Photo by Paul Rudderow
The Union came to Friday as a team on the rise, with new found momentum and a galvanizing game in Georgia giving them the opportunity to forge a new identity. And Toronto came in as a team lost under its own weight, still looking to find rhythm after winning it all in 2017 and almost winning CCL in 2018. At the very least it should have been an interesting game, however as the game played out there were no surprises, no moments where suddenly everything changed. That isn’t to say there weren’t players who did particularly well (or poorly), just that this game very much felt like that class right before summer vacation when you come into school and find the teacher has placed a TV cart at the front of the room. What we saw was certainly relevant, but it’d be hard to put a finger on exactly what we learned.
Reminder: Players start with a rating of 5, and points are added or removed to arrive at their final score.
Andre Blake — 5
Toronto had four shots on target, and two of them went in. That isn’t to say it was a poor performance by Blake, but it certainly wasn’t a good one.
Keegan Rosenberry — 3
Sometimes mistakes happen, or sometimes a player tries something and it doesn’t work out as planned. But a throw in should be as close to “sure thing” as you can find in soccer. So how a throw in can go so bad as to find Sebastian Giovinco on the other end, about twenty yards from goal, is very disappointing.
Mark McKenzie — 5
He was late to see Jonathan Osorio’s run before the first goal and lost his footing in his scramble to catch up. With that said there’s plenty of time left for him to improve, and many more experienced center backs have been beaten by Osorio before.
Auston Trusty — 6
It was a quiet game from the teenager, which is about what you want from a centre back.
Ray Gaddis — 6
New-look Wingback Ray has been one of the most fascinating surprises of the season, but he really shone on defense this game. His legendary speed shone especially bright in his hustle to shut down the Toronto attack early in the second half.
Borek Dockal — 5
Once again a Union veteran is pushed out of position rather than giving a young player a chance. Not that Dockal played poorly, or that Jones truly impressed when he came in to allow the Czech to return to his “true” position, but it might have served the team better to let Dockal do what he does best and give Jones (or Fontana) a chance.
Warren Creavalle — 5
Would have scored a goal, if not for the unfortunate reality of the offside rule.
Ilsinho — 5
Once again the Brazilian took one for the team and played out of position because the Union didn’t have a No. 10. As a second alternative to the Dockal/Jones point above, why not leave Ilsinho where he can most help the team and let Najem take a try?
Marcus Epps — 5
Any player’s career will have it’s ups and downs. After a string of solid appearances this game appears to be a downward turn for Epps, though far from problematic.
Fafà Picault — 7
Maybe it’s the absence of other leadership on the field that’s allowing Picault to shine, but both Atlanta and Toronto were great games for him. If he could just improving his passing game ever so slightly he would become a really dangerous player.
C.J. Sapong — 3
This is nothing against C.J. personally, but what is the point? He’s not scoring goals, he’s not drawing fouls, and he’s not generating opportunities for other players. Literally any other player could replace him in the starting eleven and the worst possible outcome would be the Union continue to get no production from their striker.
Cory Burke (sixty first for C.J. Sapong) — 4
Burke has the potential to be everything Sapong is, and more. Unfortunately one of those traits he seems to be mirroring is “occasionally invisible”.
Derrick Jones (sixty ninth for Marcus Epps) — 5
By no means was this a like-for-like substitution. Putting Jones on allowed Borek Dockal to move back into the No. 10 role, pushing Ilsinho out wide where he belongs and leaving Epps the odd man out. Can’t fault Jim Curtin for making a substitution in an attempt to change the team’s style of play, but Jones didn’t seem the complete disaster numerous press conferences lead some to expect.
David Accam (seventy fourth for Ilsinho) — 4
Sure it was short minutes; but if he isn’t good enough to be a starter, and he isn’t good enough to be a super sub, what is he good for?
Baldomero Toledo — 5
A pleasant palate cleanser after last week.
Player of the Game: Fafà Picault
His crossbar-hit was the Union’s best look at goal, and could have swung momentum in the home team’s favor had it gone in. Picault’s recent upswing, paired with the rest of the offense’s lackluster performance, makes him a clear standout.