The Philadelphia Union are all over this week’s AT&T MLS Goal of the Week voting. The good news for Union fans is that Ken Tribbett’s 24th-minute diving header cracked the bracket.
With his team down a goal, he found a sliver of open space and latched his forehead perfectly to the end of a Tranquillo Barnetta free kick. The shot had enough power to get through the outstretched left hand of Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.
The bad news for Union fans is that all four goals from Saturday’s 3-1 Toronto FC victory made the bracket. Their match makes up half of the eight selections this week. And Ken Tribbett is in the other three video clips, as well. Normally, it’s a big boost to the team when they’re able to get a goal from a central defender. It’s unexpected usually, so it’s a bonus and can give their teammates a spark of additional energy and motivation. That was certainly not the case this past weekend.
On Sebastian Giovinco’s opener, the diminutive Italian simply made a run that Ken Tribbett did not track immediately. A well-timed and sternly-struck pass from Marco Delgado got Giovinco the space he needed, and the Union center back was not able to make up the space. Toronto’s #10 hit a left-footed shot across the face of goal, beating Andre Blake, but not without help from both posts; first left then right, before trickling over the goal line.
TFC’s second was much like Tribbett’s goal; off of a set piece. This time, Drew Moor ran the route, and Tribbett either watched the flight of the ball and not his mark, or he thought Chris Pontius was tracking him.
Either way, the man Tribbett started next to got to the Michael Bradley free kick first, and powered it past Andre Blake for what would become the match-winner.
But the visitors weren’t done. Toronto’s other striker got himself on the score sheet for some insurance. Jozy Altidore set himself up so that Tribbett was on his back, like a basketball player in the post. Jozy received the pass, and spun to his left, walling off the helpless Tribbett, who could only trail the US Men’s National Team player and watch the outside-of-the-boot strike zoom past Blake.
While the Union did not win their match on Saturday, maybe they can win in this contest. Go stuff the ballot box here.