Philadelphia Union jumped into second place in the Eastern Conference thanks to a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati on Halloween. Daniel Gazdag redirected a shot from Olivier Mbaizo just 11 minutes into the contest while homegrowns Jack McGlynn and Paxten Aaronson combined in the second half to send the Union faithful home happy.

From the opening whistle, the Union’s high press created Halloween nightmares for FC Cincinnati.  The Ohio side came out of the locker room aiming to test the right side of the Union but within 11 minutes found their own defense broken by link up play down that very side. In the eighth minute, Mbaizo counterpressed and quickly flung a pass to homegrown Jack McGlynn. Making his fifth start of his rookie season, McGlynn showed no fright with a left-footed blast that forced a difficult save from Kenneth Vermeer.

Three minutes later again it was Mbaizo causing Cincy pain. After the Union’s initial corner kick was cleared away, play was recycled to captain Alejandro Bedoya who cut a pass back to his Cameroonian international right back. With an angle on goal, Mbaizo fired a blast that Daniel Gazdag deftly redirected past the keeper for the lead.

Gazdag nearly bagged his second ten minutes later, sending a cross from homegrown Paxten Aaronson just wide of Vermeer’s net. The Hungarian continued to blossom against one of the league’s more giving defenses as he set up McGlynn for another big look.

The midfield duo again combined on the counter in the 38th minute with Gazdag dribbling centrally to suck in the defense then laying off a pass to his left for McGlynn race onto. With Vermeer repositioning, the homegrown riffled a shot that grazed the far post.

The visitors saved their biggest swings for the opening moments of the second half. Chris Duvall entered for Joe Gyau as Brandon Vazquez and Alvaro Barreal explored the box but failed to trouble Blake.

That left the door open for Paxten Aaronson. With his brother’s mentor, Haris Medunjanin, on the other side, Aaronson dazzled with quick feet in the box that put him onto his left for a twisting laser of a finish past Vermeer. It was a goal so stunning that the difficultly level won’t be realized until opponents break down the tape later.

From that point on, the Union were trick or treating around the box but finding Vermeer too stingy to give up much.

Kacper Przybylko, Gazdag, and McGlynn all sought to put the match out of reach but watched their shots roll agonizingly wide of the netting.

Cory Burke made his return to the pitch following injury and Jesus Bueno helped close things out, allowing Alejandro Bedoya a well-deserved ovation as he left.

Bedoya would return post-game, however, to grab a mic and tell the fans how much he wants them back in Subaru Park for the playoffs.

The Boys in Blue look to secure that all-important home match when they wrap up the regular season next weekend. Jim Curtin will lead his side to a Decision Day match up against rivals New York City FC on Sunday, November 7th. Kick off from Yankee Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.