Union / Union match reports

Match report: Philadelphia Union 1-3 Toronto FC

photo: Daniel Studio


Sebastian Giovinco, Drew Moor, and Jozy Altidore were all on target as Toronto defeated Philadelphia Union 3-1 at Talen Energy Stadium. Ken Tribbett scored the lone Union goal, his second of the season.

All of the goals came before halftime, with Giovinco tallying from a breakaway in the 18th minute before Tribbett equalized with a fantastic header in the 24th. Moor would give Toronto the lead with a quality header of his own in the 30th minute before Altidore completed the scoring, poking home in the 44th after turning Tribbett.

Alejandro Bedoya’s Chester debut couldn’t prevent the Union’s second straight loss in front of the home crowd, where the team is now 7-3-3 on the season.

First half

Jim Curtin made no changes to the team that defeated New England last Saturday, with C.J. Sapong completing the league’s concussion protocol in time to feature.

The first clear cut chance of the game fell to Toronto in the 13th minute. Warren Creavalle left a foot in on Sebastian Giovinco and gave the reigning MVP a glorious free kick chance 25 yards out from the left side. The Italian curled a fantastic shot over the Union wall but Andre Blake flew down to his right to push the shot around the post at full stretch.

Giovinco would not be denied, however, and he gave Toronto the lead in the 18th minute. Marco Delgado found time and space to pass from just inside the Union half and found the crafty Giovinco in space down the center after he lost his marker, Tribbett. Giovinco took the ball wide to the left before unleashing a low sizzler that rebounded off the far post and beyond the reach of Blake for the reigning MVP’s 16th goal of the season.

Giovinco almost made it two just 60 seconds later. After again getting behind the Union defense down the center, he could not beat Blake, firing his shot wide right after the Union goalie made himself big.

The Union drew level on 24 minutes. Tranquillo Barnetta drew a foul 30 yards from the Toronto goal, near dead center. The Union captain took the free kick himself, lofting a perfect ball near the penalty spot that Tribbett powered in with a diving header off the hands of Alex Bono.

Toronto retook the lead in the 30th minute through Drew Moor. Michael Bradley curled a dangerous free kick into the Union box from 35 yards out on the Toronto right side. Moor was the first to the cross, redirecting past Andre Blake from 10 yards out.

Jozy Altidore made it three for Toronto in the 44th minute. The U.S. international took a pass at the top of the Union area and pushed through the tackle of Tribbett before poking into the left corner beyond Blake.

Second half

Josh Yaro replaced the struggling Ken Tribbett at halftime.

The Union had a fantastic chance to cut into the Toronto lead just four minutes into the half. Ilsinho broke in behind the Toronto backline and squared a ball that landed at the feet of Chris Pontius. The winger couldn’t nudge the ball in from close range but looked to be gearing up for a rebound chance, when Sapong was called for a foul in the area and Toronto was let off the hook.

Giovinco came close to adding to the visitors’ lead in the 55th minute with another trademark free kick. After a questionable foul was called on Richie Marquez just outside the Union box, the Italian’s dipping free kick hit the crossbar and bounced over Blake’s net.

Sapong had a great chance to pull a goal back in the 65th minute. Bedoya knocked a looping ball from Yaro into the path of Sapong, who did well to flick the ball around a Toronto defender and keep possession. The big striker slid to get a shot off from eight yards, but Bono was down early to save with his feet.

Pontius would have the next chance for the Union in the 71st minute. Roseberry fizzed in a beautiful cross from the right side that Pontius rose to meet but the winger couldn’t keep his header down from eight yards out and the attempt went over the bar.

Roland Alberg and Fabian Herbers were both introduced as the Union looked to claw their way back into the match but Toronto defended stoutly and the match finished 3-1.

The Union are next in action when they travel to Columbus to take on the Crew on Wednesday night (7 p.m.). They return home to host Sporting Kansas City next Saturday (7 p.m.).

