With an eye on the best defensive record in league history, it was Philadelphia Union’s offense that stole the headlines as the club erupted for six goals against Houston Dyanmo FC on Saturday night. Mikael Uhre collected his second multi-goal game of the season while homegrown Jack McGlynn delivered a free kick golazo for his first MLS goal. Team captain Alejandro Bedoya was involved early and often as he tied the club record for single-game assists with three.
Inside the Subaru Park fortress, the Union came out of the blocks and looked to dictate the style of play. Homegrown Jack McGlynn was put into the deep lying playmaking role with Jose Martinez suspended for yellow card accumulation and the 19-year-old showed no fear taking with former Atletico Madrid midfielder Hector Herrera bearing down on him. Two minutes in, he sent a soft pass to his left for Kai Wagner that resulted in the game’s first corner.
In the middle of the park, Daniel Gazdag was busy as well timing the Boys in Blue’s press and putting his body on the line to spark an early Union goal. Looking to capitalize on a quick throw in, Gazdag was pushed off the ball but stayed involved with a pass to Mikael Uhre while down on the ground. Uhre sent it wide for another Wagner cross that resulted in another set piece chance.
On the ensuing corner, Philly fans found their opponent to bemoan in the former of goalkeeper Steve Clark as he collided with Jack Elliott at the near post. Moments later he was in another collision but this time Alejandro Bedoya. The Union captain quickly exchanged pleasantries with the former MLS Cup winning keeper.
The Union were in prime position to take the lead in the 19th minute when Wagner and McGlynn combined inside the box with the homegrown’s shot getting blocked by a defender. After seeing the block, the referee pointed to the spot. With Gazdag primed to take the shot from the spot, the ref was summoned by the Video Assistant Referee to have a look and determined After further review, the penalty kick awarded to PHI was overturned due to no handball offense.
Philly didn’t hang its head and threw even more at the Dynamo and finally broke through in the 23rd minute with a perfect display of passing, timing and speed. Once again it was McGlynn making the forward pass as he sent Mikael Uhre in behind the right back. After taking a touch to push the ball into the box, he slowed it down before sending a pass from one side to the other where Captain Bedoya was racing into the fold. Bedoya had a slight look at goal but sent a sharp pass to his right to get Gazdag into space. With the keeper coming out to lock down the angle, the Hungarian found the gap to notch his 11th goal of 2022.
With Subaru Park buzzing, Houston nearly hushed the crowd when former Union winger Fafa Picault beat the Union’s backline and was 1on1 against Andre Blake. The MLS-All Star came off his line and nearly got a hand on it but saw it trickle in.
After setting up the majority of the long ball chances for the Union, McGlynn took matters into his own boots after Carranza was fouled 30 yards out from the Dynamo net. With ice in his veins, he flicked a magical and memorable left-footed strike that curved over the defensive wall and inside the post.
The Union weren’t satisfied with just a two-goal advantage against the Western Conference foe they hadn’t faced off against in three years with Mikael Uhre finishing off yet another perfect string of passes on the counter.
Right back Olivier Mbaizo made the most of his home start, starting the play with a central pass to Julian Carranza. The Argentinian quickly sent it back to Mbaizo with a chipped pass into space on the wing. After battling off his defensive marker, the Cameroonian fired a cross into the redzone and connected with the Danish forward in first half stoppage.
With a goal to his name, Uhre needed just four minutes to really break the match wide open. Looking to slow things down, a back pass to the captain quickly was fired a decisive forward pass that beat the offsides trap. With just the keeper the beat, Uhre showed he was flying high with confidence to flick it home in front of the River End.
Bedoya picked up a personal milestone on the Union’s fifth goal and a piece of club history with a third assist of the evening in the in the 55th minute. Again combining with Mbaizo on the right side, Bedoya fired a pass to the edge of the six where Carranza was waiting with his back to goal. Spinning to his right to create space, he was pinpoint with his left-footed shot to tuck it into the back of the net.
With another explosive offensive performance in front of the Union faithful, Head Coach Jim Curtin was able to give some rest for his starters with Uhre, Bedoya and Gazdag coming off before the final whistle.
With the result already secured the Union were hungry to maintain the clean sheet in pursuit of league history for the fewest goals conceded in a 34-game season. The best defense proved to be even more offense with the Union’s youthful energy added another goal just before the final whistle. Paxten Aaronson subbed on to the pitch and forced a turnover at the edge of the Dynamo 18-yard-box. Looking to create another goal, he sent a quick pass to McGlynn at the top of the box. The midfielder could have gone for the brace but went to his U.S. U-20 teammate Quinn Sullivan who fired a quick shot that but a bow on Kids Night.
Philadelphia Union hit the road to begin a hectic August schedule on the road against Eastern Conference foe, FC Cincinnati on Saturday, August 6th. The Boys in Blue face off against former Union assistant Pat Noonan for the final time in the regular season in the Queen City with kick off set for 7:30 p.m. ET. Fans can catch the action locally on PHL17 as well as with the free match stream for fans within the Philadelphia DMA at PhiladelphiaUnion.com.