• Philadelphia Union start big week with visit of Toronto FC
• Danny Koevermans brings 5 game scoring streak to PPL Park
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Frings curls a corner that's headed goalward, but Adu is there to clear comfortably off the line. Toronto still trying but that 3rd goal looks to have killed this one.
Philadelphia 3 Toronto 0 (HOPPENOT!) The super sub does it again! Sprinting clear down the right and chipping the keeper cool as you like. Don't think Toronto will be turning this one round...
Frings picks up a yellow on a routine 50-50. That looked very soft.
One of our Chicago game previewers, Stephen Piggott (@irish_steve) has joined us:
"@KidWeil just tuning in now after a tough Fire loss. Hopefully #TFC can turn it around but the 29% possession stat is telling."
...but it's Johnson who hits it up and over the wall, but over the top corner of the goal as well. Goal kick...
Now Toronto have a free kick around 25 yards out and central after Philadelphia's defense concede a tired foul. Frings is over it...
Emory is bullied off the ball by Farfan and Hoppenot and charges into the box. A desperate Emory lunge gets the ball but looks to be from behind and there's a huge roar for a penalty. A corner is given though and Philadelphia can only knock it into Kocic's hands. Controversy there.
Toronto being pressed a little in their own half and give up the ball cheaply. It's overrun though and Toronto get another chance to get forward. The game is very ragged just now and there's a noticeable dip in energy on and off the pitch. Understandable with temperatures in the mid-90s.
Deep throw isn't cleared properly by Hoppenot and it eventually breaks to Koevermans, who tees the ball up for an overhead kick that isn't too far away. Still Philadelphia 2 Toronto 0.
Toronto get a handball decision near the corner of the Union box and Frings will have another chance to do something dangerous. He fires it hard into the box and MacMath collides with his own player, Williams in punching it clear. Williams is back up again but he got caught hard a few minutes ago as well and looks a little groggy.
This one beginning to lose a little momentum - can the subs liven it up? An offensive substitution from the Union - they're looking for more goals.
Williams gets clattered by Morgan and now play stops for another set piece, which will suit Philadelphia fine. Gomez is over the free kick which Kocic flails clear, only as far as Adu. Seeing the keeper stranded Adu sends a delicate chip to the back post where McInerney just fails to get to it. It's McInerney's last act, as he's substituted for Hoppenot, while for Toronto, Dunfield comes out for Luis Silva.
Having retrieved the ball Philadelphia spread the ball wonderfully to bring in Gabriel Farfan in an advanced position. Kocic picks up his cross, but that's the sort of space they can expect more of as Toronto have to push forward. Still Philadelphia 2 Toronto 0.
Toronto have a free kick wide inside the Philadelphia half, which Frings knocks in, only to see it headed clear safely. They have the ball back and try to work an opening, but ultimately Philadelphia get the ball back.
Philadelphia fans are looking happy as the camera cuts away to them whilst Carroll gets treatment. He's back up now, but it's Toronto who seize the initiative first, as they have to. A cross from out wide comes in low and hard but Valdes takes it off Morgan's toes in a dangerous position.
Toronto subs warming up. Ryan Johnson runs the ball out of play as he tries to force his way forward. They're looking bereft of ideas. He gets another chance but ploughs into Carroll and picks up a yellow card. He's irate. Replays show his knee came into what the commentators are calling the midriff. If I have time I may link to a basic biology page.
Adu sweetly bamboozles Hall on the edge of the box and finds space to poke an inviting ball, tentative shot just past the far post. Then McInerney gets down the right and earns a corner. This is fun...
More midfield clashes result in a free kick for the Union in the center circle. No early sign that Toronto are changing the shape of things here. Just as I say that JOhnson gets clear on the right and is cross is met firmly by Koevermans, but his header is straight at Macmath. A warning though. Still Philadelphia 2 Toronto 0.
Toronto have had 29% possession so far, which is a stat largely of their own unambitious making, it has to be said.
Belated half-time summary from Dan Walsh, who occasionally previews Phill games for us:
"Freddy Adu is playing his best game of the season, and it appears to be in part due to a tactical change by Union manager John Hackworth. Adu is spending more time than usual further from goal, and it's allowing him the freedom to do more in possession and make timely runs, such as the one that led to his goal. Michael Farfan and Jack McInerney have exploited a high Toronto line repeatedly. Meanwhile, the Union defense has rarely been challenged. The first half was very one-sided. As the heat beats both teams down, it may be tough for Toronto to get back into this one."