Philadelphia Union
Andre Blake, Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett (Josh Yaro 45′), Keegan Rosenberry, Warren Creavalle (Roland Alberg 62′), Alejandro Bedoya, Tranquillo Barnetta, Ilsinho (Fabian Herbers 74′), Chris Pontius, C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: John McCarthy, Ray Gaddis, Walter Restrepo, Charlie Davies

Toronto FC
Alex Bono, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Justin Morrow, Steven Beitashour, Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Will Johnson (Nick Hagglund 70′), Jonathan Osario, Jozy Altidore (Tosaint Ricketts 74′), Sebastian Giovinco (Jay Chapman 81′)
Unused subs: Quilan Roberts, Tsubasa Endoh, Daniel Lovitz, Josh Williams

Scoring Summary
TOR: Sebastian Giovinco (Marco Delgado) — 18′
PHI: Ken Tribbett (Tranquillo Barnetta) — 24′
TOR: Drew Moor (Michael Bradley) –30′
TOR: Jozy Altidore (Will Johnson) –44′

Disciplinary Summary
TOR: Drew Moor (unsporting behavior) — 40′
TOR: Justin Morrow (unsporting behavior) –42′
TOR: Will Johnson (unsporting behavior) –45′
TOR: Michael Bradley (unsporting behavior) –58′
PHI: Tranquillo Barnetta (dissent) –67′
PHI: Josh Yaro (unsporting behavior) — 73′

Philadelphia Union Toronto FC
12 Shots 8
 5 Shots on Target 5
 5 Shots off Target 2
 2 Blocked Shots 1
 8 Corner Kicks 5
 28 Crosses 10
 0 Offsides 0
 17 Fouls 11
 2 Yellow Cards 4
 0 Red Cards 0
 471 Total Passes 418
 82% Passing Accuracy 78%
 53.8% Possession 4.2%
 29 Duels Won 40
 42% Duels Won % 58%
 2 Tackles Won 9
 2 Saves 4
 11 Clearances 24

80 Comments

  1. Let’s look on the bright side: Tribbett will never start over Yaro again.

    Rosenberry is a goddamn rock.

    Bedoya is proving he is the “little bit of everything” 8 we needed.

    Is it just me, or did the offense we were seeing coming down the right, with frequent Rosenberry overlaps, die once Illsinho went out?

    • Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

      Your bright side is better than mine. I was trying to make lemonade out of seeing a record number of balls fly over the river end.

  2. Why were Tribbett Marquez and Creavalle so woefully unprepared for Giovinco’s runs? This one isn’t on Tribbett. It’s on Curtin. This team needs a real coach. The same old halftime BS from Curtin “uh uh unacceptable uh um.”

    • What team do you coach?

    • Der Phootballschnauzer says:

      Is it still the fact that he wears a suit too? ‘Cause that’s a constant needle skip in your nonsense…

    • I’d be shocked if none of the prep work leading up to the game addressed how to defend Giovinco. At the end of the day, you’ve got a rookie (undrafted) CB playing alongside of a rookie RB, 2nd year CB, and marginal MLS level #6. Yes, I would’ve started Yaro over Tribbett, but I think it comes down to an in-his-prime MVP playing against a defensive group that just wasn’t up to his level.

  3. Lucky Striker says:

    The winning goal was scored off a blatant dive, but it doesn’t matter. Phila. didn’t belong on the field with Toronto all night.

    That was an embarrassing exhibition of competitive soccer. Nobody in Navy covered themselves in glory-unless glory now comes in a wider array of feces-tinged hues……..

  4. Fought hard the whole game but were poorly prepared, organized, and outgunned. Enough blame to go around.

  5. el pachyderm says:

    Like I said… Yaro.
    .
    Beyond that- an unsurprising result which should put to rest the talk of real contention as Toronto is not New England and have now opened a sizable 6 point advantage over this team that speaks voluminously.
    .
    There are plenty other nit-pick points like why Fabinho can’t find Barnetta when he’s wide open centrally over and over but apparently that’s henny penny and elitist… so I’m opting out.
    .
    It’s much more logical to talk about nothing really — and sing summer time camp fire songs —
    .
    – singin fee, fie, fiddly-io
    fee, fie, fiddly-io-o-o-o
    fee, fie, fiddly-ioooooooooooooo
    strumming on the old banjo.

