Although the luster of a monster win is beginning to fade as the Union prepare for another big test in Toronto FC this weekend, the question should be asked:
Just how big was Friday night's road win against Kansas City?
Well, for starters the victory simultaneously snapped a five game winless streak and allowed the Union to reclaim the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
That's what we call "killing two birds with one stone."
Except, in this case, it feels like the Union killed about 15 birds with that stone, achieving a couple of franchise-firsts in the process. It was a critical win under dire circumstances, and it props the team up for the final month of league play.
Take a look at some of the things that Friday night's win accomplished:
1. Conor Casey's goal snapped a 346 minute scoreless drought dating back to August 25. The Union had not scored since Danny Cruz's second half goal in the 5-1 loss at New England.
2. Zac MacMath, who picked up honors this week as one of MLS' "Top 3 Performers" and is also in the running for MLS' Save of the Week earned his 11th shutout of the season. He is tied with Portland's Donovan Ricketts for the most shutouts in MLS this year. As a team, however, New England still leads the league in this category. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth has nine clean sheets and Matt Reis has three.
3. It was only the second win all-time against Sporting. Philadelphia had previously held a 1-4-3 against Peter Vermes' team, including last year's loss in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
4. The win improved Philadelphia's road record to 5-6-4 this season. That's the most road wins the Union has posted in a single season. With two road games still to play, this team has already earned more road points than any other Union squad.
Here's the breakdown:
- 2010 road record: 2-12-1 = 7 of 45 possible points
- 2011 road record: 4-7-6 = 18 of 51 possible points
- 2012 road record: 3-10-4 = 13 of 51 possible points
- 2013 road record: 5-6-4 = 19 of 45 possible points (two games remaining)
5. The win also gave Philadelphia 11 victories on the season. One more win will set a franchise record for wins in a single season.
6. It was the franchise's first-ever road win in Kansas City. Philadelphia went into the game with a 0-2-1 record in KC, losing once at the Community America Ballpark prior to a 2011 draw and 2012 loss at Sporting Park.
7. And here's a totally random statistic: the Union is 4-2-1 this season when playing outside of the Eastern time zone.
Think of a stat Kevin might have missed? Leave it in the comments below.
Contact Union writer Kevin Kinkead at firstname.lastname@example.org