Union honor Sebastien Le Toux with highlight reel win over Whitecaps

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Union honor Sebastien Le Toux with highlight reel win over Whitecaps

BOX SCORE

CHESTER, Pa. — Borek Dockal and the Union honored Sebastien Le Toux’s induction into the Ring of Honor the best way they knew how: With an offensive onslaught. 

Dockal scored twice and Ilsinho, Fafa Picault buried penalty kicks, as the Union took down the Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-0, Saturday at Talen Energy Stadium. Andre Blake earned the no-save shutout. 

The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Union to move their record to 6-7-3. It also broke a six-game unbeaten run for the Whitecaps, who fall to 6-6-5. 

• After spending the first 23 minutes almost exclusively in the Whitecaps’ end, the Union finally broke free in the 24th minute. Inside the box, Ilsinho and Dockal made an exchange in traffic that resulted in Dockal with a clean left-footed shot for the 1-0 Union lead.

• He wasn’t done. In the 71st, Dockal worked his defender after accepted an in-box pass from Alejandro Bedoya. He took two steps and beat Brian Rowe to the left side to give the Union the 2-0 advantage. 

• It was Dockal’s fourth and fifth goal of the season and fourth in his last six games. After a slow start, he has been on fire for the Union. 

• One downside to the match is C.J. Sapong’s struggle. Despite the overwhelming pressure in the first half, Sapong wasn’t able to muster more than a couple wasted chances, forcing Union manager Jim Curtin to pull him in the 66th minute for Cory Burke. 

• Sapong has only two shots on goal (one on Saturday) since May, and hasn’t scored since April 28. It’s a troubling trend for the starting forward. 

• Burke made his presence felt immediately by earning an in-box foul after being hauled down by Jose Aja, who earned the straight red. Lining up for the kick wasn’t Dockal for the hat trick, but Ilsinho, who ripped his shot over Rowe for 3-0 Union lead. It was his fourth goal of the season. 

• And that wasn’t the only red card or penalty kick. In stoppage time of the second half, Yordy Reyna fouled Picault in the box for his second yellow and ejection. Burke lined up for the PK, but Picault pulled him away, then buried the goal. 

• Entering the match, the Union were at a disadvantage. Haris Medunjanin was issued an addition two games to a red-card suspension he earned against Atlanta United on June 2. In his spot, veteran Warren Creavalle sat behind Alejandro Bedoya in the midfield. 

• Le Toux was honored at half time and his name was placed in the Union’s Ring of Honor opposite the River End. Le Toux, who still lives in the city, spent six seasons with the Union and leads them in almost all offensive categories. 

• The Union players wore armbands with the initials WB to honor the late Walter Bahr, a Philadelphia-area soccer legend who died June 18. Bahr is considered one of U.S. Soccer’s greatest players and influencers. He was 91. 

Union's U.S. Open Cup dominance continues against Red Bulls

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Union's U.S. Open Cup dominance continues against Red Bulls

CHESTER, Pa. — Alejandro Bedoya and Cory Burke led the way Saturday night, as the Union eliminated the New York Red Bulls from the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 win at Talen Energy Stadium in the Round of 16.

"It was a very good win against a very good team," said Union manager Jim Curtin. "Survive and advance mentality. We’re three wins away from a trophy, which is something to be proud of."

After taking down the Richmond Kickers to open the tournament, the Union’s victory Saturday sends them to the quarterfinals on July 18, where they will host either regional foes DC United or Orlando City.

• The win was a continuation of an eye-popping 12-match Open Cup unbeaten streak for the Union, who haven’t suffered a regulation loss since 2014. When it comes to the Open Cup, the Union are hard to beat, which they showed against the Red Bulls. 

• Despite it being an Open Cup game, the match had MLS regular-season flavor. The Red Bulls hit the field with a strong starting lineup that included Tyler Adams, Kaku and Luis Robles. In return, the Union dressed Bedoya, Haris Medunjanin, Andre Blake and Ilsinho.

