Despite Jack McInerney not scoring, Philadelphia had little trouble sweeping aside the hapless Crew.
The Union started strong, and in a five minute span in the first half, the Union scored three goals to put Columbus on the back foot.
Former Crew midfielder Brian Carroll, now Philadelphia's captain, scored the opener after 25 minutes. Charging out of the midfield and taking the ball, his shot deflected off Eric Gehrig and fooled Andy Gruenebaum, settling in the far corner.
The Union grabbed two more in quick succession before the half-hour mark. Sheanon Williams was at the far post to finish when Carroll flicked on Sebastien Le Toux's corner with his head. On a fast counterattack shortly after the restart, Le Toux crossed to Conor Casey's head at the near post, and the former U.S. international made it three.
The win gives the Union a 6-5-4 record so far this season, equal on points with Kansas City and Houston in third, and the scoreline cuts their goal difference to -2. Columbus is 4-4-5 on the year, back in seventh.