CHESTER, PA – Philadelphia Union hosted Colorado Rapids on Saturday night. The Union were flying high, top of the Eastern Conference and looking to pick up ground on LAFC who lost the previous night. Colorado Rapids meanwhile were coming off a bad week, needing to start a three-game road trip well.
Union dominate Rapids behind Dániel Gazdag hattrick
This match was non-competitive from the start. The Union got the fun started nine minutes in. Kai Wagner switched the field to Mikael Uhre, who chested the ball down to Dániel Gazdag. Gazdag made a run to get in behind and scored.
The Hungarian would get his brace in the 20th. Crisp passing saw him get into space in the box. Rookie Anthony Markanich got a hand to the shoulder, taking him down. Colorado goalkeeper guessed correctly, but could not get to the ball on the spot kick.
A half hour in, Olivier Mbaizo drew a second penalty. Philly broke on the counter off a Rapids corner. Mbaizo got into space. He was off balance when Gustavo Vallecilla swept across him for a soft penalty call. Julian Carranza converted to make it 3-0.
The half would end 3-0. Danny Wilson exited with an injury before the third goal with Lalas Abubakar subbing in. Vallecilla was sent off for a second yellow in the 35th for a tactical foul on Uhre.
Rapids head coach Robin Fraser went on damage control with two halftime subs. Gyasi Zardes and Abubakar came off. Colorado has a game next Wednesday and Saturday. Abubakar was on yellow card accumulation watch and could not be lost for Wednesday’s game at Nashville SC.
“More than anything, I’m disappointed in the individual mistakes. Once we had the red card, the game changed completely,” Fraser told Last Word postgame.
The second half was a shooting gallery for the home side. To their credit, Colorado made plays defensively. Yarbrough made several big saves and was hard done by the score line. Gazdag finally got his hattrick in the 83rd minute. Substitute Cory Burke made a run into space. Gazdag timed his run between the center backs well and chipped Yarbrough to score.
Burke and Matt Real scored the final minutes to make the final score 6-0.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 28, 2022
Gazdag-Uhre-Carranza: The triangle front three were magic for the Union in this game. They’ve been on a tear the last few months.
Up river without a defense: The Rapids again were not good enough defensively. Big mistakes made it easy. Gap control was poor. They’re just not good enough this year.
“We put it behind us. We have to win against Nashville. There’s nothing less than three points,” Gyasi Zardes said after the match.
Class of the conference: Philly now has three 6-0 wins this season and a 7-0. They’re a complete team. Every other contender in the Eastern Conference has a weakness or is less consistent. The only other teams who could be considered bigger MLS Cup contenders are Austin and LAFC.