Philadelphia Union secured its fifth-consecutive trip to the MLS Cup Playoffs with a43-1 win against Atlanta United FC. Led by the highest scoring offensive trio in the league, Julian Carranza, Daniel Gazdag and Mikael Uhre added to their season tallies with Gazdag scoring his club record 17th goal of the year. Homegrown defender Nathan Harriel added to the scoring party for his first MLS goal that saw the Boys in Blue set a new league mark for most goals scored in a three-game stretch.

Playing their second game in five days at Subaru Park. the Union looked the fresher side in the opening moments of the match that had a postseason feel to it. Atlanta sought to match the frantic pace of the Boys in Blue with direct passes over the top that forced Andre Blake in his 200th regular season start to come off his line to prevent a 1v1 chance. Atlanta’s Luiz Araújo felt first hand what it was like to run into Brick Wall Blake and it set the tone of the battle both sides would have.

In the 12th minute both sides had dangerous opportunities in the box but were unable to find a crack in the defense. Philly’s leading goalscorer Daniel Gazdag was up to his playmaking ways, picking out Alejandro Bedoya as he streaked into the box. Floated with enough weight to hit the midfielder in stride, Bedoya battled to get a left-footed shot off but saw it blocked. The block sparked a quick counter from the Five Stripes but center back Jakob Glesnes chopped it down with a pair of blocks in front of the Union goal.

Just before the 20th minute the Union broke through with another gritty goal. Jack Elliott was up from his center back spot to win a second ball and sent it to forward Mikael Uhre. The Danish forward used his strength to fight for space before laying it off to his right for Julian Carranza. Seeing a sliver of space the Argentianian had a goal with a low shot from his right foot that kissed off the post and into the net for his 14th goal of 2022.

Goal | Carranza opens the scoring against ATL!

The Eastern Conference foe didn’t sit back after conceding and found an equalizer seven minutes after the Union. Andre Blake stood tall and made a key stop on Thiago Almada but the rebound fell inside the six to which defender Andrew Gutman scored with a diving header in the 25th minute.

Tied on the scoreboard the Union regained momentum and dominated the rest of the half with Gazdag causing problems all over the field. The Hungarian laid off a pass for Jose Martinez in the 30th minute which allowed Brujo to send a volley into the box into the path of Uhre but the pass were cleared. On the ensuring corner, Uhre did end up with the ball but saw his laser on the ground saved at the post via a diving stop.

The Union got closer and closer as the halftime crept closer with the Union capitalizing off an Atlanta United corner. Carranza led the charge with a long drive up the pitch and threaded the needle to pick out his duo of offensive weapons. Gazdag held off to let the onside Uhre touch it first and then collected it from the Dane inside the six. With the keeper off his line, he toe poked it past the keeper but the shot was be cleared off the line after a hustle play from Brooks Lennon.

In stoppage time the Union kept their foot on the accelerator and retook the lead with a blast from Uhre. Wagner provided the service that snuck through the crowded box and fell to Uhre. The forward unleashed a rocket that crashed off of a diving Santiago Sosa and into the net to send the Union into the lead, 2-1.

Goal | Uhre scores his 10th right before halftime

Both teams came out of the locker rooms in search of the game’s next goal that could decide how the points would be handed out. With a compact Union defense inside the box, the Five Stripes were forced into attempts from long range that didn’t make Blake worry.

Meanwhile the Union’s attacking trio continued to cause trouble for the Georgia defense as Uhre fought to win possession in the offensive third of the pitch. Uhre sent a forward pass as he fell to Gazdag atop the box which the midfielder tapped one pass quickly into Carranza. With one goal on the board, Carranza nearly had his second but saw his upper 90 effort on the wrong side of the post.

The chess match began in the 60th minute as both coaches made offensively minded changes with Josef Martinez and Cory Burke taking to pitch. Within seconds of subbed on, Carranza fed his new attacking partner but the Jamaican’s first touch drifted him away from goal. Regaining possession the play came back around with Jose Martinez unleashing a low shot from 20 yards out that nearly spilled out from the keeper’s gloves.

The Boys in Blue kept on pressing and rewarded the Union faithful with a historic goal from Gazdag in thrilling fashion. On a recycled second ball in, El Brujo regained possession near the corner flag and whipped in a cross in front of goal. Burke kept his eyes on the ball and went up to win the header but was met with a pair from Atlanta. The trio collided mid air and the ball rolling into the middle of the box. Gazdag was there to pounce on the miscommunication in front of the River End and tapped home his 17th goal of 2022 to rewrite the Union record books.

History | Gazdag breaks the Union scoring record!

Both teams came out of the locker rooms in search of the game’s next goal that could decide how the points would be handed out. With a compact Union defense inside the box, the Five Stripes were forced into attempts from long range that didn’t make Blake worry.

Meanwhile the Union’s attacking trio continued to cause trouble for the Georgia defense as Uhre fought to win possession in the offensive third of the pitch. Uhre sent a forward pass as he fell to Gazdag atop the box which the midfielder tapped one pass quickly into Carranza. With one goal on the board, Carranza nearly had his second but saw his upper 90 effort on the wrong side of the post.

The chess match began in the 60th minute as both coaches made offensively minded changes with Josef Martinez and Cory Burke taking to pitch. Within seconds of subbed on, Carranza fed his new attacking partner but the Jamaican’s first touch drifted him away from goal. Regaining possession the play came back around with Jose Martinez unleashing a low shot from 20 yards out that nearly spilled out from the keeper’s gloves.

The Boys in Blue kept on pressing and rewarded the Union faithful with a historic goal from Gazdag in thrilling fashion. On a recycled second ball in, El Brujo regained possession near the corner flag and whipped in a cross in front of goal. Burke kept his eyes on the ball and went up to win the header but was met with a pair from Atlanta. The trio collided mid air and the ball rolling into the middle of the box. Gazdag was there to pounce on the miscommunication in front of the River End and tapped home his 17th goal of 2022 to rewrite the Union record books.

[Gazdag goal]

The Union nearly had another record for the most goals scored in league history within a three-game stretch when Burke rose up into the air and sent a Wagner set piece crashing off the woodwork. Burke caused more aches for the Atlanta back line in the 88th when another charging run in behind that forced a 1v1 stop by the keeper.

In second half stoppage time another historic goal did come with homegrown Nathan Harriel tapping it home in front of the River End. It was a complete homegrown play with Jack McGlynn sending Paxten Aaronson into the box. Aaronson blasted a cross into the box that Harriel flicked on frame only to see it blocked by an Atlanta handball. The right back continued to play and punched home the handed ball and was off the celebrate with the referee playing advantage.

Goal | Harriel makes it 4-1!

Philadelphia Union kicks off September on the road with a rivalry matchup against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, September 3rd. Kick off from New Jersey is set for 7 p.m. ET. Can’t travel up to north to see the squad take on the rival New York Red Bulls but want to cheer on your Philadelphia Union? Come on over to Chickie's & Pete's in Malvern, PA., for a one-of-a-kind Union Watch Party! All guests will have the chance to receive Union giveaways on-site plus participate in a raffle for some exciting and exclusive raffle prizes including a Union team-signed ball courtesy of Chickie's & Pete's. To RSVP, please click here. You can also catch the rivalry match locally on PHL17 as well as on PhiladelphiaUnion.com.