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Philadelphia Union look ready for playoffs

A convincing 4-0 Decision Day win over Toronto FC has the Union poised for a deep playoff run

Jack Verdeur

If there was any doubt about it, the Philadelphia Union truly looks ready for the playoffs.

After a very disappointing 4-0 loss to Charlotte the game prior, the Union locked back in with a 4-0 win of their own over Eastern Conference bottom dweller Toronto. FC As they had all season, the offense took over from the start and didn’t look back.

It was the same stars leading the team forward, with Daniel Gazdag yet again spearheading the attack. His fourth minute goal indicated that the Union were not playing around in their final regular season matchup. They wanted to put any questions to rest on who were the kings of the Eastern Conference.

Daniel Gazdag would score three goals to end a fantastic 22-goal campaign. The Hungarian attacking midfielder finished second in the Golden Boot race behind probable MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar with 23 goals. Gazdag also accumulated 10 assists as well. He finishes a record breaking campaign that saw him score the most combined goals and assists for a Union player in a single season. He is only the second player in club history to record over 20 goals and 10 assists, joining Sebastien Le Toux in that regard.

To give an idea of how special the Union’s attacking force has been this season, all three of their terrific trio (Gazdag, Carranza, and Uhre) combined for over 15 goals and assists this season. The Union have never had more than one player in a single season accomplish that feat. Uhre scored his 13th of the season against Toronto.

Compare this squad to the one from the year prior. Last year’s team made it to the Eastern Conference finals, probably would have advanced to the MLS Cup if not for multiple players having to miss the game due to COVID regulations. That squad scored 24 goals fewer than this year’s. Mind you, they also gave up nine more goals. In the Union’s first season as a club 12 years ago, they only scored 35 goals. This year, they scored 72.

It cannot be understated just how much this team is rolling into the MLS Cup Playoffs, and the stats don’t even transcribe the entire story either. They are playing attractive complete football. They defend as a unit and attack as a complete unit. Fullback Kai Wagner led the team in assists this season with 15 assists on what is a deserving defender of the year campaign. Andre Blake will most likely win goalkeeper of the year as well.

The Union have a first round bye and will host the winners of New York Red Bulls versus FC Cincinnati.