On Sunday at Subaru Park, the Philadelphia Union had one goal: win. Doing so would mean they secure the number one seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round bye in the playoffs. With Montreal tight on their heels, the Union dominated every aspect of the game to a 4-0 win over Toronto FC. It was a fitting end to an amazing regular season. This team is in top form and looking to carry its momentum into the Audi MLS Cup playoffs.
To the Action
It took Philadelphia all of three and a half minutes to net the opening goal. It was on a rocket by Daniel Gazdag just inside the box for his 20th goal of the season. The strong offense was backed up by great defense, leading to many breakout plays. Julian Carranza got a long pass in the 14th minute. He rang a shot off the crossbar and the back of Toronto goalkeeper Quentin Westberg, but stayed out of the net. Toronto FC was not able to get much going offensively. It meant that Philadelphia could really apply pressure with their attack. A Mikael Uhre goal in the 42nd minute gave the Union some insurance going into the half.
The second half saw much more of the same from both sides. Toronto struggled to find pace while Philadelphia was still applying consistent pressure. A handball in the box in the 58th minute gave the Union a penalty kick. This was a chance to put themselves in the driver’s seat. With Gazdag at the spot, he scored his 21st goal and kept his percentage on penalty kicks at 100% (7-for-7). Gazdag then capped off the match with the 22nd of the season and third of the game to put Philadelphia up 4-0.
Union Finish the Season Strong
With that result, the Philadelphia Union secured first place in the Eastern Conference and a first-round bye in the Audi MLS Cup playoffs. Goalkeeper Andre Blake earned his 14th clean sheet of the season, giving him the league lead and almost assuredly locking up MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. This was an impressive regular season for the Union, and now they are prepared for either New York Red Bulls or FC Cincinnati in the second round. Playoff action is heating up in Philadelphia, and nothing could be better. The Union with a strong finish to the season.