It would be United's first road match in the tournament since a 2007 loss to the Harrisburg City Islanders.