Philadelphia Union 1, Toronto FC 3 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

Toronto FC made a head-turning statement at Talen Energy Stadium on Saturday night, clinically dispatching a game Philadelphia Union side 3-1 to stay hot on the trail of Eastern Conference leaders New York City FC.

Sebastian Giovinco coolly finished a beautifully-constructed passing move to open the scoring. Philly (9-9-7, 34 pts) responded with a diving header from Ken Tribbett, but their Canadian visitors did them one better with a similar set-piece strike by Drew Moor mere minutes later. 

A relentless Jozy Altidore powered past Tribbett to seal the result with a rampaging turn just before halftime, and the Union found no way back into contention despite plenty of the ball and some fluid passing sequences.

Toronto FC (11-7-7, 40 pts) are now 5-1 in their last six league games and remain just one point back of NYCFC for top spot in the East. 

Box Score

Three Things

1. RAMPAGING REDS: Last week in Houston, Toronto coach Greg Vanney spoke of his team's hunger to climb into first place and how it made them overeager to attack the Dynamo. On Saturday they got the balance just right. TFC soaked up the Union's pressure, then looked dangerous nearly every time they broke forward. The speed and precision of their attacking transitions were breathtaking at times, and that top spot may be theirs soon enough. 

2. JOZY UNLEASHED: Altidore pitched in with another promising display on his steady climb back to full fitness and form. His hold-up play was excellent, he pestered Philly's defenders as they tried to build play...and made Tribbett look far smaller and weaker than he actually is with this bull-in-a-china-shop run:

3. PHILLY FLUFF THEIR LINES: After stopping a four-game winless skid with last week's 4-0 thumping of New England, the Union had a great chance to build momentum in this occasion at home, especially with new signing Alejandro Bedoya finding his feet. They could have even drawn level with TFC on points had they won Saturday. But instead they gave the impression of a naive team still a rung or two below Toronto in the East pecking order. More work to be done for Jim Curtin & Co. 

Next Up

  • PHI: Wednesday at Columbus (7:30 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
  • TOR: Wednesday at Orlando (7:30 pm ET; TSN4 in Canada, MLS LIVE in US)