Remember a time when the Philadelphia Union had gone hundreds of days and tens of games without a single win? Yeah, that was eight days ago. But in the last eight days, the Philadelphia Union have turned their fortune and perhaps even their season around by defeating their most recent two opponents by a score of 7-0, 3-0 last Saturday against New York Red Bulls and 4-0 tonight against D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
Despite early chippiness from both sides, the Philadelphia Union started the match off strong, dominating all the quality chances of the early going while holding D.C. United to zero first half shots on target (and only one shot on target all match - a harmless speculative shot from distance). The Union generated some chances themselves early, demanding saves of Bill Hamid and goalline clearances kept the game even at zero.
The Union eventually broke through in the 39th minute with a wondrous goal from Haris Medunjanin. The Union midfielder scored his first goal with the franchise following a seemingly harmless pass from Chris Pontius. Medunjanin did not appear upon first reception of the pass that he was in a position to score, but he let it rip from distance and fired a perfect strike that was too strong for Hamid to keep out of the net.
Despite the Union leading and things going relatively well on the pitch things would get even better early in the second half. Luciano Acosta decided to retaliate for an Oguchi Onyewu bump that he perceived as a foul by executing a sloppy tackle on Ilsinho that referee Chris Penso deemed worthy of an instant red card, leaving the Union up a man for the remainder of the match. Many Union fans at this point in the match turned to foreboding jokes since statistically speaking the Union’s history up a man has been rather less than stellar. Perhaps though it was all a build-up for the performance the Union would put on up a man tonight against United.
In the 64th minute, the Union took advantage of a corner kick situation to net their second goal of the match. Haris Medunjanin’s corner into the box went directly to Onyewu. Having escaped Bobby Boswell’s defensive marking, Gooch calmly headed the ball past Hamid and into the net to put the Union up 2-0, giving Gooch his first goal as a member of the Union.
With D.C. United perhaps building for a chance, the Union instead added to their lead in the 78th minute with a strong goal from Fafa Picault. Medunjanin had an impressive run wherein he faked out his defenders allowing him to execute a pass to Picault. Picault then unleashed a howitzer past Hamid and into the back of the net for a 3rd Union goal and Picault’s first for the Union, essentially clinching the match and the three points.
Although the match was all but clinched for the Union, the Union were not done scoring just yet. In the 88th minute, Jay Simpson played a ball to Alejandro Bedoya and Bedoya spotted Fabian Herbers at the top of the box. The excellent build-up play allowed Bedoya to pick out Herbers with his cross and Herbers chipped it beautifully past the helpless Hamid with a goal to put the Union up 4-0, the final score of this runaway for the Union.
With the Philadelphia Union suddenly on a hot streak, they will hope to build on it by emerging victorious from a midweek fixture at Talen Energy Stadium Wednesday night against the Houston Dynamo.