After a much-needed victory last weekend at New England, the Philadelphia Union fell 3-1 on Saturday at home versus visiting Toronto F.C.
The Philadelphia Union looked dominant in their 4-0 victory at Gillette Stadium last Saturday, and were looking to earn back-to-back victories in Major League Soccer play. Toronto F.C. were heading into Saturday’s Eastern Conference showdown with 37 points, just three ahead of Philadelphia.
Jim Curtin‘s squad knew that with a victory they could equal Toronto on points. Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco had the first early threat of the match as his free-kick thirteen minutes in was saved by Union’s Andre Blake. However, the Italian striker struck five minutes later and his left-footed shot went off the right post and in for a 1-0 Toronto lead. It was Giovinco’s 16th goal of the season.
Curtin’s side responded quickly as center back Ken Tribbett headed home Tranquillo Barnetta‘s free-kick in the 24th minute to make it 1-1. Toronto didn’t let the equalizer bring them down as Drew Moor headed home Michael Bradley‘s free-kick six minutes later to extend their lead to 2-1.
Things got worse for the Union in the 44th minute as Toronto’s Jozy Altidore slotted home Will Johnson‘s assist to make it 3-1 for the visitors heading into halftime.
As the second half began, Joshua Yaro was brought on for Tribbett at center back. Giovinco almost had his second goal of the evening in the 55th minute when his free-kick went off the crossbar and out of play. The Union had good offensive chances from substitution Roland Alberg, C.J. Sapong, and Chris Pontius but couldn’t get past Toronto keeper Alex Bono. The Union continued to try and threaten the Toronto back-line but couldn’t find an answer.
At the final whistle, the Philadelphia Union fell 3-1 at Talen Energy Stadium and lost a good chance to move up in the standings. The Union led in possession 54%-46%, but mustered five chances on goal. Alex Bono made four saves, while Andre Blake made two.
According to Philly.com, Union defender Keegan Rosenberry felt that the Union needed to limit the big plays from Toronto’s star-players in order to win the match on Saturday.
The Philadelphia Union remain in fourth place with 34 points, while Toronto FC remain in second place with 40 points. If the Union have any aspirations of making the MLS playoffs, they will need to turn it around and fast. They travel to Columbus to face the Crew on Wednesday, before hosting Sporting K.C. next Saturday back at Talen Energy Stadium. Right now they currently sit in a playoff spot, but the Philadelphia Union need to earn some victories if they want to remain in the playoff hunt.
Writer’s note: Stay tuned to Section 215 for all of your Philadelphia Sports updates. Follow me on twitter, and leave any questions or comments at @lhenry019. Also follow @Sec215 on twitter as well!