All it took was one goal by Sebastien Le Toux. Who would have guessed that the Philadelphia Union defense would stand up an hold a one-goal lead? Nobody, but they did. The much maligned Union defense kept the Columbus Crew at bay to make Le Toux's goal stand up as they picked up a vital 1-0 victory over the first place Crew. The win moved the Union up to third place in the Eastern Conference, the final guaranteed playoff spot, and they sit just two points behind the Crew for the top spot in the conference with a match in hand.
The Union's goal came from a pretty simple play, but one which was very well done. The Crew defense was playing a high line so Le Toux just took off on a run from the midfield circle. Roger Torres spotted it, playing a ball in over the top and Le Toux finished to put Philly in front. There wasn't anything fancy in it, just a good straight run, a good ball in and a good finish, but when you do three things well you'll get a lot of goals even if it's not fancy.
After that, it was just good defending. It's strange to hear that about the Union considering their play at the back of late, but they were just flat out good at the back. Not only did they keep a cleansheet, but they kept the Crew from generating many chances at all as they stayed organized and timed nearly every tackle well.
Making the Union's win all the more impressive is that they did it with such a young squad. The Farfan brothers both started, as did Zac MacMath in goal and while plenty experienced, Freddy Adu and Torres are still youngsters. Add in Zach Pfeffer, the 16-year-old who made his debut tonight and played well for about an hour before being subbed off, and you have a bunch of bright, young players for the Union who all put in good shifts in a good win for the team on Saturday night at PPL Park.