Sergio Santos Scores Hat-Trick in Union 5-0 Win over Toronto FC
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, October 24, 2020
Sergio Santos capped off an excellent night when he scored in the 68th minute to complete the hat-trick and put the match well out of reach for Toronto FC, who saw their nine match unbeaten streak come to an end in what was a very rough night at Subaru Park.
With the win, the Union, tied with Toronto in points, move into first place in the MLS Eastern Conference standings and the Supporters’ Shield race because of their goal differential.
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney made many adjustments to his startin-Xi for tonight’s match as injuries have once again taken a toll on Toronto’s roster. Vanney’s starting-XI saw Quentin Westberg in-goal; Auro Jr., Laurent Ciman, Omar Gonzalez, and Richie Laryea on the backline, Nick DeLeon, Marky Delgado, Tsubasa Endoh, and captain Michael Bradley in the midfield; and Erickson Gallardo and Alejandro Pozuelo as the strikers.
Even though Toronto were able to remain somewhat composed early in the first half, Philadelphia began finding openings and once they scored their first of the match, they started to score at a rapid pace. Santos scored his first of three goals in the 27th minute followed by Mark McKenzie shortly after in the 33rd minute, which gave the Union a two-goal cushion heading into halftime.
It was much of the same in the second half; Philadelphia’s Jamiro Monteiro scored 11 minutes into the half to put the Union up 3-0, before Santos sealed it with goals in the 63rd and 68th minute.
Coming into the match, Toronto were “it was wrong from start to finish” said Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney, who felt that tonight’s loss was a reminder that the level of competition is about to get higher heading into the playoffs. To makes matters worse, it looks as though multiple players are dealing with injuries and could be out for extended periods of time. Pablo Piatti, who has logged a lot of minutes since the MLS’ return to play, was the latest to go down with an injury and Vanney mentioned post-match that he does not yet know the severity of the injury or how long Piatti could be out of the lineup.
Just this past Friday I asked Vanney about Piatti’s successful transition to MLS and whether his durability thus far. Vanney mentioned that Piatti “works his socks off and will work defensively and offensively and he puts a shift in every single time.” Piatti being the latest starter out of the lineup does hurt the team because he has been a fixture in Vanney’s starting-XI.
Bradley echoed Vanney’s sentiments post-match by saying that tonight was one of those nights that happen to everybody:
“We’re going to make sure that we use it as a real reminder for us as we go into the last part of the season here.”
Fortunately for Toronto, they will not have to wait too long to get back on the pitch as their next match is on Wednesday when they take on NYC FC.
Photo Credit: Toronto FC