Basically what I said, but with punctuation.
INSTANT CHANCE! McInerney is given acres of space down the right and Kocic just paws his cross off Pajoy's head - only as far as Adu on the edge of the six yard box - but his shot flashes across the goal, when a third looked more likely.
OK, we're off again. Just time for MBM regular Danial Joseph (@BDanielJoseph) to note:
"@KidWeil There was just a television commercial for Philly's upcoming Open Cup game. Color this NY fan impressed."
A belated welcome to Parker Field at ParkerPlex Park (brought to you in association with I Can't Believe it's Not Fred Perry) to all who might have been hitting F5 repeatedly for the last few hours in the forlorn hope that the Wimbledon final was best of 7 sets and they're just missing an update. Welcome to the first sporting event after the one that destroyed the joy in all sport, one that has rendered the ritual fray meaningless, so that you will never look upon sport aga...ooh look, balls!
You'll find the atmosphere here in MLS land much more convivial - here you can shout during play, use your phone freely, even interactively (to berate your hapless MBM host by twitter or email), and the only word you need to know to sound vaguely knowledgeable, for today's game at least, is "Doop". And if you're a little Briton, you can always endear yourself to the locals by sniffing about the standard of play, as though you're personally responsible for teaching Christiano Ronaldo that toe-pokey thing, or introducing Arsene Wenger to aesthetics.
Face-painting is of course frowned upon here - there'll be people who do it, but if I see them I'll be frowning.
Alan Jacobson (@MrTuktoyaktuk) is back, shaking his head:
"@KidWeil This game has been all wrong for TFC, absorbing pressure isn't working."
He's joined by Duncan Fletcher (@wakingthered):
"@kidweil tfc clogging up midfield, forcing philly to rely on wings and long balls over top. sadly, we appear hopeless at defending that."
Finallly Og the Dim @OgtheDim weighs in:
"@Kidweil TFC making the Union look very good. Far too narrow and just hoofing it and hoping."
Meanwhile the Philly Soccer Page @phillysoccerpg are purring happily:
"@KidWeil Adu is playing his best game of the season so far. Playing deeper, more comfortable, and then making timely runs like that one."
That tweet was received just after Adu scored, if you can't tell. He's been very impressive so far.
(assembled against a backdrop of Jimmy Conrad trapped in an eternal Euro 2012) A great first half for the Union, with Hackworth's decision to push Farfan forward and allow him license to exchange positions with Adu, really paying dividends. Toronto have looked unsure who to pick up and when and have settled for a general doggedness that has some value at 0-0, but not at 2-0. They'll have to come out of their shell a little now and that will be music to Philadelphia's ears right now with Adu in this form.
Some more tweets in a minute - mostly from disappointed Toronto fans...
Philadelphia Union 2 Toronto FC 0 Half time thoughts in a moment.
Final regular minute of the half. Now Williams gets up higher than he has done all game, to cross back from near the byline. Then Adu whips a peach of a cross from the left touchline, that tees up a perfect diving header opportunity for Pajoy, who connects but sends it one when he should have scored.
Frings is over it and after a Johnson dummy he hits it low and hard, hoping for a jump, but the wall stays firm and it squirms up and clear.
So it's Philadelphia 2 Toronto 0 as we approach the half. Philadelphia back on the edge of the Toronto box, choosing possession over attack at the last. But then Toronto intercept and Koevermans is fouled on the break. Toronto have a free kick, central, and just outside the box. Can they steal something?
...not a bad corner from Frings that Johnson gets up to but can't direct and Philadelphia will clear.
Toronto will just want to limp to half time right now.
Sonja Missio tweets twice. Once before the first goal:
"@KidWeil I'm honestly trying to work this out: is TFC getting better, or just playing less frustrated?"
"@KidWeil Never mind, I take back what I just said."
She's gone very quiet now. Cheer up Sonja. Toronto have a corner...
Philadelphia 2 Toronto FC 0 (ADU!) Another perfectly weighted Farfan pass sends Adu free in the left of the box. He looks too deep to shoot, but fires it across the keeper and into the far corner. Toronto in all sorts of trouble now.
It's been coming... Yet again the Union get men past that high Toronto line as Farfan feeds McInerney down the right. His cutback looks to have evaded Gomez, but he digs the shot out and it deflects off Exckersley into the corner, with the keeper wrong footed.
Philadelphia 1 Toronto 0 (GOMEZ!)
Adu does another little stepover but is thwarted again. He's had a lively half though - a little reminiscent of his great first half against New York that culminated in him being...sent off. Hmmm.
Pinball in the Toronto box as shots rain in. The Toronto defense are looking pretty stretched right now.
Back to that passing the ball along the back line activity from the Union. Now they have a free kick in the left side of Toronto's half. It's whacked in at a tempting height by Adu but the header is high and this one is still goalless - Union 0 Toronto 0, in other words.
...long corner cleared without too much trouble - not a lot of threat from those yet. Now a Toronto set piece fails to truly trouble the Union defense and it's cleared long for McInerney to chase. Kocic dives bravely to thwart him though.
Toronto doing what they need to do at the moment and just disrupting the Union in midfield, without particularly looking like they're building a platform of their own. Then from nothing another long ball looks to have let Pajoy in, but he is muscled off the ball by Emory for the corner...
Game is understandably slowing right now, though Adu still looking to make things happen when he gets on the ball. Toronto standing firm so far and nothing comes of his latest magic trick.
Union still stroking it around and looking to release players over the top when they get a chance, but for the moment the ball is back with Toronto, who've lost their way a little in the last few minutes.
Right on cue, Farfan stretches to reach a ball down the right and fires across across goal that nobody's on the end of. It's still Philadelphia 0 Toronto 0.
...he knocks it short to Farfan, whose delicate cross in is cut out by Koevermans and the ball goes all the way back to the Union back line. They get it forward to Adu but his cross is saved comfortably.
Key to the game so far is Farfan, in the advanced position he's been given. Not as much movement as usual from the fullbacks for this formation, but his extra few yards of freedom might be in lieu of that.
Philadelphia harry again down the right and earn a corner kick. What can Adu do with it...
The Union combine well again to almost release McInerney, who clashes with the keeper as they go for a 50-50. McInerney looks a little shaken but he's up and walking away. Philadelphia asking a few questions now.
Adu Ricky Villa's his way through the Toronto defense but his shot is blocked in the box when he was already choosing the music for his highlight reel.
Error watch: Duncan Fletcher @wakingthered is here to correct me calling Richard Eckersley a Yorkshireman:
"@kidweil eckersley a salford lad all the way. hoping to see him move back to rb as soon as we get a good and healthy cb to replace him."
Still, at least Andy Murray's English.
Adu wriggles free on the edge of the box but Koevermans steals the ball as Adu tries to tee up his team mate for a long shot.
Still 0-0, as Toronto try to stretch the play wide for the cross - their tactic of choice thus far.
Another speculative long ball by Philadelphia is cut out and Toronto break - reacquiring a great tackle by Okugo to break it up. Then Hall sends a tame shot wide.
Philadelphia may get some joy from the long ball but it doesn't seem like the type of day you'd want to overuse an energy-sapping tactic like that.
...nothing comes of it but for a few balls pinged back harmlessly into the box. Philadelphia regain possession and get forward in numbers. Adu spreads the play, but Williams loses possession as the Union try to build.
Bartholomew Bono is worried about the Union line up:
"I was expecting to see a number of reserves starting. I am surprised. How will these guys have anything left in the tank on Wednesday? The Hunt Cup is about all they have to play for..."
Seems that loss to Toronto stung more than we thought...
Now a deflected cross gives Toronto the first corner of the game...
Another long ball is cut back by McInerney and Farfan looks to get a shot off but at the second attempt Kocic is able to dive on it. Adu and Farfan looking to swop places early on.
Alan Jacobson (@Mr Tuktoyaktuk) frets:
"@KidWeil interesting to see if TFC can avoid curse of the moment - giving up early goal. Fortunately, have been able to equalize quickly."
They have a free kick at the right end of the field but they do nothing with it.
Now the Union will try to get going again. Farfan playing in an advanced position behind front 3
Not suggesting Farfan's in good form for earning a throw... He's just been looking lively in this Philadelphia formation. McInerney tries a quick low cross across goal but the keeper is alert to it.
