Welcome back to another edition of Three Takeaways, a segment in which I dive in after each Philadelphia Union match, revisit and take a closer look at what went well and what ultimately did not.
On Friday, June 8, the Philadelphia Union took on Toronto Football Club at Talen Energy Stadium.
Missing two of their most prominent starters in Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin, due to suspension, the Union fell 2-0, to TFC.
Without Bedoya and Medunjamin, the Union struggled to find their footing and control the tempo of the game.
That said, here are my Three Takeaways from the Union’s latest game.
Fafa Picault Needs to Finish
Throughout the match, attacking midfielder Fafa Picault had many opportunities on goal, all of which could’ve helped the Union salvage a point at home.
In one such scenario, Picault received a long ball from teammate Warren Creavalle, and ended up a step or two ahead of two Toronto defenders. In the end, it was just keeper Alex Bono who stood in the way of the net and the ball.
However, Picault took one too many steps, and Bono was able to gather the ball and stop the opportunity. Picault showed low awareness of where he was and where those around him were, which cost the Union a goal and possible momentum.
Later in the match, Picault made a few near costly mistakes, including a poor cross to Keegan Rosenberry in the box in the first minute of added time in the first half, and two bad passes in the 50’ minute which led to a near goal scoring opportunity by TFC and the loss of an opportunity for Philadelphia.
In Picault’s defense, he did attempt an excellent shot that was, perhaps, the Union’s best chance of the match.
In the 58th minute, Borek Dockal led a drive downfield, and after being stopped in his tracks by a strong Toronto defense, moved the ball to winger Marcus Epps, who pushed the ball to Picault who stood just outside the box.
Picault hit the crossbar with a rocket of a shot. Despite exposing TFC multiple times throughout the match, Picault was unable to finish his opportunities, ultimately hurting his team’s prospects of collecting points.
Ray Gaddis: Have a Game
It is documented that I’m not a huge fan of Raymon Gaddis. He’s decent in his good games, but in his bad games, he can cause score altering mistakes. However, on Friday, Gaddis saved the Union more than a few times, having himself a great game.
In the 30th minute, Gaddis drove downfield, after a pass from Auston Trusty, and was arguably fouled by a Toronto defenseman. Gaddis still managed to get a shot off, though it went straight into the arms of Bono.
While it wasn’t a great shot, it was a solid chance that almost gave the Union the lead.
Later, in 48th, Gaddis caught up to a speeding Jay Chapman, stopping his opportunity with a clean tackle in the box.
Then later, when Bono sent a deep ball to TFC star forward Sebastian Giovinco, Gaddis was the only defenseman who managed to catch up to Giovinco and send the ball the other way down the field.
Friday was a potential career game for Gaddis, who showed off his worth as a veteran defender in a considerably young backline.
Keegan Rosenberry Needs to Improve
On the other side of the Union defense, Keegan Rosenberry did not have a very good game. And, while I’m a fan of the former Rookie of the Year candidate, against Toronto, he simply failed to show up.
Early in the game, in the 7th minute, Rosenberry let TFC midfielder Jonathan Osorio drift away from him, leading to a near goal after Osorio dished the ball off to Jay Chapman, who was unable to finish and sent the ball far away from the net.
Later, towards the end of the match, Rosenberry had a poor throw-in that fell to the feet of Osorio, with nobody in front of him except Union keeper Andre Blake. And, unlike Picault, he finished, making the game 2-0 and sealing a victory for Toronto.
Throughout the game, Rosenberry was beaten time and time again by Giovinco and Osorio, and the Ronks, PA native nearly let in a few goals from his flank due to the low intensity of his tracking.
Fans will surely be looking to see improvement from Rosenberry in the Union’s next outing.
Make sure to check back in two weeks, when the Union take on the Montreal Impact at Talen Energy Stadium, and hope to reboot their season with another win over the Canadians.