Alejandro Bedoya debuts at home for Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Union’s new signing, Alejandro Bedoya, donned the Blue and Gold as he received his first start in Philadelphia Union Head Coach Jim Curtin’s double pivot in the number eight role.
Sebastian Giovinco gives Ken Tribbett, Philadelphia's defense problems
Giovinco would make his presence felt by the Philadelphia backline within the first 20 minutes of the match. In the 14th minute, Giovinco beautifully placed a free kick marked for the bottom left corner. As he has done all season, Andre Blake came up big to turn away the excellent kick by the Atomic Ant.
Less than five minutes later, The Italian International did well to flick a mishit pass in front of him and into space. Union Defender Ken Tribbett tried to recover but was unable to catch up with the speedy forward as Giovinco hit both posts on his way to his 16th goal of the season and a 1-0 Toronto lead in the 18th minute.
Tribbett, however, would make up for his mistake in the 25th minute when Tranquillo Barnetta found the center back with a free kick cross. Tribbett redirected the ball into toward the back post to tie the match up at one.
The tie would be short-lived as, in the 30th minute, Michael Bradley delivered a curling free kick cross to a wide open Drew Moor. Moor had ample time to head the ball into the back of the net to give Toronto the slight edge, 2-1.
Toronto was not done scoring in the first half after the second goal. Right on the precipice of halftime, Jozy Altidore added the third Toronto goal in the half. With his back to the goal, Altidore received a pass from Will Johnson. The United States International made an excellent turn on Tribbett and used his body frame to shield the center back away from the ball. Altidore then hit a laser into the bottom corner past a frozen Blake to double the Toronto lead.
Philadelphia Union fall flat in second half against Toronto
Philadelphia attempted to stage a comeback in the second half, but, despite a few semi-decent attempts on net, the Union could not match the tempo of Toronto and their stars. After a lackluster first half, Philadelphia followed up with a similar display in the second half as they fell 3-1 to Toronto FC.
Where do both teams go from here?
With the loss, Philadelphia stays in fourth place, but the race in the MLS Eastern Conference is tightening. With Montreal and New England both losing on Saturday night, positions four through seven are only separated by seven points with seventh place D.C. United possessing two games in hand on Philadelphia. The Union will be in action twice this week: Wednesday at Columbus Crew and Saturday versus Sporting Kansas City.
Toronto keep pace with first place, New York City FC, as they pull within one point with one game in hand. Giovinco and company will be also in action twice this as they travel to Orlando City SC on Wednesday and return home to play fellow Canadian foe, Montreal Impact, Saturday night.