The Union were electric in the first half, but came away with nothing to show for it. They never managed to recreate that energy in the second half, and they were left to pay for two glaring defensive mistakes from Mark McKenzie and Keegan Rosenberry. For one of the first times in league play this season, Toronto looked like the defending MLS Cup champions. They took their chances when they presented themselves and kept the Union out even when they were throwing eight players into the attack.
Though the Union conceded twice, center back Auston Trusty stood out as the home side’s top performer. Neither of the two goals came from his side of the field, and he did all he could to repel any attacks down the left.
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Accam creates and squanders a clear chance
The winger picked Jason Hernandez’s pocket 25 yards from goal and ran unimpeded into the box, but Alex Bono parried his attempt from point-blank range.
Jonathan Osorio doubles the lead
Keegan Rosenberry’s throw-in landed right on Giovinco’s foot, and the Atomic Ant had plenty of time to connect with Osorio as he made his run into the box. With Ray Gaddis chasing him, Osorio calmly collected the pass and beat Blake for the second time tonight.
That’s probably it for the Union, who didn’t look like they had an equalizer in them when the deficit was only one goal. Two dreadful mistakes from the right side of defense—the first largely McKenzie’s, the second Rosenberry’s—doomed the home side to zero points tonight.
David Accam for Ilsinho is the Union’s last sub
As Tommy Smyth just said, “They gotta keep doing what they’re doing but do it better.” It’s still 1-0, and the Union haven’t threatened to equalize in the second half nearly as much as they did in the first.
Jones on for Epps
The Union attack has slowed to a crawl through 14 minutes in the second half, and Jim Curtin has made another change to shake things up. After removing his necklace at the request of Baldomero Toledo, Derrick Jones has replaced Marcus Epps. The move allows Dočkal to move higher up alongside Ilsinho and Fafa.
Burke on for Sapong
The forwards trade places in the 62nd minute.
Picault rings the crossbar!
Fafa settled the ball and let it rip from 20 yards out, and his curling effort smacked the bar and cannoned back into play. He was a few inches from a goal of the week candidate there.
Bono nearly finds Gio
The goalkeeper launched a ball for Giovinco, who was locked in a foot race with Ray Gaddis. Fortunately for the Union, Gaddis beat out the Italian and knocked the ball to Blake. Giovinco went down after incidental contact from Gaddis and signaled to Toledo, but to no avail.
The Union have certainly been in control of this one, but they can’t find the back of the net for the life of them. Marcus Epps has been a terror on the right side, but no one’s gotten on the end of his very dangerous crosses so far. While they’ve been unfortunate not to score, they’ve also been a bit lucky that Toronto hasn’t hit them again on the counter. Pushing Rosenberry and Gaddis almost into the final third allows for extended attacking sequences deep in enemy territory, but when TFC springs the break, there’s little in between them and the goal.
The blame for Osorio’s opener has to be placed on McKenzie and Rosenberry, whose lack of communication allowed the Canadian to slip right through their back line. Victor Vazquez was also able to receive the ball, turn, and pick out Osorio without too much pressure from nearby Warren Creavalle and Ilsinho.
All in all, it wasn’t a bad half at all for the Union, but poor luck in the final third and a rookie mistake in the back has them down one after 45. As Jim Curtin said in his halftime interview, though, this won’t be a one-goal game.
Union are throwing it all forward
They’re clearly dead-set on finding an equalizer before halftime, pushing up both fullbacks and having two to three players in the box contending for crosses. It hasn’t worked so far, though, and it’s leaving Trusty and McKenzie with a lot to do.
TFC come close
Both Ray Gaddis and Keegan Rosenberry were caught out, giving Toronto space in behind and unmarked runners galore. Fortunately for the Union, TFC squandered a golden opportunity.
Creavalle’s back-heel goal called back
Creavalle found himself in front of the goalkeeper and cheekily redirected an Ilsinho shot past Bono, but he was offside. The play started with a great cross from Marcus Epps that was cleared before it could reach Picault.
Osorio scores in the 19th minute
A perfectly timed through ball from Victor Vazquez finds Jonathan Osorio, who ran right through the space in between Mark McKenzie and Keegan Rosenberry. No communication from those two on the right side, and it really could not have been easier for Osorio, who tucked one past Blake.
Yellow card for Creavalle
Though Tommy Smyth contends that he was going for the ball, he went in studs up and high on Jason Hernandez. Certainly a deserved card.
Picault comes close!
Fafa was 1v1 with Bono after picking up an absolutely beautiful ball from Creavalle, but he just couldn’t convert.
Incredible sequence from Dočkal there
He hit a long ball from the left side of the field to a streaking Picault, I believe, then somehow ended up on the ball when it popped out of the box into the right channel. He drove into the box and squared it to Ray Gaddis, who couldn’t get good contact on it.
There’s been plenty of space out wide for both sides so far, especially for Toronto, but the crosses haven’t been quality. Marcus Epps had three targets in the box in around the seventh minute, but he couldn’t find any of them.
Central midfield battle
Borek Dočkal and Warren Creavalle are already facing problems going up against Michael Bradley and Jonathan Osorio. While the midfield is more attacking on the whole, Creavalle is shaky in possession, and that it’s his first start of the season certainly doesn’t make it easier for him to get into the flow of the game. Look for Toronto to close him down hard.
Following Haris Medunjanin’s and Alejandro Bedoya’s red cards in Atlanta, much of the speculation leading up to tonight has concerned their potential replacements. Jim Curtin announced that Warren Creavalle would be one of them, leaving us to wonder which of the Homegrown center midfielders would occupy that other spot. Turns out it’s none of them! Borek Dočkal has dropped back (at least on paper) to partner Creavalle, and Ilsinho has slotted in at the 10. We’ll see how it plays, but that midfield trio gives the Union a lot going forward at the risk of leaving them exposed going the other way.
Up top, CJ Sapong gets the start, and Keegan Rosenberry returns to the back line, pushing Ray Gaddis over to left back. The pairing of Auston Trusty and Mark McKenzie is starting its sixth consecutive MLS game.
It’s a 4-4-2 for Toronto FC, but with a few changes from their last time out. This time Nick Hagglund pairs with Jason Hernandez in the center of defense, allowing Michael Bradley to step into midfield, replacing 20-year-old Liam Fraser. On the wings, Nicolas Hasler replaces Ontario native Ryan Telfer. With Jozy Altidore still recovering from a foot injury, Victor Vazquez once again joins Sebastian Giovinco up top.
How to watch
Location: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Date/Time: Friday, June 8, 8:00 P.M. ET
Stream: ESPN+ (out of market)
Radio: Union Radio