CHESTER, Pa. -- What was supposed to be a memorable home debut for Alejandro Bedoya and Charlie Davies ended in a bitter and lopsided loss, as the Union were steamrolled by high-powered Toronto FC on Saturday, 3-1, at Talen Energy Stadium.
“It just wasn’t our night,” said Union manager Jim Curtin. “Credit to Toronto, they are a very good team. Organized, tough to break down. They have guys that punish you if you make a mistake. They were clinical with their chances.”
The loss drops the Union, now 9-9-7, six points behind second-place Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference standings. The Canadian side moves to 11-7-7.
“We still know we’re doing a lot of things the right way,” Curtin said. “We’ve earned 34 points in this league, which is good. We’ll continue to pick up points down the stretch and get into the playoffs.”
It was an eventful first half for Ken Tribbett that ended in the center back being pulled in favor of Josh Yaro at halftime.
“The situation called for a quicker type player in Yaro,” Tribbett said.
With one sub down, Curtin tapped Roland Alberg and Fabian Herbers as his final two subs, leaving Davies on the bench, while Bedoya played the full 90.
“I didn’t think I would go 90 tonight but with the circumstances of the situation, I did,” Bedoya said. “It’s good I was able to go 90, get my fitness up.”
In the 18th minute, Marco Delgado found Sebastien Giovinco with a lead pass that placed the Italian along with Tribbett in the Union box. With ease, Giovinco flew by by the Union defender and fired off a shot that deflected off the right post and in for the 1-0 Toronto lead.
“It’s easy to play with good players,” said Toronto forward Jozy Altidore. “Seba’s first touch is nothing short of sublime, he puts himself in a good position to make the finish.”
It was his league-leading 16th goal this season.
“You don’t want to get beat by one pass, but that pass Delgado plays is an unbelievable ball,” Curtin said. “And the way Giovinco handles it without breaking stride is next level stuff.”
Then it was Tribbett’s turn. In the 24th minute, Tranquillo Barnetta absorbed a foul just yards from the Toronto FC box, giving himself a golden opportunity at goal. The Swiss playmaker placed a perfect free kick that found the head of streaking, 6-foot-2, Tribbett for the equalizer.
“I’d give more credit to Tranquillo because he put it in the absolute perfect place,” Tribbett said. “All I did was run and put my head on it. Perfect goal.”
Yet, the match would change for good in the 30th minute, when a Michael Bradley free kick found net off a diving header from Drew Moor, who beat Tribbett and squeaked his attempt between Blake and the right post for the 2-1 advantage. The visitors made it 3-1 in the 44th minute, when Jozy Altidore out-muscled Tribbett, then the entire Union defense before placing a shot past Blake.
“The second and third for me are unacceptable,” Curtin said. “As a back line, we need to do a good job but everyone needs to do a good job, as well.”