Freddy Adu's goal in the 28th minute brought to a close one of the longest droughts in Union history.
It had been 57 days, a total of 747 minutes of play since a Philadelphia forward last scored a goal.
The Union not only broke that streak, but ended an eight game winless run, with Sunday's comprehensive 3-1 victory against Houston.
"The only part of playing the game that's fun is winning," said Union fullback Sheanon Williams after the match. "When you don't win and you have one of those streaks, it definitely gets a little bit frustrating. We know that we've been playing well. I've said before that we thought were better than a lot of the teams that we had lost to, but that we were just unlucky. These goals are going to come, and tonight (we got) three."
The Union scored just four goals during the eight game winless run. Three of those goals came from defenders Williams and Carlos Valdes, and holding midfielder Brian Carroll. The fourth goal was credited as an own goal to Chicago's Jalil Anibaba.
"I've said it so many times, and I was on the other end of the stick when we weren't getting (the wins), that I really thought our performances were good and that the goals would come and that we deserved a little more," manager John Hackworth said. "This is what this team is about. We put together a (quality) performance in a tough situation and hopefully we can carry that forward. I think we've been a pretty good team. The results just hadn't been going our way, but that's soccer sometimes."
Philadelphia's forwards had not scored a goal dating back to a 2-1 home win against New England on July 29.
And despite losing the possession battle on Sunday night, the Union outshot Houston, 14 to 12.
"I think we kept attacking, we kept going," said winger Danny Cruz. "Our back four was tremendous. Brian Carroll and Mike Lahoud in the middle did a lot of the dirty work, so it made it easy to continue to atack, and we put the ball in the back of the net. This is a team that doesn't make excuses. We know we haven't been winning, and we (got a win) today against a very good team in front of some very good fans."
In addition to his opener, Adu also tallied a penalty kick goal in the 50th minute, bringing his season total to five goals in MLS play. His three U.S. Open Cup goals give him eight total goals in all competitions in 2012.
"Personally, obviously it feels good, it means a lot," Adu explained. "Getting two goals in league play, it's good for your confidence, especially when the coach puts you in at forward. To reward the coach with two goals, it's a great feeling. The team won, everybody's happy. It just feels like it's been awhile since we've won a game. It's definitely a good feeling."
Contact writer Kevin Kinkead at email@example.com. Follow Kevin on Twitter @philunionkevink