The Union were embarassed 4-1 last week, and despite a closer scoreline, results remained the same for Philadelphia's boys in blue. The Union left PPL Park defeated 1-0 at the hands of Toronto FC on Saturday afternoon.
Jim Curtin made an interesting line-up change, swapping Sheanon Williams and Ray Gaddis. While Gaddis usually plays on the left and Williams the right, Curtin switched it up, putting Gaddis on the right and Sheanon on the left, and per Curtin, he plans on keeping Gaddis at right back going forward.
Things got off to a rough start early for the Philadelphia Union when Michael Lahoud went down with an injury and needed to be subbed out of the game. Jim Curtin was forced to move Maurice Edu into the midfield while he brought on Richie Marquez to take the vacated spot in the Union's central defense. Making his MLS debut, Marquez made an impact early after John McCarthy bobbled a cross leading to Sebastian Giovinco attempting to shoot into an open only to have it blocked by the debuting Marquez.
In the 23rd minute a fine over the top ball from Toronto led to Jackson passing the ball to Robbie Findley inside the box. Findley could only muster a tame effort though and McCarthy was able to manage the rather easy save. The Union would get a decent opportunity of their own a few minutes later Cristian Maidana chipped the ball to Fernando Aristeguieta inside the box but Aristeguieta could only send the header to the top of the net, giving Chris Konopka a goal kick. A frustrating miss for Aristeguieta, and it would not be the Union's last frustrating miss of the afternoon.
But before the Union could create another chance, Toronto would go onto score a goal. And what a goal it was from Sebastian Giovinco. Taking a free kick from 35-yards out, Giovinco blasted it over the wall past a late-reacting McCarthy. Giovinco's brilliance put Toronto up 1-0 where they would stay for the remainder of the match, though the Union would give it a few attempts.
In the first half of stoppage time, Maidana tried his best to settle a bouncing ball as he made his way toward the box and uncorked a howitzer of a shot that rattled off the crossbar before bouncing away from danger. It was the closest the Union came during the first half and it nearly became a game-changing equalizer for the home side. But alas, it was not to be on this night, and much like the Union's other chances tonight, it went awry.
Despite no goals in the second half, John McCarthy gave the Union yet another Most Ridiculous Moment of 2015. Attempting to make a long outlet pass, McCarthy tripped and faceplanted, knocking himself groggy for a few minutes. McCarthy stayed in the game, and shortly thereafter Curtin subbed out Williams for Conor Casey, utilizing a 3-5-2 for the final 24 minutes with an out-of-depth recently groggy goalkeeper. Much to the surprise and delight of everyone, the Union did not concede in these minutes.
In fact, the Union were so very close to scoring during these 24 minutes. Maidana whipped in a free kick and Aristeguieta was able to get a diving head on it, sending it past Konopka and into the net. However, Aristeguieta was half-a-step offside, and the assistant referee correctly raised his flag nullifying what would have been the crucial game-tying goal.
With no other big opportunities to come, Toronto easily cruised to a 1-0 victory not even the six minutes of stoppage time resulting from McCarthy's faceplant could curtail. And things won't be getting better for the Union anytime soon. After losing to Columbus Crew and Toronto, the Union will next face Vancouver Whitecaps, currently 2nd in points, next Saturday.