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Revenge was served up piping hot in Subaru Park Sunday evening. The Philadelphia Union exercised the demons from last year’s bitter Eastern Conference Final defeat by NYCFC by scoring three goals in 12 minutes to claim the team’s first Eastern Conference Championship 3-1 in front of 19,770 fans, the biggest crowd in the history of Subaru Park for the biggest win in club history.

The first half was scoreless despite a header from Daniel Gazdag in the 15th minute finding the back of the net but was quickly waved off for an offside by the Union. In the 30th minute Julian Carranza had a long range chance which sailed over the crossbar.

In the second half NYCFC struck first in the 55th minute when Maxi Moralez fired one from long range outside the box which found the bottom left corner of the net to put NYCFC up 1-0. The lead was short lived as the Union struck back with a barrage of goals and surged into the lead and never looked back. Carranza got the equalizer in the 65th minute sending a roller from the right side of the box past goalie Sean Johnson into the bottom left corner of the net. Two minutes later in the 67th, Carranza nudged a header from the left side of the box over to the right finding Gazdag in front of the net to send the go ahead goal past Johnson. An exclamation point was added in the 76th minute when Cory Burke took a shot that ricocheted off a defender right back to himself in the center of the box which he put into the back of the net for the final tally of 3-1.

Jose Martinez interrupted Jim Curtin’s postgame press conference imploring him to wrap up the press conference so he could come back and celebrate with the team. “Come on coach, finish! Finish!…Ok you have thirty Seconds!”

Video Credit: JD Walker

During the locker room celebration after the game when he took a break from dancing (my video above), longtime Union goalie Andre Blake sounded relieved after years of climbing up the mountain with the club and all the heartbreak on the way to the top:
“It’s amazing! We’re going to enjoy it, the guys deserve it, the city deserves it, the club deserves it. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been on the wrong side so many times (Open cup, last year), we’re just so happy, we’re going to enjoy but still one more game to go. We have to enjoy tonight, I’m really proud of the guys, really proud of the fight. Philadelphia is all I know and I’m just so happy that tonight we were able to celebrate in front of our fans.”

Corey Burke said about his insurance goal:
“The moment I picked the ball up from the midfield and I started to push forward, I wanted to take my shot. Then I saw the defender coming closer so I tried to cut it on the left to shoot, then the ball caught a bit too hard and the deflection came straight to me and I said ‘OK, no chance. I’m not going to score this one’ but then I did just that and I scored and closed out the game for this team.”

News and Notes:
This game broke the previous Subaru Park attendance record of 19,487 from last year’s Eastern Conference Final.
The Union extended their streak to 11 straight wins at home, the longest in club history.
The MLS Cup Final against LAFC will be at 4pm on Saturday November 5 at Banc of California Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationally on Fox and the team is hosting a watch party at Subaru Park.

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