Jonathan Osorio scored a brace to push Toronto FC past the Philadelphia Union 2-0.
Union starting XI: Blake; Gaddis, Trusty, McKenzie, Rosenberry; Dockal, Creavalle; Picault, Ilsinho (Accam 74′), Epps (Jones 69′); Sapong (Burke 61′)
Toronto starting XI: Bono; Auro Jr, Hagglund, Hernandez, Van der Wiel; Hasler (Ricketts 81′), Bradley, Osorio, Chapman (Tefler 60′); Vazquez (Aketxe 73′), Gionvinco
The Union came in with their two starting holding midfielders, Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medujanin out of the lineup due to red card suspension. Most people probably thought manager Jim Curtin would replace them with Warren Creavalle at the number 6 position and Derrick Jones or maybe Anthony Fontana as the number 8, but he threw us a curve ball. Borek Dockal moved back to the 8, with Ilsinho taking Dockal’s usual number 10. It would be a different look for the Union as they took on the defending MLS Cup champions.
Toronto FC would come into the match at just above the bottom of the table in the Eastern Conference, and a little beat up. The Union would be happy to avoid facing Jozy Altidore, and Drew Moor, both of whom were out with injuries. But with Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco in the lineup, the Boys in Blue would not be able to take it easy.
The Union were the better team throughout the first half. But despite their advantage in the run of play, they could not get the early lead. Then in the 19th minute, Jonathan Osorio squeezed past Mark McKenzie and Keegan Rosenberry as Victor Vazquez put the ball in front of him. Osorio chipped the ball over Andre Blake, putting the Reds up 1-0. The Union thought they tied the game a couple on minutes later when Warren Creavalle put the ball in the back in the net, but it was called back for offsides. The Union got burned a few times by Toronto’s offside trap. They kept generating chances but could not find an equalizer before halftime.
The second half was a different story. The Union looked like they would pick up where they left off before the half, but lost their momentum after a few minutes, and the Reds started dominating possession. Unable to get pressure, Curtin replaced the an ineffective C.J. Sapong with Cory Burke who added an immediate spark, but enough for the Union to catch fire. With the Boys in Blue unable to get going, Curtin abandoned his experimental lineup when he brought in Derrick Jones for Marcus Epps in the 69th minute, and David Accam in for Ilsinho 5 minutes later. This put Dockal back in his normal 10 spot, with Accam taking the left wing, Fafa Picault on the right, and Jones taking over the 8.
Going to normal didn’t really change anything though, and Jonathan Osorio put the game away in the 79th minute with his second goal of the match. Giovinco fed the ball to an open Osorio, who ran in and finished cleanly.
The Union limped through the remainder of the match and the match ended 2-0. In his press conference, Curtin said he “couldn’t be happier with the effort. It was a tough night.” I could be a little happier with the effort myself, at least as the second half was concerned.
- I’ll give Curtin props for trying something different. It didn’t work, but at least he tried.
- Dockal was not as effective without Medujanin and Bedoya out there. Let’s hope they are both back soon.
- Burke deserves to start over Sapong. Enough said.
The Union will have a break from their MLS schedule due to the World Cup break, but they will return next week in U.S. Open Cup action in a home match against New York Red Bull next Saturday.