• Those lineup decisions made for an exciting but fruitless opening half. Both teams worked to strike on the counter by using pressure to jar the ball loose. Led by Fafa Picault, the back-and-forth equalled 17 total shots, with the Union claiming eight of their 11 attempts from inside the box. 

• Eventually, the Union those attempts would begin going in. In the 52nd minute, the Union took the 1-0 lead, when working down the right side into Red Bulls territory, Bedoya cut to the middle and slid possession over to Medunjanin. The veteran faked out his defender and ripped a shot that appeared to deflect and beat Robles.

• The goal seemed to unlock something in the Union. Nearly 10-minutes later, Burke made it 2-0 when a Bedoya pass found him between two defenders. Burke, who had been on the doorstep of a goal all night, broke away and slipped his shot to the right. Bedoya finished with two assists. 

"He’s playing at his highest level for us," Curtin said. "He’s taken a bigger leadership role and tonight was an excellent game from him. Our team will go as our central midfield goes." 

• To catch up, the Red Bulls called on some heavy artillery. In the 60th minute, Bradley Wright-Phillips subbed in for Daniel Royer. He scored in the 77th minute, cutting the Union’s defense, then the lead, in half.

• The Union look to carry Open Cup momentum into the MLS regular season, when they face the Vancouver Whitecaps on June 23 at Talen Energy Stadium.

Mistakes, missed opportunities sink Union in shutout loss to Toronto FC

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Mistakes, missed opportunities sink Union in shutout loss to Toronto FC

BOX SCORE

CHESTER, Pa. — With impact players missing on both sides, Friday’s match at Talen Energy Stadium came down to efficiency in the offensive end. 

Toronto FC won that battle. Pouncing on two defensive-zone mistakes, Jonathan Osorio scored twice as the Union fell, 2-0.

It was the Union’s second consecutive defeat as they fell to 5-7-3. Toronto FC claimed its fourth win of the season, moving its record to 4-7-2. Including the playoffs, the Union haven't defeated Toronto in 10 straight games.

• Without Jozy Altidore and Drew Moor, Toronto FC entered Friday’s match with one win in its last five games and appeared ripe for defeat. But despite the club’s struggles, it forced the Union into playing from behind for nearly the entire contest.

• In the 13th minute, the Union received two chances to take control. First, Fafa Picault was sprung loose into Toronto territory but was stuffed on his breakaway shot that was placed into Alex Bono’s body. Bono finished with the four-save shutout.

• Immediately following that play, as the ball went back down the field, Ilsinho stripped Michael Bradley for a partial breakaway of his own. His shot trickled well wide.

• Those misses would cost the Union (see story), as five minutes later Toronto would capitalize. Osorio slipped between to defenders to accept a sneaky pass from Victor Vazquez. Unlike the Union’s breakaways, Osorio didn’t miss the net to grab the 1-0 Toronto lead.

• It should be noted Ray Gaddis had an impressive game. While also frustrating Sebastian Giovinco, the left back had two shots, one on goal. He was active on the offensive end despite lacking finish.

• The Union were without midfielders Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin as a result of red-card suspensions. In their place, Borek Dockal, normally the center attacking midfielder, moved back to the No. 8 spot for Bedoya, while Warren Creavalle was activated at the No. 6 spot for Medunjanin. Ilsinho moved into the No. 10 spot.

• The Union nearly found an opening in the 58th minute, when Picault cut inside and ripped a right-footed shot from the top of the box. The strong attempt curled in but found the crossbar and ejected out. It’s the closest the Union would come to tying the game in the second half.

• But an egregious Union error would ultimately doom them in the 79th. Keegan Rosenberry’s own-zone throw-in was intercepted by Giovinco at the top of the box. The Italian played it forward to a streaking Osorio for the easy 2-0 Toronto lead. 

• In a surprise move down one, Union manager Jim Curtin tapped Derrick Jones for Marcus Epps in the 69th minute. It was Jones’ first minutes since March 3, when he played five minutes against the New England Revolution. It was just his third appearance in almost a calendar year.

• The Union will have time to think about Friday’s loss. They don’t return to MLS action until June 23, when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps.