TFC fall to a 2-1 home defeat against Philadelphia Union
Jamiro Monteiro broke the deadlock in the 68th minute, as the Philadelphia Union beat their hosts Toronto FC 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Monteiro took a pass from Kacper Przybylko and beat the goalkeeper Quentin Westberg with a right-footed effort. The result ensured that the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia is now 4-0-1 over their last five games. Furthermore, they have outscored the opposition 14-3.
The Union opened the scoring in the 25th minute after Chris Mavinga’s own goal. TFC tied the scores after Alejandro Pozuelo’s brilliant free kick in the 51st minute.
To make matters worse for TFC, the offence has been creaky of late. This result followed a disappointing mid-week loss in Atlanta. Toronto has managed only four shots on target in their last two games.
After Saturday’s loss, captain Michael Bradley noted some of the factors to why it has been a yo-yo run of form of late. He pointed out that star striker Jozy Altidore has missed the action and Pozuelo was late arriving from Belgium. He could also have mentioned the absence of key defender Drew Moor.
Altidore returned in the second half of this fixture after a three-game injury absence. Meanwhile, Moor was back on the bench for Saturday’s game. So the future looks brighter.
However, Greg Vanney thinks his team remains out of sync.
“When you concede as many goals as we have, we’re fortunate that we’ve also scored as many goals as we have,” he said. “But for me, we’ve got to find a brighter balance in our performances in terms of purposeful attack and secure defending.”
Bradley echoed the sentiment, he said: “In a perfect world, we’d be sitting on a few more points and feel like some of these things were ironed out already. But that’s life. That’s how it goes.
“There’s been a lot of good moments, even as we’re still trying to improve and push ourselves along. If you look at today, if you look at the last home game against Portland (a 2-1 loss), we shouldn’t lose those games. Even with all that, we do enough in the games and are good enough that we should find ways to come away with points. That part we’ve let ourselves down on some different days.”
TFC has now lost three of their last four in the MLS. This came after going unbeaten for their first four games of the season. Meanwhile, Toronto trailed 1-0 at the break.
“We were passing the ball around but there was no venom in our attack,” said Vanney. “It was just a lot of passing around. While that’s nice, it doesn’t win games passing the ball around. You’ve got to have some urgency to want to attack, to want to force the other team to have to make plays in front of their goal, to create chances … and we didn’t.”
Meanwhile, TFC lost defender Laurent Ciman to an ankle injury in the 78th minute; just further adding to their defensive problems.
Toronto pressed hard as the clock wound down; with the visitors doing their best to slow the game down. That led to six tense, ill-tempered minutes of stoppage time. However, TFC couldn’t force the equalizer.