Union makes history defeating DC 7-0; is this a sign of beautiful things to come?

Philadelphia scored a touchdown and converted the extra point over DC in a rivalry game. No, we’re not talking Eagles vs Commanders, we’re talking about the Philadelphia Union. Philly beat down DC 7-0, scoring five in the first half, breaking MLS records in the process!

PORTLAND, OR – MAY 22: Philadelphia Union midfielder Daniel Gazdag (6) celebrates his goal with Alejandro Bedoya (11) during an MLS match between the Philadelphia Union and the Portland Timbers on May 22, 2022, at Providence Park in Portland, OR. (Photo by Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire).

Philadelphia Union 7 – 0 DC United

Something extraordinary was in the air on Friday night as Philly-DC kicked off MLS’ Heineken branded rivalry week. One could say that this match ended any rivalry DC and Philly ever had in the 13 years they’ve played each other. In the early years of the Union’s existence, DC were giants in MLS; now Philly is the big club, and DC has fallen off. This fact makes this game a lesser rivalry for both involved. Nevertheless, a blowout was on the cards for the latest installment.

These two teams were at different ends of the standings. Philadelphia came into the match fighting to get back atop the eastern conference, while DC looked to show they could be a playoff contender. In previous matches, the two looked to be in opposite situations. DC was coming off a 5-3 victory, while the Union played to a scoreless draw at Columbus. Because of this, Philly came out poised to make an impact early. They dominated a DC team that looked lost.

Philly scored three goals in the first 25 minutes, effectively ending DC’s chances of competing in the match. It was like something was possessing the Union to throttle their opponent. They added two more goals before the end of the first half, tying an MLS record for goals scored in a half with five. The collective frustrations that saw the team compile two wins, one loss, and seven draws since the bringing of May pushed the Union to produce this huge outburst. Carranza and Bedoya each had a brace and Uhre had one goal as the first half ended.

The second half was a bit more tempered, but the scoring was not over. Uhre got his second goal in the 59th minute. Carranza scored his third of the match in the 72nd minute from the run of play; he had a chance to score his third earlier but he had a penalty saved in the 69th minute. The Union would end the match having 54% of possession, 24 shots, and 10 big chances created, which is high for their counter-pressing style of play. Philly produced their best performance of the season at a crucial time in the season!

On top of this, Paxten Aaronson, Quinn Sullivan, Jack McGlynn, and Brandan Craig, who spent the last three weeks helping the US Men qualify for the next U-20 World Cup and the 2024 Olympics (the first time the men will be at that tournament since 2008!) while winning the Concacaf championships, were back and featured in the match coming off the bench. We’ll definitely be seeing more of them as the season progresses! With their and the team’s success, there’s a lot to take away from this historic win.

Three takeaways

1. Carranza’s on fire; $500K for his services

Julian Carranza has been one of the signings of the 2022 season. He has seven goals on the season and will be a crucial part of this team’s title-winning hopes. On top of that, there are now reports of his buy option. Since Carranza is on loan from Miami, he is not officially a Union player. However, according to MLS.com’s Tom Bogert, his buy option is fixed at $500K!

This is a steal, and the Union should trigger that option ASAP. Carranza is a $6 million player who the Union can have permanently for half a million; do the deal, Ernst!

2. Uhre and Bedoya are heating up

DP striker Mikael Uhre and team captain Alejandro Bedoya both have five goals on the season and seem to be driving forces for this team’s offense. Their display in this past match shows how important both are. Uhre seems to finally be finding his footing playing with his attack-mates Carranza and Gazdag. He will need to keep producing to make this team get over the hump to win a trophy.

Bedoya has been dogged this season by some fans since he is an elder statesman on this team. However, he’s already surpassed his goal total of any past season and is truly the heartbeat of the team. He’s heating up not cooling off. He’s shown he isn’t a problem for this team; he’s providing solutions.

3. Jose Martinez; you get the good and the bad

Jose “El Brujo” Martinez was back for the Union after serving a red card suspension last week. He showed some extraordinary skill with his ability to cover ground and to find the right passes against DC. However, with Martinez, you get both the good and the bad. He argued with Bedoya and Carranza when the Union won a penalty and kicked the ball away from Carranza when he was the one who was going to take the pen.

Apparently, El Brujo wanted to honor ex-Union player Sergio Santos who was traded to Cincinnati this week if he scored, which is why he wanted the kick. Post-game both Carranza and Bedoya both said that Martinez knew who the penalty takers were and that the disagreement shouldn’t have happened. This might be something to keep an eye on as the season moves along, or it could be a complete nothing-burger of a story.

Is this landmark win a sign of beautiful things to come?

Could this Union result be a catalyst for the Union to play consistently well and get more W’s? It’ll be interesting to see, as Philly is still in a tough summer stretch. Their next three matches will be played in an 11-day span. They go to Miami on July 13, return home to face New England on July 16, then go back to Florida to take on Orlando on July 23. After that, they end the month of July by welcoming a revitalized Houston team to Chester on July 30th.

Of those four teams, only one is in a current playoff position. If Philly wants to get out of the dog-days-of-summer at or right near the top of the east, then they will need to keep up their momentum from this monumental win over DC. They don’t have to keep winning by seven, but back-to-back wins or even a win streak would solidify their place in MLS as one of the best in 2022.

Relive the historic 7-0 win over DC

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Doop on Union fans!

Mandatory Credit: Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire