The Philadelphia Union were back in Subaru Park on a rainy Saturday night, as they faced off against fellow Eastern Conference side, Toronto FC. Bob Bradley’s side came into the match having drawn their last four matches and was finally looking to get the full three points. Philadelphia was looking for their first win in MLS action since Matchday three when the club defeated the Chicago Fire with a 90th-minute Joaquin Torres goal.
Union vs Toronto Recap
While both sides were looking for three points tonight, it would be the Union who could claim all of them, as the Boys in Blue defeated Toronto by a score of 4-2. The Philly goals were scored by Mikael Uhre, who had a hat trick on the night, and also an own goal scored by Toronto defender Lukas MacNaughton. The Toronto goals were scored by Lorenzo Insigne and Richie Laryea. It was a well-played match by the Union, as they picked up a crucial three points to make it 11 on the season.
Fast Union Start
Throughout the MLS season so far, Philadelphia has not been a strong team when it comes to opening matches up. They would tend to concede early goals and make some mistakes, but against Toronto on Saturday night, they looked like a whole different team. For a majority of the beginning parts of the first half, the Union was on the Toronto side of the pitch, creating chance after chance.
These efforts would eventually pay off, as a crazy deflection off of a Toronto defender would give Philly a well-deserved 1-0 lead. About five minutes later, Philly was back on the attack, and Mikael Uhre was there to strike the ball into the back of the net, giving the Union a 2-0 lead within twenty minutes of the match.
Philadelphia was truly dominating Toronto in the first half, and this was the main reason the team was able to have such a comfortable victory on the night.
Mikael Uhre Hattrick
In Saturday’s match, there was an easy vote when it came to the man of the match performance. Mikael Uhre was absolutely dominant, and that was shown with his hat trick. This was his first career hat trick with the Philadelphia Union, and it was definitely one that he was waiting for. For his first goal of the night, Uhre found a ball that was bouncing all around the box, and just put the shot on net. It deflected off of a Toronto defender, which ended up confusing Sean Johnson, and it ended up in the back of the net to make it 2-0 for Philadelphia.
Uhre’s second goal was caused by a nice assist from Daniel Gazdag, who sent a ball through the Toronto defense, causing them to be sliced open. Mikael had a one-on-one with Sean Johnson, and he put it into the back of the net to make it 3-0 for the Union right before halftime.
The Danish striker would finish up his hat trick in the second half, as he received a ball from Julian Carranza, and then proceeded to put yet another past Johnson. This type of performance is exactly what Mikael Uhre needed, as he has not been scoring much this year, though he has been playing well. The excitement was shown on the striker’s face, as he prepared to bang the drum when he was announced Man of the Match.
All Eyes on Wednesday
Even with this massive result against Toronto, the Union will have little to no time to celebrate, as a big match is coming this upcoming Wednesday to Subaru Park. Philly will be playing their first leg in the Concacaf Champions League semi-finals matchup against fellow MLS side LAFC. These two clubs always tend to put on a show when they meet, with their most recent matchup being the 2022 MLS Cup Final.
As everyone knows, the Union fell to LAFC on penalty kicks in this match, so this tie could have the players bringing a chip on their shoulders. All in all, it will be a fantastic tie that all eyes should be watching. Two of the top teams in Major League Soccer will be facing off to try and claim a spot in the Concacaf Champions League Final, where they will be facing off against Tigres or Leon.
This performance was exactly what Jim Curtin would like to see from his squad right before they face off against LAFC on Wednesday. The Union looked like themselves in the match, and Curtin addressed that in his post-match press conference, saying the following:
“I thought that we played our best 45 minutes of the season in that first half. I think it looked like us. I think we were proactive.” Curtin will be hoping the good form of the squad continues for the near future, especially for LAFC, as they will provide a tough matchup for his Union squad.
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Mandatory Credit: Philadelphia Union