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Rate the U: Game 1 vs Toronto FC

Philadelphia Union suffer a disappointing loss in Marco Fabián’s MLS debut

Starting XI for Philadelphia Union against Toronto FC on March 2, 2019
Morgan Tencza

Game 1 of the 2019 Philadelphia Union season is in the books and it ended in a disappointing 3-1 loss to Toronto FC.

Philadelphia was able to keep 62 percent possession of the ball in their new high press, attacking formation. With some good things to note on the game, the “red zone” defense is not one of them. Sloppy play in the box, filled with an unmarked Michael Bradley, and mistakes by the new full back Wagner, led to the loss.

The midfield diamond formation was topped off by Marco Fabian, a highly anticipated play-making signing this year. Marco ended his night with 7 shots total, 3 shots on net and his first MLS goal from the penalty spot. It is common for a play-making position player to take some time to become accustomed to a new team. It should be exciting to see his performances in the upcoming matches.

The rest of the diamond midfield was filled with Ilsinho on the right and Bedoya on the left. The bottom diamond and playing in the holding midfield position was Medunjanin. The midfield didn’t have a terrible game, successfully spreading the ball around the pitch and creating chances. Defensively, however, the midfield could have done better. Multiple times they failed to fall back to help the defense out and left free runners, like Bradley, to get into the box to sweep up any leftover chances the Union’s defense left behind.

Andre Blake finished the game with two solid saves. One of the saves ended up being on a penalty kick shot by Toronto’s Jonathan Osorio. One tough part of the match is that three goals were still scored against Blake by the end of the afternoon.

Fafa Picault and Cory Burke paired at forward on the day. Together they totaled five shots in what was a frustrating day for the forward position. The woes from last year seem to be filtering to 2019s season, and the Union still seem to have a problem with finishing chances inside the box. With so many strikers and forwards competing over the two starting spots, we should be seeing many different duos starting up top for the Union in the upcoming games.

Sergio Santos was subbed in for Ray Gaddis and David Accam was brought in to replace Ilsinho, to bring on fresh legs and offer some more pressing help from the bench. Both players were able to bring energy to the pitch. With having four of the forward and striking players on the field at the same time, the Union were still unable to close out the game with a tying goal and ended up conceding another goal in second half stoppage time.

What did you think of the individual performances of the Union on Saturday? Rate all 13 players that played and head coach Jim Curtin with the form below or on this page.

Check back in a few days to see the results.