    • We’re at the point now where we have a lot of good players … now the hard part is replacing them with great players.

      Your Fabinho example … he simply doesn’t have that type of vision or sense. Fabinho is a good MLS LB. He does a lot for this team. But we’re simply a good enough team now where we are looking for “Great” instead of “Good”. Great LBs can making dangerous runs in the final third, but still have the presence of mind to look up and see where the rest of the team is. Fabinho can’t do that.

    • Ahhh yes the ol’ “I can draw a conclusive conclusion from a bad result but not a good result!” Love that trick. Clearly we need to improve but just like we aren’t probably 4 goals better than New England most of the time I don’t think we 2 goals worse than Toronto. I think good could come from this in the form of Tribbet getting replaced. Also I’m looking forward to carrol and Bedoya playing together. But I digress. I guess I’m weird in that I watch it for fun

      • el Pachyderm says:

        Remind me again…how many good teams have they won against this season?
        .
        I didn’t say I drew any conclusions from the result other than Josh Yaro should be starting and I was unsurprised a team sitting in second place comprised of Altidore, Giovinco, Bradley, Johnson was 2 goals better than the Union by the end of the first half.

    • >>that’s henny penny and elitist… so I’m opting out

      You forgot “Eurosnobbish” ☺

      UNIONGOAL

    • I love your comments and thoughts on here, but honestly this is the literally the opposite side of the henny penny coin. Just pointing it out.

  6. So……….where was I wrong about Tribbett again? Halftime man, halftime.

    • It’s funny how you weren’t making that statement after last week’s match, but there’s no doubt about it, Tribbett had a bad match defensively tonight. To get subbed at the half after scoring a goal is pretty rare and honestly embarrassing. Hopefully, Yaro solidifies his spot at right center back and we get some consistency out of that position.

      Frustrating result, especially because we seem like we can’t beat a good side right now. However, we just have to get into the playoffs and we’re in a very good spot to do that right now.

      BTW – Toronto did really well for only having 4.2% of possession 😉

      • Than you have selective memory Zizou……..I said he’s good for one a match…..did I not? While I said it’s often with him turning a ball over, this still fits the narrative…..because his one redeeming quality was his defense…..but that got exposed tonight too. I think that’s why JC was convinced to make the move……while he’s not going to face the duo every match that he did tonight……I can think of clubs like NYCFC and Montreal that pose similar problems. We do seem alright for playoffs, and I’m honestly content with that this season…..even though I rail on the club’s deficiencies…come on, we are from Philly yo! That’s what we do……

      • Zizouisgod says:

        I don’t have selective memory, I have a bad one!

        Thought you were referring to comment a few weeks ago. My bad. You were right about Tribbett. Hope the kid can get beyond this and improve, but Yaro should be the starter for the foreseeable future.

      • Me too……my comment I’m referencing was two weeks ago! Haha! I left it at “nice match”last week…….we are even bro!’

  7. Same ol’ same ol’….

    Striker just not good enough of a finisher

    Defense is mediocre at best

    Goalie is a super star!

    Midfield is strong…

    Coach not good enough either

    Beauty of a goal by Tribbett(but has no business starting in MLS)

    Midfield will be even better(it’s pretty good right now)when Edu is healthy enough to start(and Caroll his back-up)

    Would hate to see Edu back in D again even though he would be our best center back

    I still have faith ES will improve this team(even if it won’t be til next season.

    We are only a coach and couple of players away from being an elite team…..Soooo close. Almost there…

  8. Don’t start Tribbett. The end.

  9. Once again, it is the superstars on the other team that are beating the Union, just like against Montreal and NYCFC. In this case, Bradley got the assist and the other two scored goals.
    .
    The Union NEEDS to prepare to stop the stars and let the rest of the team try to beat them rather than the other way around.

  10. Was there for the Bedoya debut … he’s worth every penny.
    .
    IMO the Union are about to suffer the same end of the season Tottenham did last year, ran out of gas in the final drive for the championship. They look to be on tired legs. Making the playoffs is in jeopardy if the two a days continue.
    .
    Edu at CB please.
    .
    Geiger. Please no more.

  11. Hard to get upset at this one. Better team won. Union played hard, had chances and couldn’t finish. Toronto is definitely the team to beat in the East now with Antidote healthy.

  12. This match was the Ken Tribbett show, on offense and lack of defense. He was thrice burned and, honestly, well deserved his exit. Yaro needs to start. Beyond that, I agree that we looked like we don’t belong on the same pitch as Toronto. Extremely disappointing at home with a new DP.

    Also, Mark Geiger is pathetic. And notorious — this is the first time I have ever heard a crowd call out a ref by name.

  13. Old Soccer Coach says:

    disappointed, yes. Surprised, no. Toronto is better.
    .
    Rosenberry cannot play so far up the pitch if TRibbett is his rcb, as Tribbett needs the cover.

    .
    Seeing Giovinco live is fun, he’s faster afoot than I had realized.
    .
    Pleased with how Yaro played in the 2nd half.
    .
    Disappointed in how easily Altidore manhandled both starting CBs, pleased that Yaro seemed less vulnerable to the manhandling. Altidore seemed to get underneath both Tribbett and Marquez and lift.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Altidore seems like he’s playing with a fire in his belly that I haven’t seen in a long time. He was closing down players in possession and probably should have gotten a yellow for his takedown of Creavalle which was quickly followed by a hard foul (on Barnetta, I think). His goal was essentially a bull rush towards goal

      Yaro played well, but to be fair, it was a different Toronto side in the 2nd as they played exclusively on the counter and were unwilling to commit numbers forward. Would have been nice to see how the first half would have gone if he was out there instead of Tribbett as it seemed like Tribbett was always up against Giovinco with Marquez battling Altidore.

      Giovinco was something to see in person. So quick, fast and really hard to knock the ball off of. At times, he seemed unplayable.

      Was expecting to see three centerbacks for Toronto at the start, but they opted for a conventional back four. Both Osorio and Delgado had very good matches along with Bradley. Delgado’s pass to spring Giovinco for his goal was very impressive.

      You’re right that Toronto is just a better team right now. We have a couple of months to incorporate Bedoya & Davies into the squad as well as hopefully bring back Edu and Carroll which will improve our side.

  14. Worrisome note- Rosenberry looked gimpy at the end. Was he favoring a hamstring?

    Tribbett was overmatched on the whole, and while I was glad to see him put one in, giving one up and then getting it back is not a good transaction for a defender.

    Geiger is watching a game that only he can see. His calls are at best mysterious and generally beyond explanation.

    The midfield was not communicating with the front and wings at all. Too many lead balls sent to the end line for corners or straight to the keeper and backs. Right side was better than the left, but Fabinho was begging for the ball and left watching too much. I think that the CMs were a bit too anxious to think right side.

    Finally, how does Altitude score through four guys? He simply cannot be allowed to do that.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Rosenberry grabbed his hammy near the end of the match and looked as gassed as I’ve ever seen him. Hoping it’s just fatigue, he did a ton of running in the 2nd half.

  15. “Josh Yaro replaced the struggling Ken Tribbett at halftime.”
    .
    Barring injury, may he never suit up for this team again. I hope he enjoys his future career of perennial USL/NASL all-star.

  16. It’s a 3-in-8 stretch. We know Ken will sit. Will we see Charlie on Wednesday?
    When you make no changes to your XI facing a much better, faster team then we know where one of the problems lies.
    The beauty of Earnie’s latest moves is it says he expects to win now.

  17. I have been saying this now for a while. The back line is too young when we go up against top-shelf front lines like Toronto, NYFC, Montreal, and / or Red Bull when the playoffs come along. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was Ken or Josh in there. It’s all about experience, positioning, and being able to read the play 2-3 passes before it actually happens. Blake has started 1 season’s worth of games. Richie a little more. Keegan, Ken, Josh are rookies. Additionally, Warren Creavalle is a significant downgrade from Brian Carroll’s level of play this year.
    *
    Only 1 way to fix it. When everyone is healthy (hopefully by mid-September), Mo Edu has to start at RCB and Carroll needs to start at the 6. Mo probably won’t like that very much, but sweeten the pot and give him a 1 yr extension with the intention that he can play the 6 in 2017. Barnetta will be gone anyway, Alberg will be your 10, and Bedoya will be the 8. Gives the young defenders more time to become actual pros. That’s the only solution that I see at this point if we want to make some noise in the playoffs.

    • VDS – Why will Barnetta be “gone anyway” after this season? I’m not trying to be confrontational – I just honestly don’t know where that take comes from. Is it a contract thing? Has he expressed a desire to leave? I’ve read on PSP from a few others that he won’t be here next season, and I don’t understand what I am missing. If you can let me know, I’d be much obliged. If he’s gone next year, I will be very sad, indeed.

      • Barnetta’s deal is up at the end of the year, and he’ll be 32 in May. That’s a lot of $$ to give an older player (who has expressed a desire to play again and retire with his hometown club in SUI). Also, you have Alberg waiting in the wings who is 5 1/2 years younger and will also be in a contract year next season. He’ll be beyond motivated trying to get the biggest deal of his career for 2018 in his prime career years. I like Tranquilo a lot, but I’d be surprised if he was here.

      • That all makes too much sense, unfortunately. Thanks for the information. I must have missed the statement about retiring with his hometown club.

    • Sorry but no starting Edu at CB is a waste of his talent for the first point. Secondly, the whole point of starting young CBs is to get them experience and build a foundation so that we could have a strong defense life years to come. That is something I look forward to. We’ve gone this long with them, let’s just stick with em at this point.

      • Agreed. At full strength, it will be Carroll at the 6, Edu at the 8 with Bedoya displacing Ilsinho on the right attacking mid spot. That makes the most sense to me

      • Looking the U’s history, they are not spending $1M per year for an outside MF. Bedoya will continue to man the #8 position. Mo is one of my favorite players on this team, but he hasn’t played in over a year and hasn’t played the #8 position in over 2 years, maybe more. There is very little chance he will play the #8 when he returns.

      • Zizouisgod says:

        How many $1M per year players have the Union had besides Bedoya? I can’t think of any others so I’m not sure how you can make such a definitive statement like that.

      • Both Yaro and Tribbett have gotten plenty of experience already this season. There’s no reason to pi$$ away an opportunity to make noise in the playoffs. Next year, let Josh play the full season and learn. For now, Edu should be the guy if you’re trying to win. And with this team in this position, if you’re not trying to win, then there’s a problem. This is professional sports. You take the opportunity when it presents itself.

  18. Zizouisgod says:

    By my count, 26 of our 34 points have been gained vs DC, New England, Chicago, Orlando and Columbus. The only real quality win where we’ve beaten a top side this year in MLS was NYC at home.

    There’s still time to improve and get better, but at a certain point, this team is what it is. Good enough to beat the bad and mediocre teams consistently, but that’s it. That might be our ceiling for this season, but at least we’re moving in the right direction.

    • Zizouisgod says:

      Forgot to mention how Toronto seemed to understand how to defend Ilsinho. Just stand him up and don’t lunge in for a quick tackle because he’s not going to run past you.

      • But it seemed to work for us because Illsinho took that space he was given and allowed Rosenberry to be involved a ton in the first half.

      • Do you mean the half that we got out scored 3-1 and Tribbett got exposed on a few counters because Rosenberry was so far up the wing?

        Not trying to be a jerk, I just didn’t think that it worked that well for us.

    • Pragmatist says:

      ^This.
      .
      We’re a 4/5th place team. But they are headed in the right direction. One more offseason, plus one or two additions, and we’ll be in the discussion of top teams. And not just because of a hot start.

  19. der Fussballzuschauer says:

    Looks like the Cult of Earnie Stewart’s Personality is not strong enough. And the famed Philadelphia Union Academy darlings Jones and Trusty are of no help whatsoever, either. More hype from the professional media and more triple and quadruple talk from the Villanova basketball fan is what the situation probably requires. Furthermore, a backup goalkeeper for Bethlehem Steel FC probably wouldn’t hurt, either, because the Football Gods can’t be liking the the way this organization treats its new farm club like some kind of red-headed stepchild.

    • el Pachyderm says:

      .
      I enjoy reading your thoughts but admit to difficulty in understanding your aim… particularly as it relates to the USL team and your expectations for Steel and this cult of personality you refer to.
      .
      Do you want it to be a stand alone team or is your motivation to be primarily and most importantly a developmental pathway for rising academy players.
      .
      I love the Nova reference too btw— gave our manager or rather the media some grief over the line of questioning back in March about NCAA tourney.

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        I have no aim. I only have Schadenfreude. And maybe a plan to send one of the Union’s starting centerbacks out on loan to the NASL’s Carolina RailHawks for what will appear to be absolutely nothing in return at all. Because when Philly pro sports teams dump their garbage here in the Lehigh Valley, local Environmental Protection Agency activists and their sympathizers tend to get agitated and start engaging in all kinds of protest, conventional or otherwise … 🙂

      • Old Soccer Coach says:

        By naming the new USL club Bethlehem Steel, the Union recalled something of which the Lehigh Valley is proud, rightly and properly.
        .
        The new Steel incarnation is – so far – not living up to the old legend. Proud people don’t like their legends degraded.
        .
        Some of the Steel’s mistakes have been understandable. Others make no sense to outside observers in possession of only the information placed in the public domain.
        .
        A policy of secrecy carries real costs.
        .
        By the end of the Second World War, the entire continent of Europe listened to the BBC in spite of the risks because, within the limits of wartime censorship, they told the truth. In the long term, events exposed the Big Lie and destroyed the Big Liars’ credibilities.
        .
        Leaders consistently underestimate the intelligences of those being led.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      Rumors are there may be a BSFC goalkeeper announcement next week. Hope so.
      .
      Jones and Trusty were never intended to help the first team this season, I strongly suspect. When healthy and properly credentialed, they will keep playing games for Bethlehem.
      .
      The change is with whom they practice. That change has been judged likely to induce further growth. Time will answer.
      .

      • der Fussballzuschauer says:

        I’m overjoyed that the Philadelphia Union were able to reap the promotional harvests from Jones and Trusty, nevertheless … The Philadelphia Union’s new farm club should probably just play their United Soccer League matches down in Chester and save whatever money they are paying to Lehigh University to rent Goodman Stadium … It is a fact that IronPigs and Phantoms do NOT sell “player development”, they sell a fancy stadium, a full mascot and the ‘overall experience’ … This omnipresent “All For The Union” attitude just won’t wash very well here in the Lehigh Valley — and particularly not with to the ever-growing Latino population. The USL’s on-field product is rather poor compared to what they are used to watching from Mexico and Spain. There will always be an obligation to deliver a professional performance no different than any other ‘off Broadway production’ and BSFC has done little more but offered flimsy excuses. Playing the odds, the lack of a backup goalkeeper most likely means nothing. Symbolically speaking, it says volumes about the concept of a professional production.

      • el Pachyderm says:

        I appreciate this thinking and cannot argue. I’ve been sensing this is what is behind the alacrity (kidding)of some of your commentary. Your criticism is as scathing as mine sometimes.
        .
        I just wonder if it is a bit misdirected… seems to me this is an MLS issue rather than a Union issue.
        .
        The model has been set. Dollar Dog Nights. Soccer in the summer. AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs of football. Oh the irony of this last statement.
        .
        Fair?

      • The minor league teams without a doubt sell player dev. See the stars of the future today. It’s just the iron pigs/phillies farm system has been so bad (until this year) that they had to sell other things. I also think your expectations are out of whack for the first year of a team in a weaker, less established, league than the other 2 you reference (MLS compared to MLB/NHL). This year was literally all about just getting the team started and getting a few academy/young guys locked up within our system. Lets see in a few years when they actually have their own stadium.

  20. Just Rob f/k/a Rob127 says:

    I keep thinking that Altidore’s goal is just the kind of work we need from CJ. He refused to be pushed off the ball, turned, and fired. He’s bigger than CJ for sure but CJ has shown some real strength in his hold up play. I feel like he can make that kind of play if they get him the damn ball.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      No idea whether Altidore ever played American football. I never did.
      .
      I think I know by intellectual osmosis that the objective is to get your pads under the pads of your opponents and push forward. Altidore consistently got lower than Tribbett and Marquez. He could not get underneath Yaro.
      .
      Whether Yaro can do as well as Tribbett against the aerial game remains a question. We will likely find out.

    • I saw the replay of that goal a dozen times and it looks to me like that was an own goal. I think it’s Marquez trying to tackle the ball away from Altidore, just on his right side. Marquez swings his leg and the ball fires I to the net. I need to see it in slow mo.

  21. As well as the Union have played the cracks are being exposed. Yes Geiger is awful, but every league has one or two. Blaming the officiating because the Union got schooled is bush league. I’ll say it again: CJ Sapong is not a starter, but he’s the best we have right now. In the next transfer window,the Union need a game breaker not a CJ who admirably works hard but rarely provides the quickness,separation speed and agility needed to make his game more than 1 dimensional. Ilshino still doesn’t realize that he is on a team and playing street ball when you don’t have the speed to compliment all that 1 v 1 stuff doesn’t cut it consistently. Jim Curtin and staff didn’t prepare well enough for the type of threats TFC has, otherwise Tribett would have been on the bench and Creavalle wouldn’t have looked so bewildered. The Union’s collective movement wasn’t quick enough. It either comes down to how they practice or the personnel of the field. I think it’s a combination of both and the coaching. If we know anything at all about Earnie Stewart then Curtin and staff had better start looking over their shoulders. In my opinion Curtin may get this team to the playoffs but in order for them to keep moving forward it may have to be without Curtin and staff. That being said, if the Union with their schedule, are going to seriously make a run at the playoffs they are going to need to shore up that back line and be quicker and more dynamic with the ball. While it would be awesome to have a midfield with Edu and Bedoya it might not be the way to go just yet. It may mean moving a healthy Edu to CB with Marquez and going with Bedoya and a healthy Carroll. They could also risk going with Rosenberry, Yaro, Marquez and Fabinho which would allow for Edu and Bedoya to team up. They could also go with a starting front of Pontius, Sapong and Davies. The Union needs a quick strike front line. I would love to see Alberg figured into this somehow. I don’t doubt that Stewart sees the cracks that teams are now exposing in the Union. Making the playoffs and perhaps making a run may be good enough for this season but moving forward the Union are going to need more. This team is exciting and are moving in the right direction. We’ll see what Earnie Stewart does next.

  22. Old Soccer Coach says:

    As an old coach, I am gratified to learn that while I was coaching, I was capable of fixing everything perfectly without regard to the relative quality of my players and their players.
    .
    I had not realized that while I was active. Neither has Pete Mckannin, or Brett Brown.
    .
    😉

    • Hehe. Well played, OSC.

    • LOL. It’s pretty ridiculous that Jim gets skewered on here for not having the team prepared. A back 6 of essentially 2 rookies, 2 second year guys, a journeyman backup CDM (at best), and a left-footed outside back who doesn’t care a whole lot for defending isn’t going to cut it against the better offensive teams. Whether it’s Tribbett or Yaro this year, it doesn’t matter. Now, you put Mo back there, the story becomes a bit different.

