Philadelphia Union defeated Chicago Fire 4-3 Wednesday night at Talen Energy Stadium and matched a franchise record for 10 consecutive home matches unbeaten. Roland Alberg led the way, recording the second hat-trick in Union history to secure the record, which dates back to Sept. 20, 2015. The club is 8-0-2 during that stretch in MLS matches. The Union will return to action on Saturday, June 25 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Chicago opened up the scoring before most fans got settled into their seats. In the second minute of play, David Accam intercepted a pass from Ken Tribbett and then took on Brian Carroll one-on-one in the midfield. Accam showed off his exceptional speed and beat Union goalkeeper Andre Blake to give the Fire the early 1-0 lead.
The Chicago lead lasted less than 10 minutes as Keegan Rosenberry sent a beautiful ball in the box that found Alberg. After gathering the ball, Alberg sent a shot to the net that bounced off of Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson, ricocheted off the post and was deflected off of Chicago defender Jonathan Campbell for an own goal.
Alberg was able to get his name on the scoresheet for the second goal of the match in the 15th minute. Tranquillo Barnetta sent a shot from outside of the box that again, hit the post. The ball found its way to Fabian Herbers who gently tapped the ball over to Alberg. Using his right foot, Alberg buried home the second goal for the Union.
The Union made it 3-1 during stoppage time in the first half. Again it was Alberg, who had his first opportunity denied by a Fire defender, but as the ball bounced back his way, Alberg calmly readjusted and blasted one past Sean Johnson and the rest of the Fire for a two-goal lead.
Chris Pontius was a crucial factor in the fourth goal of the night for Philadelphia. Making a run into the box, Pontius was dragged down and awarded the penalty kick. Alberg stepped up and delivered home the fourth goal of the match, recording the second hat-trick in franchise history. The only other hat-trick came on April 10, 2010 from Le Toux.
Chicago made things very interesting earning the final two goals of the match. Razvan Cocis and Khaly Thiam recorded goals, but it was too little too late for the Fire as they fell 4-3 to the Union.
Philadelphia will look to break the franchise record for consecutive home games unbeaten Saturday against Vancouver. The club could also tie a franchise record for wins in a season at seven, with nine games remaining.
POST MATCH AUDIO
FINAL MATCH STATS
PHILADELPHIA UNION STARTING XI
Andre Blake; Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett (Josh Yaro, HT), Keegan Rosenberry; Brian Carroll ©; Tranquillo Barnetta; Chris Pontius, Roland Alberg (Warren Creavalle, 77’), Ilsinho (Sebastien Le Toux, 72’), Fabian Herbers
Substitutes not used: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Leo Fernandes, Sebastien Le Toux, Walter Restrepo
CHICAGO FIRE STARTING XI
Sean Johnson; Michael Harrington (Rodrigo Ramos HT), Jonathan Campbell, Johan Kappelhof, Eric Gehrig (John Goossens 60’), Khaly Thiam; Brandon Vincent, Razvan Cocis ©, Michael Stephens (Alex Morrell 85’); David Accam, Kennedy Igboananike
Substitutes not used: Matt Lampson, Drew Connor, Joao Meira, Nick LeBrocca,
Jamie Herrera (referee), Matthew Nelson (assistant referee), Jeff Muschik (assistant referee), Mark Kadlecik (fourth).
- Roland Alberg had three goals for his first MLS hat trick and combined for his fourth MLS goals in two games. It was his sixth goal in the last three games of competition, including U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday, June 15.
- Alberg’s hat-trick was the first by a Union player since Sebastien Le Toux’s three-goal outing against D.C. United on April 10, 2010. Alberg’s scoring spree in 56 minutes of play tops Le Toux’s (80) for the fastest hat-trick in Union history.
- The four goals by the Union were the most scored in an MLS match this season and marked the fourth time in team history that the team has scored exactly four goals in an MLS game.
- Philadelphia is one win why from tying a franchise record for wins in a season at seven. The club went 7-7-3 in 2015.
- The win evened the all-time MLS series record at 6-6-5 and improved the Union’s home record against the Fire to 4-2-2.
- The result marked Jim Curtin’s first MLS win over his former team, Chicago.
- David Accam’s goal in the second minute of play was the fastest conceded by the Union this season (previous: Didier Droga, 3’, May 14)