The Union break out of their low-scoring habit in a big way versus TFC.The Philadelphia Union ignited a fire at BMO field, totaling their highest number of goals all season en route to a 6-2 thrashing of Toronto FC. Despite offensive woes throughout much of the season and an injury-depleted roster, the Union put on a lopsided show in Toronto.
Fans didn't have to wait long for the scoring to begin in this one. Gabriel Farfan scored a goal in the second minute to put the Union up 1-0, the very first of his young career.
Shortly thereafter, Union midfielder Justin Mapp found the back of the net from 25 yards out, giving his team an early 2-0 lead in the 11th minute.
After these two early strikes, both teams struggled to find their footing. There were very few chances until the 35th minute, when Toronto FC defender Richard Eckersley shot a rocket that just went over the crossbar from 22 yards out.
After going cold following the two early goals, the Union strung together a fast attack in the 44th minute, culminating in a goal from Kyle Nakazawa on the left side from 15 yards away. The shot was set up by Danny Mwanga and was Nakazawa's first goal of his career.
The Union went into the locker room at the half ahead 3-0, their highest total of the season to that point. Toronto showed very little dexterity on offense and was only able to put together a few chances during the first half.
After having been dominated on both ends of the pitch, Toronto came out hard in the second half. The club almost had its first goal of the match in the 48th minute when striker Maicon Santos took a shot all alone in front of the net, but veteran Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon made a very well-timed save
Two minutes later, Santos finally struck gold, netting a goal in the 50th minute for Toronto after out-maneuvering Mondragon. Toronto kept the pressure up, seeing several nice chances and maintaining possession.
The pressure had the Union off-balance, as their defense looked confused. Union striker Sebastien Le Toux gave the ball away in his defensive third to Maicon Santos, who scored again in the 59th minute to put his side back in the mix, 3-2. He was set up by a cross from substitute Danleigh Borman and found the back of the net from short distance.
Toronto dictated the pace with crisp passing and heads up play for the beginning of the half, while the Union were constantly backpeddling.
Yet after the second Santos goal, Philadelphia woke back up and started a rally on the offensive side.
Justin Mapp scored once again, this time off his left foot, to put the Union up 4-2 in the 62nd minute. Familiar goal-scoring tandem Le Toux and Mwanga continued the onslaught a few minutes later. Le Toux set up the 19-year old striker from Congo on a corner kick in the 71st minute. It was Mwanga's second goal of the season.
Now leading 5-2, the Union were in full control. The offensive pressure was not over, as Mwanga scored another in the 89th minute from close range. It was the final nail in the coffin for Toronto.
The Union, who have been weak on offense the entire season, looked very sharp in their 6-2 victory. Coming into the match, they were tied for last place in MLS for total goals scored. After today's dominant victory, they are now tied for 4th in the league.
Toronto's lone bright spot the entire season has been goalkeeper Stefan Frei, but he looked frazzled against Union's rallying offense. He is the key to Toronto turning around its mediocre season and will need to regain focus when they play Sporting Kansas City at home on June 4.
For Philadelphia, the victory means three points, first place in the East, and finally a response to critics who have said the club doesn't have enough offense to sustain it the entire season. On a day when the entire soccer world is talking about champions, Philadelphia played at exactly that level. The Union will look to keep the momentum going when they play defending MLS champions Colorado next week.
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