Highlights | #PHIvCOL

With a standing room only crowd in attendance at Subaru Park, Philadelphia Union were on a mission to move even closer up the Supporters’ Shield standings. It didn’t take long for the Boys in Blue to display their intent with speed and pin point passing putting the Rapids defense on their heels. It took a few moments for the Union to figure out the ideal way to break down the Western Conference foe’s defensive shape set up by Head Coach Robin Fraser. With a focus of jamming the middle of the pitch, it was up to the Union to break things open with long volleys and nearly notched a goal seven minutes in as Kai Wagner sent in a low cross into Mikael Uhre but the forward was blocked inside the six.

The play did reveal a way to find space however and two minutes later Subaru Park erupted with a precision play from Wagner, Uhre and Daniel Gazdag. The two-time MLS All-Star pinged a cross to Uhre as he stepped into the midfield. Dragging a center back with him, the forward chested down the pass and put the ball right into the path of Gazdag in stride. The Union’s leading goalscorer didn’t need much with the play getting him into space and capped it off with a right-footed finish.

Goal | Gazdag scores early against COL

Colorado sought a response in the 14th minute with a corner kick opportunity that saw a second ball sent near the Union net. Andre Blake went body to body with the Rapids’ Collen Warner but made the reaction stop as he fell to the ground.

With a big stop on one side of the pitch, the Boys in Blue nearly doubled their lead with Uhre and Carranza. Uhre went out wide on the wing and used his speed to set up another opportunity with a blast into the box for his attacking teammate. Carranza went all out with his effort, stretching out and redirecting it to the corner only to be denied by the keeper at full stretch.

Philly kept their eye on that area of the pitch with Gazdag floating outside the box to restart a Union attack. Combining on a give and go, the Hungarian was into the box and might have scored but instead was fouled by Anthony Markanich. With a goal in his pocket already, Gazdag was on a mission to bag a brace and did just that from the penalty spot to notch his 15th goal of 2022.

The Union were hungry for more in the opening half and turned to a counter attack after a Rapids’ corner. Uhre led the charge and then slowed his run to allow others to join into the attack. As he stepped back he laid a pass out wide to Olivier Mbaizo in rhythm. The Cameroonian right back cut it hard inside for Carranza but the forward’s sliding shot went begging wide.

Just like the other goals, it was a precursor for a DOOP as Mbaizo collected another pass and sped into the Colorado 18. With too much speed, Rapid defender Gustavo Vallecilla pulled down Mbaizo to concede another penalty to the Union. Julian Carranza took the Union’s second chance from the penalty spot and kept the Union perfect to make it 3-0 in the opening 30 minutes of play.

Goal | Carranza makes it 3-0 with a PK finish

With the offense clicking, the Union defense sought to keep its mission of record-breaking season in line. Up a trio of goals didn’t mean the Boys in Blue cooled it with center back Jack Elliott racing back to smoother Gyasi Zardes’ attempted breakaway in the 34th minute. Things went from bad to worse when Uhre drew a second yellow card on Gustavo Vallecilla in the 35th minute to put the Union up a man going into the locker room.

With two-thirds of the Union’s three-headed attack, the Union tried to make it all three with a quick back to front attack. Jakob Glesnes sparked the attack with a defensive tackle of Michael Barrios in front of the Union’s net and quickly shot the ball to Gazdag. Turning at the edge of the center circle, Gazdag threaded the needle to pick out Uhre making a central run from the wing. Picking up the ball, Uhre was in on goal but saw his chipped effort of the keeper pawed away. The rebound fell right to Uhre but his second effort clanked off the corner of the post.

After scoring a hat trick last time out, Carranza nearly bagged a brace of his own in the 58th minute with a flying effort set up from a Union corner kick. With the Rapids handling the initial play, the ball went back out wide to Wagner. The left back sent in a pin-point perfect cross that connected with a diving Carranza but header went wide.

Coach Curtin turned to a pair of fresh legs with Cory Burke and homegrown Jack McGlynn making way for Jose Martinez and Carranza. The crowd gave standing ovations for the duo including Brujo’s final action of the night after he raced the full distance of the pitch to deny a shot in front of the Union net by the speedy Barrios.

Burke and McGlynn kept the Union press alive and attacking Colorado. Burke ripped a blast in the 65th minute but was blocked in the box. Paxten Aaronson joined the match in the 74th minute and quickly was into the box, going down but not enough for a third penalty kick attempt of the evening.

As the clock struck the 80th minute the Union showed their strength with Leon Flach making a long run to cut down a possible offensive opportunity by Colorado. Moments later it was the homegrowns combining with Aaronson seeing a blast turned aside from the keeper.

Just like in the first half another strong effort from Gazdag saw the floodgates open in the second half as the Boys in Blue racked up another trifecta of goals. Burke turned playmaker racing into the space and putting the Colorado defense into an unwinnable situation, do you go with Burke or Gazdag. The Jamaican read the situation perfectly, playing a through ball to Gazdag who chipped the keeper for a piece of Union history with his hat trick.

Watch | Gazdag's hat trick

Burke’s work rate continued and was rewarded in kind in the 87th minute. Once again it started with a shot from Jack McGlynn but this time there was no déjà vu as Burke followed up the rebound spilled by the keeper and make it 5-0 for the Boys in Blue.

Goal | Burke follows up the rebound!

Late substitute Matt Real didn’t just come on just for a few minutes and scored the historic goal in second half stoppage time that made the Boys in Blue the first team in MLS history with four games won by at least six goals. Real collected a pass from his fellow left back Kai Wagner and laced a low shot with a left-footed blast to complete the scoring.

Goal | Matt Real makes it 6-0!

Philadelphia Union concludes its August schedule at home on Wednesday night with an Eastern Conference battle on Wednesday, August 31st. The match is presented by WSFS Bank is set to kick off from Subaru Park at 7 p.m. ET. The best deal in sports returns with Dollar Dog Night on Wednesday night with tickets for the matchup going fast so be sure to click here to secure your seats at Subaru Park.