The Philadelphia Union has been one of the best teams to start the 2022 MLS season. After six weeks they stand alone at the top of MLS. Their 1-0 victory over Columbus Crew secured a fifth straight victory and kept the Union unbeaten on the season.
Top of MLS
With their win this past weekend, and Chicago and LAFC losses, the Union now stands alone as the last remaining undefeated team in MLS. Their commitment to solid defending, pressing, and pouncing on counter-attacks has helped this team be the best! They now have a huge lead in the eastern conference and are top of MLS and the Supporters Shield standings thanks to their win over Columbus Crew.
A look back at Philly’s 1-0 win over Columbus
On a night that saw two very different teams go head to head, the Union was able to play what many say is their first-choice starting XI. Mikael Uhre got his first start up-top, paired with Julian Carranza; this match marked the first time both designated players played together. The rest of the lineup was then normal starters including captain Alejandro Bedoya who was back from his one-game absence due to injury. This match was always going to be a dogfight, but the Union got a big break early.
In just the second minute Jose Martinez found himself with space ahead of him on the right flank. “El Brujo” put a deep cross into the box that sailed on him a bit and made Columbus keeper Eloy Room have to make a quick decision. The keeper was caught in between two thoughts; try to corral the ball for a save, or push it over the bar. His indecisiveness created the Union’s first and only goal of the day. Room tried to catch the ball but ended up hitting it into his own net. The Union were up 1-0 early and needed to bend, but not break for 88 minutes.
They were able to do just that, but Columbus tried their hardest to break Philly. Columbus had 69% of the possession and created 19 shots, but nothing greatly troubled the Union. Andre Blake was called upon to make some saves, but there was no shot that could be labeled as a big chance for Columbus. Compare that to the Union who had just 31% of possession, and 10 total shots, three of which were big chances. Unfortunately for Philly, they couldn’t convert any of their big chances into goals. It wasn’t the prettiest, but the Union came away with all three points, and continue their historic start to the 2022 season!
Five points above second place in the east
The Union is now top of MLS, and their lead in the eastern conference is quite the gap. While there are still 28 games left in the season, the Union are five points above second place and has a game in hand on the team behind them. This team’s form has been so good, that the Union has not been scored on in the last four matches. Add to that the 10 goals they have scored, which is the fourth most goals scored so far in MLS, and this team has a solid goal differential at plus eight.
Philly has been at the top of MLS power rankings now for the past two weeks, and they’ll likey stay there again this week. Their hot start has created a bit of a gap in the east, and it has helped them get above the teams in the west too.
Three points up in Supporters Shield standings
The Union now has the longest winning streak in team history with five wins in a row. Their four-straight clean sheets tie a franchise record as well! Thanks to LAFC’s loss to LA Galaxy, the Union jumped them in the Supporters Shield standings. Now Philly stands alone on top of MLS! Through six games they had the potential to take 18 points, they’ve taken 16 of the possible 18, towering above everyone else now. Can they keep this momentum going?
This team is damn good and has the potential to compete for and win everything they set their sights on. They go on the road next week to a tough place to play in Toronto FC!
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Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire