The Philadelphia Union dominated a valuable home match against D.C. United on Friday night, with a 7-0 victory to kick off Heineken Rivalry Week. Despite the high goal total, the Union only had three-goal scorers: Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya recorded braces while Julian Carranza had a hat-trick.
After two poor games on the road, Philadelphia got off to a fast start. The team opened up with a scoring chance from Daniel Gazdag in the opening minute that was ultimately denied, but continued to push without giving D.C. much opportunity. It wasn’t long before Philadelphia took its first lead of the night, as Bedoya’s 20th career MLS goal pushed them over the edge in the 9’.
If Bedoya’s strike wasn’t classy enough, the Union kept pouring the goals on, as Carranza bounced a bicycle kick in the net from six yards out to make the game 2-0. Nathan Harriel nearly scored the Union’s first-third goal of the 2022 season, but missed on an open net opportunity moments later.
There was no let down, however. Carranza scored his second goal of the night right in front of the net from a Leon Flach assist. Carranza’s brace gave Philadelphia a 3-0 lead, the first time they had scored three goals in a match this season, which came in just the 25th minute. Flach’s assist was the culmination of a series of strong offensive plays from a midfielder whose attacking abilities had been under scrutiny.
There was never a break in the action. Bedoya scored his second goal of the match from a header 15 yards out, as Kai Wagner earned his second assist. Philadelphia’s scoring rush was so brutal that D.C. made two substitutions in the dying minutes of the first half, both on the right side of their defensive lines.
That wasn’t enough for the Union, Uhre sat Donovan Pines down before tucking the ball away in the final play of the first half. Philadelphia went into the locker room up 5-0 against a team that had recently taken down Orlando City SC 5-3.
D.C. looked to try and surprise the Union with a quick comeback, forcing Andre Blake to make an incredible stop just four minutes into the second half.
United continued to push forward, and for the first time all evening, the Union defense had to earn its check. Taxi Fountas created some dangerous opportunities around the goal, but wasn’t able to finish before the Union scored again. Uhre scored his second goal of the evening just before being substituted off in the 60th minute.
Philadelphia almost tied the team record for goals with a PK in the 70th minute, though Carranza failed to capitalize after convincing Jose Martinez not to take the shot. Instead, he waited all the way until the 71st minute to record his hat trick as the Union continued to roll through.
Despite urges from the River End, the Union was unable to score the eighth goal to tie the MLS record set by the LA Galaxy against the Dallas Burn in the prior millennia. Philadelphia instead sent D.C. United home beaten and broken, but not crushed by the weight of history.
The Union returns to action on Wednesday in Ft. Lauderdale against Inter Miami FC, which unfortunately means another rest for the on-fire Carranza, who because of intra-league loan rules can’t play against the team that loaned him out for the season.