We're off, and Philadelphia stroke it around at the back before knocking it long for Farfan, who earns a throw deep in Toronto's half. He's in good form at the moment.
Ed Farnsworth (@farnsworthPSP) tweets:
"@KidWeil Gray skies helping from being fried at a very hot PPL Park"
Will that affect the Union's movement in their 4-3-3?
Philadelphia Union: MacMath; Williams, Valdes, Okugo, G. Farfan; Carroll, Gomez, M. Farfan; Adu, McInerney, Pajoy
Toronto FC: Kocic; Hall, Eckersley, Emory, Morgan; Lambe, Dunfield, Frings, Avila; Koevermans, Johnson
The early secret of Paul Mariner's relative success (compared to Aron Winter's record this year - even dropping 2 rather than 3 points from multi-goal winning positions count as relative successes...) may have been imposing some kind of news embargo on Danny Koevermans, to keep him from realizing he no longer plays for "the worst team in the world". Since uttering that fateful statement (after Toronto's 9th straight league loss), replete with thousand yard stare and sighs, Koevermans has gone on a one man rampage of inconsolable "Hulk smash" frustration.
Koevermans has now scored in each of the last 5 games - and while Toronto may only have 10 points, it's 10 points more than when he gave his verdict in late May. Toronto have also guaranteed Champions League soccer by winning the Voyageur's Cup and replaced Aron Winter's long game (not long ball game, just long game - as in "we expect to win a game in style in around May 2013") with Paul Mariner's rather more immediate 4-4-2. So a lot has changed around Koevermans, but for now, whatever he's been doing since that goal that won them their first points of the season, against today's opponents, the coach must be hoping he keeps doing it, so best to not mention that things are looking up and keep him plundering goals in a wounded red mist. Keep scoring goals like this and he may even make a late charge for the Dutch squad in the forthcoming Euro 2012...
Hot enough for you? After last night's MLS games offered a festival of ambling around in disgustingly high humidity, with nobody bothering to try to score in the first half of any of the matches, it's off to an afternoon game at PPL Park, where we're expecting more mid-90s temperatures (and possibly the odd mid-70s fashion faux pas) but hopefully a little bit of urgency from both Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC.
This is the start of a big week for the Union. On Tuesday night they host Sporting KC, as they attempt to reach the Open Cup final for the first time in their young history, while today we have a game that coach John Hackworth has called "a mini-playoff", as the team in last place and the team in second-to-last place in the Eastern conference seek a win that Hackworth feels could "slingshot" the winner up the standings.
He could be right. Both sides have had good months under new coaches. Paul Mariner at Toronto has stabilized the formation, gone back to basics and made Toronto tougher to beat. They're scoring more, which is just as well, as they're still prone to conceding careless goals, but they have a little bit more belief about them and even the careless goals part has begun to dry up a bit since Mariner entrusted Yorkshireman Richard Eckersley with center back responsibilities (no small compliment from a Lancashire lad like Mariner...).
Their hosts meanwhile, have experienced an expected bounce in the switch from the my-way-or-the-highway rule of Peter Nowak to his more open number two, John Hackworth. Hackworth has got his side playing an open 4-3-3, found places for promising youngsters Amobi Okugo and Jack McInerney, got Sheanon Williams and Michael Farfan playing effectively from their positions and generally lifted the mood of the squad and the crowd - a mood that had curdled noticeably towards the end of Nowak's reign.
So both sides come into this game with the teams in front of them firmly in their sights (Philadelphia), or at least not a million miles away (Toronto) and both coming off decent results - an eye-catching midweek away win for Philadelphia, at LA Galaxy, and a 1-1 away tie at Dallas that followed a similar score at home against New York, for Toronto. The game also has the edge of Philadelphia being the side Toronto got their first points of the season against, after 9 straight losses, so forthcoming cup game or not, and weary travelers or not, the Union won't want to let that one lie.
More on the sides, build up and team news etc in a minute, but for now fan yourself a little faster and get ready to tweet your fevered thoughts to @KidWeil or email firstname.lastname@example.org as we get ready for kick off. And whilst you're waiting, here are the highlights of Philadelphia's game at Los Angeles, featuring a couple of rather lovely Union goals to whet the appetite.
انسخ الكود التالى و ضعه فى موقعك او مدونتك.