Union scores six for the 4th time in their last 10 matches in rout vs Rapids

The Philadelphia Union has been red hot all summer, and it doesn’t look like they’ll cool off any time soon. Philly netted six goals last night in their rout of the Colorado Rapids. The result is a huge one for the club’s asperations of winning a trophy this season, and also helped Philly make history as the only team in MLS history to have four wins by six or more goals!

WASHINGTON, DC – AUGUST 20: Philadelphia Union midfielder Jose Martinez (8) jumps on top of the pile with defender Olivier Mbaizo (15), forward Mikael Uhre (7), midfielder Alejandro Bedoya (11), forward Julian Carranza (9), and midfielder Jack McGynn (16) as they celebrate after Uhre’s first half goal during the Philadelphia Union versus D.C. United Major League Soccer (MLS) game on August 20, 2022 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

Union 6 – 0 Rapids

The Union has made history with yet another win by six goals. The team is firing on all cylinders, and the sky is the limit for this team. Their four wins of six or more goals have come in their last 10 games. The next closest team to this record is Sporting Kansas City, which has three wins of six or more, but they accumulated those three wins in a span of 20 years ranging from 1999-2019!

On top of this record, the Union has scored 25 goals over their last five home matches, which is the most goals in that span in MLS history! In a game that became very important because of LAFC’s loss, Philadelphia rose to the occasion proving just how for-real they are this season. Here’s a look back at Philly’s rout of Colorado.

1st Half

In a game where the Union put out what has be lauded as their best XI for most of the season, Colorado caught everyone off gaurd by chaning their formation and rotating players. This was meant to throw Philly off thier game, and Jim Curtin admitted it made his pregame team talk one about shifting tactics. The talk worked for his side as Philly came out and dominated the game early. Colorado’s three-man backline opened up spaces for the home side to play direct over the top. That’s how the games first goal was scorred.

A perfect counter attack was on for Philly. Left back Kai Wagner lofted a ball up field towards Mikael Uhre. He chested the ball forward to find the perfectly timed run by Daniel Gazdag. The man who would score a hattrick on the night was in on goal and slotted a shot home past the helpless Colorado keeper. It was 1-0 Union before the 10th minute. After going down, Colorado tried to use physicality to get back into the match; this backfired on them quickly.

The Rapids were trying to win the physical battle all night, but continually got challanges wrong in bad spots. In the 20th minute Gazdag was in the Colorado box and was pulled from behind to stop his run. The whistle blew and a penalty kick was given. It was one in which Gazdag was able to slot home after a conversation between himself and Carranza.

Just about 10 minutes later the Union would get another pen. Jack Elliot played a beautiful ball to a streaking Oliver Mbaizo who turned a Colorado player inside out in route to anohter spot kick. This time Julian Carranza stepped sent the keeper the wrong way to make it 3-0 Union in the 30th minute. five minutes after Philly were already in the drivers seat to three points, Colorado’s Gustavo Vallecilla picked up a second yellow, and the visitors would play a man down for the rest of the way.

2nd Half

The Second half started and Colorado pushed to find a goal early on. They had a few chances but Philly snuffed them out and then moved forward. The extra man allowed the home side to use the ball and the open spaces extreamly well. If not for some great saves by William Yarborough this game could have been even more loppsided. He did his best job to keep it at 3-0, but Union substitutes broke the game open yet again inside of the last 10 minutes.

In the 83rd minute, Jakob Glesnes played a ball to second-half sub Cory Burke. Burke was able to turn at the center circle and run from that spot to the Colorado box. There he saw another great run from Gazdag, and he slipped him in on goal. Gazdag chipped the keeper to secure his hattrick and 16th goal on the season (tying the Union’s single season record for goals scored in a season). The game was securely done and dusted, but the team wanted more goals.

Philly’s subs Paxten Aaronson and Jack McClgynn dispossed Colorado and sprung a counter attack in the 87th minute. McGlynn carried the ball forward and rocketed a shot that had a huge rebound given up. Burke was the first player to react and had an easy tap in to make the game 5-0. But that wasn’t enough for this team!

The final goal of the night was started with a build up from the back. Glesnes and McGlynn plaed some one-twos and found the outlet in Burke. The striker carried forward and saw a streaking run from Kai Wagner. The ball was placed perfeclty into Wagner’s stride, and he drew the attention fo the Colorado defense. A cut back pass was made to find sub Matt Real. The homegrown took a touch to set up a shot and fired a shot from just outside the box that beat the keeper. It was the exclimation mark to make it 6-0 in the 90th minute!

Three Takeaways

This was yet another historic result for the Union. The team is solid in all spots on the field and has depth to bring difference makers off the bench! With yet another blowout win, there’s some takeawys to consider.

1. Your defense is terrified; Gazdag’s on fire!

Daniel Gazdag has to be playing his way into the MVP conversation. I know there are MLS pundits out there saying that hes not going to be, and isn’t even the MVP of this team, but his numbers are at the MVP level, and he needs to be considered in the voting. He has 16 goals and eight assists in 2,400 minutes played this season; his main competition Austin’s Sebastian Driussi has 19 goals and seven assists in 2,336 minutes (one less game played than Gazdag). Gazdag passed Mukhtar, Vazquez and Ferreira in goals this weekend, they all have been lauded as MVP candidates, so Gazdag should be too right?

2. Andre Blake and the defense keep another clean sheet.

Speaking of a player who should be considered for MVP, Andre Blake recorded his 12th clean sheet of the season, just one off of the pace set by Sean Johnson of NYCFC. Blake has to be the front runner for Goalkeeper of the year, and his defnese in front of him has been steller as well. Led by defensive player of the year front runners Glesnes and Elliot, the Union has only allowed 20 goals this season. Should the attack continue to score goals and the defense play this good, then Philly might be the only team in MLS history to score tripple their goal differnecial!

3. The Shield is within touching distance

With this win the Union sit just three points back of LAFC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. LAFC has dropped in form a bit while Philly has risen their game. With just six weeks left in the MLS season, this could become an incredibly close race. Philly looks like a history making team this year. Could they have enough to overtake an LAFC team that is trying to get new players to gel, while also holding off an incredibly impressive Austin FC side? We’ll keep following this closely as the homestretch continues!

Relive the action

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Mandatory Credit: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire