It wasn’t pretty. But it doesn’t have to be, does it? D.C. United came on the road after a three week layoff and beat its I-95 rival, 1-0, to stay atop the Eastern Conference.

Fantastic service from Branko Boskovic, clean finish by Chris Pontius. United (9-4-3, 30 points) has now equaled its win total from the 2011 season.

Add in that Philadelphia was playing with plenty of incentive under a new coach, and you have to say this was a huge result for this team.

That seemed to be the prevailing thought in the locker room after, as well.

“I thought we grinded one out tonight,” United Coach Ben Olsen said. “They were good. give them a lot of credit. I thought their energy was good, I thought their soccer was better on the night. ... But at the end of the day it’s about winning games.”

Said rookie midfielder Nick DeLeon: “It makes a world of difference. If we dont get that result we’re in here getting screamed at.”

More after the jump, including Pontius on the foul that set-up the goal and a poll...

I asked Pontius if he was worried about hearing from the league for a possible dive on the foul that set up his goal.

“No, he got a piece of me on it,” Pontius said. “But I think he got the ball first. But he did get a piece of me on it.”

United will also be wondering if they’ll hear from the league regarding Dejan Jakovic’s two-footed tackle in the second half.

Bill Hamid said his knee was fine after a collision in the first half.

DisclaimerThis is a non-scientific user poll. Results are not statistically valid and cannot be assumed to reflect the views of Washington Post users as a group or the general population.