Jul 8, 2012, 6:41 PM EDT
Man of the Match: When a game is as lopsided as this one, there’s a wealth of man of the match options. Half the Union team looked like world beaters, but the man facilitating it all was Michael Farfan. Freddy Adu may have had a flashier game, and Jack McInerney ended up with as many assists, but when Philadelphia accrued 71 percent of Opta “possession” in the first half (and a 2-0 lead), it was Farfan playing fulcrum in the middle of John Hackworth’s new, more fluid attacking midfield.
Packaged for takeaway:
- Philly ended the match with 62.2 percent of the Opta possession, a figure that diminishes the extent to which they controlled things. On a hot day at PPL Park, they spent the first 45 minutes running Toronto into the ground, their two goals coming after half an hour stretching and prodding the Reds’ defense. Even after recharging at intermission, Toronto offered no second half opposition.
- At the onset, Philadelphia used long balls behind the line to crack TFC’s defense, with Jack McInerney proving too fast for Richard Eckersley and Logan Emery. The Union eventually started exploiting the wide areas, finding ways around TFC’s central defensive box of Eckersley, Emery, Terry Dunfield and Torsten Frings.
- With time, Philadelphia had Toronto playing so deep that sitters Brian Carroll and Gabriel Gómez were able to camp uncontested as outlets 10-12 yards inside Toronto’s half. Paul Mariner switched from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, moving Eric Avila inside, but it didn’t help. As Philadelphia held, Toronto chased and were slowly opened up, allowing Gómez to shuttle into the attacking third.
- The big openings came in the channels. The first saw Farfan feed McInerney in the right one, with the Philly forward playing back across for Gómez, who opened the scoring in the 34th minuts. That Gómez was able to push to within 12 yards of goal speaks to the extend Philadelphia’s deep midfielders we able to get involved.
- Two minutes later, a break through the other channel saw Freddy Adu double Philly’s lead, with a wide angle shot from 12 yards getting under Milos Kosic’s left arm.
- Farfan would provide for a late Antoine Hoppenot goal, but Adu’s score ended the competitive part of the match. The will Toronto showed in surviving the first half hour’s pressure was sapped by two goals conceded in three minutes.
- Because Philly held so much of the ball, Danny Koevermans was a non-factor. The only time he was involved was early, when TFC seemed intent on using Ryan Johnson down the left to serve for their hot goal scorer. However, when Mariner shifted formations, Koevermans stopped being targeted.
- Opta stats on MLSSoccer.com failed to record the number of Freddy Adu step-overs. In an eight minute stretch before his goal, he fell in love with them, dancing over the ball while heads up with Jeremy Hall. The first series drew awes from the crowd. The second: Mild rumbling. The third: Nothing.
- For Philadelphia, it was a great performance ahead of their Wednesday U.S. Open Cup semifinal against Kansas City. With Farfan’s continued emergence, the cohesion of the attacking midfield, and another strong performance from McInerney, Hackworth may still push the Union into a playoff race.
- For Toronto, it was a demoralizing performance. Philadelphia’s upward trajectory is nice, but they’re not a league power, and Toronto just got smoked by them. Welcome back to reality.
May 19, 2013, 5:01 PM EDT
Rare as they are, we’ve seen more than our share of “Olimpico” goals in MLS over the last pair of seasons, including one last night:
May 19, 2013, 4:47 PM EDT
With Arsenal and Tottenham the only teams battling for any meaningful positioning in the Premier League table, the final day still had implications for many teams in the form of placement prize money.
May 19, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas late.
May 19, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT
Another game-winning strike from Gareth Bale wasn’t enough to save Tottenham from more Champions League heartache.
May 19, 2013, 3:50 PM EDT
New York took all the points from the L.A. Galaxy on Tim Cahill’s late goal. So let’s talk about that goal.
May 19, 2013, 3:17 PM EDT
This Landon Donovan debate regarding his place on the national team is not going anywhere. So, did Sunday’s performance move the needle either way?
May 19, 2013, 2:42 PM EDT
Arsenal secured its 16th consecutive spot on the Champions League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Newcastle at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
May 19, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT
Sensational news for fans around BMO Field:
May 19, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
With David Beckham-esque tears streaming down my cheeks, we’re finally here: The final day of the 2012-13 Barclay’s Premier League.
May 19, 2013, 10:19 AM EDT
Newcastle have nothing to play for and have been a disaster at home of late, losing their last two matches at St. James’ Park by a combined 9-0.
May 19, 2013, 10:13 AM EDT
The timing on this thing in two words: pretty bad:
May 19, 2013, 9:32 AM EDT
Not to get too far ahead of ourselves on the 20-year-old goal-scoring sensation … :
May 19, 2013, 12:48 AM EDT
The Sounders exploit Dallas’ young back line in a meeting of two Western Conference teams in top form. Final score: 4-2 for the Sounders:
May 18, 2013, 11:41 PM EDT
Juan Agudelo makes his New England debut as Jay Heaps posts one of the best wins of his young coaching career:
May 18, 2013, 10:33 PM EDT
Highlights and context as “Jack Mac” scores his league-leading 8th goal:
May 18, 2013, 9:50 PM EDT
Cascadia Cup matches are always interesting, and Saturday’s 2-2 draw at BC Place was full of talking points:
May 18, 2013, 8:24 PM EDT
it was a big crowd pleaser on two fronts when the Whitecaps’ forward stroked an unstoppable free kick against Portland:
May 18, 2013, 8:05 PM EDT
The young Timbers’ attacker is having an outstanding season for the Jeld-Wen Field bunch:
May 18, 2013, 7:38 PM EDT
Higuain created the game’s only goal and was masterful in possession at BMO Field:
May 18, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT
An appearance next week in Paris Saint-Germain’s final match 2012-13 season doesn’t seem to be in the plans for the retiring superstar:
- Where Landon Donovan’s afternoon takes us in the ongoing U.S. national team debate 1
- Philadelphia’s Jack McInerney would be league’s youngest Golden Boot winner 0
- Talking points on Portland’s 2-2 draw with Vancouver 0
- PSG president confirms Saturday was likely David Beckham’s farewell match 3
- As Alex Ferguson says goodbye, Manchester United’s cupboard remains stocked 1
- Play Video: Highlights: Union outlast Fire
- Play Video: Sir Alex says goodbye
- Play Video: Morgan committed to growth of new women's league
- Play Video: Boy with cancer, 8, scores against major league soccer team
- Play Video: Red Bulls pull off win on the road
- Play Video: Highlights: Montreal extinguish Chicago