Gazdag's go-ahead goal brings him closer to making club history

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Daniel Gazdag scored an electrifying 90th minute game-winner on Saturday night against Nashville, propelling Philadelphia Union toward the top of the Eastern Conference standings where they now sit in a four-way tie for second place.

“It was a great corner from Jack,” Gazdag said, describing the moment he sealed the win for Philly. “I was on the second post, and to be honest, I was a little bit surprised that the ball got there. I just tried to hit the target and finally it worked out well and we won the game.”

The 28-year-old Hungarian midfielder’s Gazdag is well on his way to making club history; since his arrival in Philadelphia, he’s scored 55 goals across all competitions, and he's just one shy of tying Union legend Sebastian Le Toux’s all-time record.

Saturday's win was the team's third in a row and the go-ahead header goal was Gazdag’s third straight score -- he’s hit the back of the net in each of his last three appearances. Set-piece success has been a notable strength in the Union’s attack as of late, as he’s scored goals off a corner in each of the team’s last two games.

“He has an uncanny way, and I've never seen this with any player I've worked with, with his movement in the box. Tonight's another example. I say it all the time, it's like he goes invisible and people don't see him because he gets wide open for a guy who isn't the biggest presence and scores a lot of goals whether it's with his head or all the bounces to him,” Head Coach Jim Curtin said.

“He just has a way of kind of ghosting in there late into the box, whether you look at his goals in Hungary, you look at his goals here with us. He has a real knack for that.”

Curtin opted to change formations mid-game, taking out defenders Jack Elliott and Kai Wagner to add Olivier Mbaizo on the right side and team captain Alejandro Bedoya to the midfield. The move opened their attack, creating space near-immediately for Julian Carranza to find a momentous 62nd minute equalizer that energized the team until the end, when Gazdag claimed the full three points before the final whistle.

“We changed a little bit for the second half, I don't think we played too good in the first half. We tried to stay compact, but they scored a goal in the first half, so we needed to be more offensive in the second half,” Gazdag said.

“That's why we changed and as I stated before it worked out well. I think we played much better in the second half, we had the ball much, much more time, so I think we deserved to win.”

Curtin’s crew started the regular season with three straight draws, but in recent weeks, the team has clicked and it shows – they’re now the only team in the entire league that hasn’t been beaten.

“It's a pretty good start to the season, and we played a lot of games away, so I'm proud of the team and I hope we can keep going and we can get the next win next week,” Gazdag said.

#NSHvPHI | Postgame celebration

Curtin often shares that his team is its best when rallying behind its front three, which typically consists of their designated player trio in Carranza, Gazdag, and Mikael Uhre. With the Dane out with an injury, Carranza and Gazdag led the charge, and they’re lock-step in the team’s internal Golden Boot race.

“The last thing I said before the guys go out for every game is the front three as you guys go, the seven behind will follow,” Curtin said.

They’ll hit the road again next weekend, looking to use their momentum to defeat Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of a national broadcast audience.

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