Philadelphia Hand Toronto Second Straight Loss
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, May 11, 2019
--- The Philadelphia Union defeated Toronto FC 2-1 Saturday afternoon, giving the team their second straight loss.
This game was a tough test for Toronto FC as they were taking on the Philadelphia Union, who are currently leading the MLS Eastern Conference with 23-points and have a goal differential of eleven. Toronto on the other hand, came into this game tied for fourth place in the MLS Eastern Conference, with 16-points and a goal differential of five.
Coach Greg Vanney went with a 3-5-2 formation for today’s game with Chris Mavinga, Laurent Ciman, and Eriq Zavaleta as the three central defenders, Justin Morrow, Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Jonathan Osorio, and Auro as the midfielders, and Alejandro Pozuelo and Jordan Hamilton as the two attackers. Quentin Westberg, who got a clean sheet in Toronto’s victory over Orlando last Saturday, got the start in-goal in place of Alex Bono.
A great sign for Toronto FC and their fans was forward Jozy Altidore returning to the lineup. Altidore had been out of action due to an injury sustained in Toronto’s 4-3 win over Minnesota United. Vanney will likely ease him into the lineup by starting him on the bench until he feels Altidore is ready to play a full 90-minutes.
Toronto’s Justin Morrow had a great scoring opportunity in the 15th minute however, his shot was blocked by Philadelphia goalkeeper Carlos. Toronto were having success with their playmaking early on in the game as that they were able to get crosses into the box and get behind Philadelphia’s defenders, but they were unable to capitalize.
Philadelphia’s Fabrice-Jean Picault took advantage of a counter-attack and put his team up 1-0 in the 25th minute, after he slid in and beat Toronto defender Chris Mavinga to the ball and got enough of a touch to direct it behind Quentin Westberg. The goal was later changed to an own-goal for Chris Mavinga.
Toronto came out for the second half with a lot more energy and took the game to the Union; they were more aggressive offensively and it left Philadelphia’s defender with no choice but to foul Toronto players in an attempt to slow the game down and not allow them to tie the game.
Toronto captain Michael Bradley was brought down just outside the box, which led to Alejandro Pozuelo scoring a perfectly placed free-kick past Carlos to tie the game 1-1. With the goal, the 27-year-old designated player has five goals in eight MLS matchups.
Not enough good things can be said about Pozuelo’s excellent start to his MLS career; he’s scored highlight-reel goals, his playmaking has put his teammates in a position to succeed, and he’s an attacking threat who’s able to draw fouls.
Philadelphia would regain the lead in the 68th minute when midfielder Jamiro Monteiro received a cross pass and found an opening through Toronto's back-line, where he then striked the ball past Westberg to make it 2-1 in favor of the Union.
After the goal, Vanney brought Jozy Altidore replace Jordan Hamilton in an attempt to tie the game and add another scoring threat to his lineup. Altidore received a loud ovation from fans, who were happy to see the star striker back in action. Altidore being subbed on wasn't enough for Toronto as they would lose their second straight game.
Photo and Video Credit: Toronto FC