Reds crash back down

Brian Carroll of the Philadelphia Union kicks the ball past Danny Koevermans of the Toronto FC at...

Brian Carroll of the Philadelphia Union kicks the ball past Danny Koevermans of the Toronto FC at PPL Park on July 8, 2012 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (DREW HALLOWELL/Getty Images/AFP)

RICHARD MAUNTAH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:26 PM ET

PHILADELPHIA - Toronto FC has played well of late. But if it wasn’t clear before that this team has a significant way to go before becoming a consistent, competitive entity in Major League Soccer, Sunday’s effort in Philadelphia should deliver that message.

The five-game unbeaten streak came to an end with a loud thud at PPL Park in a 3-0 defeat to the Philadelphia Union.

And if that team continues to play the way they have the past few matches under new head coach John Hackworth, they will be moving up the MLS East ranks while Toronto FC can pretty much move the rest of the furniture into the basement.

The score line after the opening half was 2-0. It could well have been 8-0.

Gabriel Gomez gave the home side the lead in the 34th minute off a nice cross from Jack McInerney. Gomez slid the ball quietly to the left corner of the net as there seemed to have been confusion on the part of the Toronto defence.

Two minutes later, Gabriel Farfan took a cross from McInerney and slid a nice pass to an open Freddy Adu who found the net in almost the exact spot to give the Union their halftime lead.

But it could have been worse. Adu had two shots blocked earlier in the game by Richard Eckersley. Goalkeeper Milos Kocic made a good save on McInerney. Logan Emory took a good scoring chance away from Lionard Pajoy.

In all, Philadelphia had 80% of the first-half possession and Toronto FC was barely visible in the Philadelphia end.

TFC did make inroads offensively in the second half as it seemed Danny Koevermans, Ryan Johnson, and Reggie Lambe in particular showed an effort to get things going.

But the Union made it difficult for TFC to put the sustained pressure needed to create chances.

Koevermans had a header from close range saved by Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath early in the half but real chances still evaded them.

The Union made it 3-0 when Michael Farfan intercepted a Logan Emory clearing attempt and slid a pass to Antoine Hoppenot who easily found the net. TFC had one more good opportunity to break the shutout when a Johnson attempt from close range was saved by MacMath.

Kovermans took a shot on the rebound but Sheanon Williams was on the goal line for the clearance.

Head coach Paul Mariner gave the Union their full credit but also thought TFC’s recent string of games had something to do with their lethargy.

“Seven games in 23 days — five on the road playing the same players — is a tall order,” he said. “They were sharper than us in the first half. We tried to quell it a little bit, but the movement was excellent from John’s team.

“We had a little re-group at halftime. Tried to move the ball a little bit in the second half, but it was just too much for us.”

That schedule doesn’t get any easier yet. Toronto FC returns to BMO Field on Wednesday to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.

 


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