Rocket Robin Report: Toronto FC vs Philadelphia Union

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Result and details of the Wednesday August 23, 2017 MLS game between Toronto FC and Philadelphia Union played at BMO Field at 8:00pm.

TFC Jonathan Osorio passes ball forward.  Photo by Robin Glover.
TFC Jonathan Osorio passes ball forward. Photo by Robin Glover.

9 min…TFC Sebastian Giovinco GOAL…Giovinco 20 yard freekick from left is into top right corner of goal with Andre Blake frozen in center of net.

29 min…TFC Nicolas Hasler GOAL…TFC Victor Vazquez corner kick from right has Hasler head 10 yarder from right while in alignment with right post to top left corner off underside of bar and drops in for goal.

56 min…TFC Jozy Altidore GOAL…TFC Jonathan Osorio recovers PU clearance at 35 yards in middle and rolls ball forward and left for Altidore at PU 22 yard line.  He holds ball up on PU Raymon Gaddis and rolls centering pass for TFC Victor Vazquez who taps ball forward and left through legs of PU defender Jack Elliott for charging Altidore at 8 yards to roll ball past sliding goalie at 5 yards on left and into right corner of net.

Final Score:…..Toronto FC……3……Philadelphia Union……0…..

Attendance was announced as another sellout of 28645.   I had my doubts as a  saw a lot of empty seats but that was probably from a lot of no shows.  This was a midweek game against not one of the league’s glamorous teams but most important I think is the Canadian National Exhibition is on and that means a lot of fair goers were on the grounds and parking spots are limited and extra expensive.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC player) was named as Jonathan Osorio.  He was the only Canadian starter and played the whole game but I didn’t think he did anything outstanding.  I would have said Sebastian Giovinco because of his freekick goal and he was dangerous the whole game.  Maybe Victor Vazquez because of his two assists and other set up plays.

One other Canadian made an appearance.  Jay Chapman got in at 78 minutes.  The other Canadians, Raheem Edwards and Tosaint Ricketts didn’t get any action to warm up for their International friendly here in another week and a half against Jamaica.

Of course the US player like Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore, and possibly Justin Morrow got a full game in and finished uninjured as it’s important as they have World Cup qualifying games in the next weeks in contrast to Canada’s one friendly.  I wonder if Union goalie Andre Blake well be here again playing for Jamaica.  He suffered a hand injury in the gold medal Gold Cup game against the USA and this was his first MLS game
back in action.

Referee Armando Villarreal gave out one Yellow card to each team n a game that wasn’t rough.  He didn’t give either team a Penalty kick and I felt none were deserved.  He exaggerated his call on Giovinco to ‘get up’ on a particularly lame fall at 82 minutes.

TFC’s Steven Beitashour got into the game for his first action at 71 minutes since he was injured in the Canadian Championship game here in Toronto on June 27th against Montreal Impact.  TFC had a big lead at the time and he wasn’t their last sub was it wasn’t at all risky.

Union’s Chris Pontius came in at 61 minutes and almost scored a minute later with a dangerous header on a corner kick that required a quick reaction save by Alex Bono.  Bono had few saves to make to earn another shutout.

Montreal Impact did not play tonight and should be well rested to host their Sunday game against TFC.  Impact and TFC have not played a league game this season (two Canadian Championship games not counted) yet have three to play before the season ends with only eight TFC games left.  Impact are hot right now with four wins in a row so this may be TFC’s biggest challenge as they have pushed by everyone and have a big lead in the race for the Supporter’s Shield.

On my way out  noticed for the first time a large plaque labelled ‘The 2017 Toronto FC Members’ board.  All the season ticket holders names were on the list in alphabetical order but sorted by first names then last names.  Company tickets were listed by company name and couples were sorted ‘John and Mary surname’.  Still it was fun.  I don’t know how many games this has been up.  I took a picture but wasn’t sure my camera would pick it up.  It reminded me of the Viet Nam War Memorial wall I saw in Washington DC in the late 1980s but this was so small the names I couldn’t read until I was closer than 6 feet away.

TFC’s record improves to 15 wins, 3 losses, and 8 ties for 53 points.  They are first in the East and the race for Supporter’s Shield.  Their 52 goals for and 25 against are both best in the league.

Union’s record falls to 8 wins, 12 losses, 6 ties for 32 points.  That puts them in ninth place in the Eastern Conference five points behind Montreal with one more game played.

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area. Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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