  23. We’ve come a long way in the past 12 months. I think we’re learning whether this is our future manager. Coraggio!

  24. MikeRSoccer says:

    Yaro-Marquez has to be the pairing moving forward, but the dilemma is this: if you start Yaro from here on out, does he graduate from GA prior to the expansion draft?
    .
    .
    If Yaro wouls graduate by starting him, I think they need to start Tribbett until Edu returns and then slide Edy back there and move Tribbett to CDM.
    .
    .
    I’ll continue to state the obvious: Creavalle cannot start. His positional sense is nonexistent.

  25. I don’t believe Edu is the answer. I do believe that in the final scene we’ll find that he was nothing but a mental projection, and that we were him all this time.

  26. This one can be blamed on Curtin bc how do you match up Giovinco with Tribbet? They are both at opposite ends of the spectrum. Tribbet as you saw, is way too slow ! Plus he has been on a bad decision stretch recently. Curtin has to get rid of the Hackworth idea of 3rd chances for players who aren’t getting it done. The obvious answers to mark Giovinco were Yaro or Gaddis. We needed speed to deal with him and keep up with the Italian. Speed isn’t everything of course, but in this case it was a huge factor which could have kept Giovinco at bay. This could have changed the outcome of the game.

    • Gaddis is terrible against speed players because the only thing he can do is run fast. He looks good against slower players because he can make up ground after he originally messes up. I can’t disagree that Yaro should have probably started, but I will say Tribbett was left on an island against Giovinco a few times and he’s not winning that battle.

      • Yea I agree , Gaddis can definitely be shakey in certain situations against other fast players and when having to play in the air. But in this case, he at least could have kept Gio at bay by staying with him all game and not giving him any space. Since we have Yaro , he would have been my first choice too.

  27. I want to throw it out there that I don’t think this game is a bad as we are making it out to be in the comments, just like last week wasn’t as good. The score got lopsided (and honestly could have been worse) but on the goal Giovinco barely puts that in. Altidore’s goal is scored by exactly 0 other players in this league (and not by him 90% of the time i’ve seen him). And we missed on some decent chances ourselves. The real difference was that they have 2 very highly paid very good players that beat up on our young CB and we couldn’t finish. Adding a better #6,and better CB and a better striker (and I’ve been a CJ defender on here all year) and the game is closer. It shouldn’t be surprising that the difference in the teams was the 2 strikers that are on a different level than the rest of the league. That said, they had to foul us a lot (and hard) to slow us down in the beginning.

  28. While Tribbet had a bad night I think this team is sorely lacking from missing Carroll. Tribbet is more comfortable with Carroll there. Carroll cuts out those giant passing lanes that Bradley and Delgado found. And if your going to ask anyone to try to shadow Giovinco it would have been Carroll. Yes Yaro is probably the better option at RCB, but I think they are keeping his game minutes down due to his nervousness and shoulder injury. Yaro is just not confident yet on this stage from what I have seen so they let Tribbet get beat up cause he doesn’t care and he’ll come out each week and try to push back. Yaro if he loses confidence seems like he goes into a bit of a downward spiral at least from some of the mic’d up events in spring training. Curtin is always trying to talk up Yaro’s confidence. I wonder if Trusty can play on the right or if he is exclusively LCB cause I wouldn’t mind seeing some minutes for Trusty and Marquez. I still think Tribbet should be tried slotted in to Crevalle’s spot as Creavalle adds no offense and is out of place defensively too.

    • I have to agree on this. I think Tribbett would actually look better at d-mid, but who knows. Would allow us to drop to 3 in attack like we stated we planned on doing at the begining of the year.

  29. Maybe I missed the discussion of this. From my seats at the game it looked like a blatant penalty on TOR in the second half, pulling our player down in the box right in front of the referees of the River End. Make it a 3-2 game and maybe the U can get some points….. That non-call looked like a game-affecting decision.

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