The Union moved one step closer to earning a home playoff game in the Eastern Conference on Saturday night.
The Union took down Nashville SC, 1-0, at Subaru Park on a Kacper Przybylko penalty kick to move into second place on the overall wins tiebreaker.
Philadelphia and Nashville finished the night tied with 49 points, but the Union leapfrogged the second-year side because they have two more regular-season wins.
There was a point just over a month ago when the Union lingered beneath the playoff cut-off line in ninth place.
The Union hit that point during a two-week MLS hiatus in which they focused on the Concacaf Champions League semifinal, which they lost to Mexican side Club America.
Since then, the Union have put together a 5-1-2 record and look more like the formidable side they were entering last year’s postseason.
The Union did not have to wait long to find the eventual game-winning goal on Saturday night.
Przybylko hit the roof of the net with a penalty kick in the 18th minute to hand the Union the lead they would keep until the final whistle.
Taylor Washington, a 2016 draft pick of the Union, committed a handball in the box that led to the Przybylko penalty.
The Union did not create many significant chances after that, but neither did the visitors from Tennessee.
That was the expected result from a match involving the two best defensive teams in the Eastern Conference.
Saturday’s win sets up the Union to keep second place and remain on the opposite side of the playoff bracket as the New England Revolution .
New England leads Philadelphia by 20 points in the East. The Revolution clinched the Supporters’ Shield, the trophy awarded for most regular-season points, on Saturday.
Jim Curtin’s Union have three matches left in the regular season to lock up the No. 2 seed. They are back in action on Wednesday against Toronto FC. Their home finale is next Sunday against FC Cincinnati. The regular-season finale is on November 7 against New York City FC.
Toronto, Cincinnati and NYCFC are all beneath the Union in the standings, so they should be favored in every match.