The Philadelphia Union shot into first place in the Eastern Conference with a resounding 5-0 victory over Toronto FC at Subaru Park on Saturday, getting a hat trick from Sergio Santos and additional goals from Mark McKenize and Jamiro Monteiro.
With the dominating result, Philadelphia are even with Toronto atop the East table on 41 points, but have claim to the the top spot for the moment thanks to the goal differential tiebreaker.
The hosts would press the action from the start, and found themselves rewarded for their early efforts in the 27th minute after Kai Wagner sent in a pinpoint bending cross that Santos expertly redirected into the net for the opening goal. The Union then found their second in the 33rd minute, set up by a corner kick from Monteiro that was headed back across the box by Kacper Przybylko into the path of a wide-open McKenzie, who cashed home a headed finish.
After the dominant first half, Monteiro kept it rolling 10 minutes after the second-half restart, lashing home a gorgeous distance shot that went over the arms of a diving Quentin Westberg before deflecting off the cross bar and into the net.
Santos would continue the onslaught with his second of the evening in the 63rd minute, slotting home another cross from Wagner to push the lead to 4-0. The Brazilian then got his hat trick five minutes after that, finishing off a counterattack that saw him nestle home a feed from Brenden Aaronson to round off the 5-0 final.
- 27' — PHI — Sergio Santos | WATCH
- 33' — PHI — Mark McKenzie | WATCH
- 56' — PHI — Jamiro Monteiro | WATCH
- 63' — PHI — Sergio Santos | WATCH
- 68' — PHI — Sergio Santos | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: What a performance and statement victory for the Union. This was about as comprehensive as it gets, as Philly were rolling from the opening whistle and never let up. Toronto honestly should find themselves fortunate the score line wasn't even more lopsided given the amount of chances the Union generated. For the moment, Jim Curtin's men are riding high and should feel good about their chances of maintaining their first-place perch.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Monteiro's strike was probably the prettiest of the bunch on a night where there was no shortage of pretty goals for the home side.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: There are a lot of candidates, and Santos is an obvious choice given the hat trick. But Kai Wagner was a beast for Philadelphia down the left side throughout the night, playing a crucial role in getting them going in the first half with a handful of dangerous runs and putting in pinpoint service. We'll give the honors to the German left back for this one.