The Union continued their recent strong defensive play and coupled that with a rare offensive outburst in routing visiting Chivas USA, 3-0, Saturday at PPL Park.

The Union (7-12-6) have allowed only three goals over the last five matches and are 3-1-1 during that stretch. Over their last five home matches, the Union are 2-0-3.

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Since July 21 when they won 2-1 against Toronto FC, the Union have scored more than one goal just once.

"It's exciting to watch and it's exciting to be a part of," said Union goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who recorded his second shutout in three league matches since becoming the starter. Knighton replaced Chris Seinz.

"It's definitely nice to have [the shutout]," Knighton said, "but I wouldn't have it unless I had the guys in front of me working their socks off."

The Union's defense left few opportunities for Knighton to collect saves on Saturday. Chivas USA (7-14-4) mustered only two shots on goal and Knighton got both.

"It's been a collective effort," Union defender Danny Califf said. "I think we put an onus on defending throughout the entire team, one through 11. It just hasn't been the back line. And we've been committed to getting each others' back on plays that go wrong."

Two of three Union goals on Saturday came off set shots - first off a corner kick, then on a free kick.

Justin Mapp found Alejandro Moreno, whose header in the 26th minute broke a scoreless tie. It was Moreno's second goal of the season.

Then, in the second half, Sebastien Le Toux was issued a free kick after Chivas USA was called for unsporting behavior. Chivas USA goalkeeper Zack Thornton dove to his right as Le Toux fired the shot down the middle for a 3-0 lead and his 12th goal of the season.

Union team manager Peter Nowak said he liked the ball movement in the second half. He was not satisfied with the team's rhythm in the first half until Moreno scored.

The Union's second goal came in first-half stoppage time (48th minute) when Fred cleaned up a rebound that bounced off Thornton.

The Union have five matches remaining, starting on the road against Colorado on Wednesday.

Contact staff writer Mario Aguirre 215-854-4550 or maguirre@phillynews.com.