Saturday, October 15, 2011

Union clinch playoff berth, earn 1-1 draw with Toronto

Chester, Pa. – The Philadelphia Union clinched their first-ever playoff berth on Saturday, playing to a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC in front of a record crowd of 19,178 at PPL Park.

Sebastien Le Toux boosted his MVP credentials with his 10th goal in 11 games on an assist from Justin Mapp.

The Union (11-7-15) are now tied with Sporting Kansas City (12-9-12) atop the Eastern Conference with one game to play in the regular season. SKC holds the tiebreaker based on goals scored.

Ryan Johnson scored for Toronto to erase Le Toux's tally, his third goal of the season.

The Union had some chances to score early in the game, thanks to some excellent passing sequences from Sheanon William and Michael Farfan, but the team could not convert.  In the 29th minute, a curling free kick from Freddy Adu was knocked away by Milos Kocic, who finished with six big saves for Toronto.

Le Toux gave the Union a 1-0 advantage just before halftime when Toronto failed to clear the ball, setting up midfielder Justin Mapp in the offensive third. Mapp found an open Le Toux who dribbled to his right and buried a shot into the bottom left corner of the net, past a diving Kocic.

Toronto FC didn’t get on the scoreboard until early in the second half when Ryan Johnson finished off a cross from teammate Nick Soolsma with a quick first touch that just missed Union goalkeeper Faryd Mondragón.

Mondragón, making his first start since Sept. 3 after missing seven straight games with a broken finger, finished with three saves for Philly.

With the game tied at 1-1, the Union pushed hard for the win, even though a tie would have been enough to clinch a playoff berth.

A few more chances came and went for the Union, who wrapped up their home schedule with a 7-1-9 record at PPL Park.

The Union will play their regular-season finale Thursday night at Red Bull Arena with first place in the Eastern Conference on the line.

Scoring Summary:

PHI -- Sebastien Le Toux 11 (Justin Mapp 4) 42
TOR -- Ryan Johnson 3 (Nick Soolsma 5) 57

Toronto FC -- Milos Kocic, Doneil Henry (Kyle Davies 69), Ty Harden, Andy Iro, Ashtone Morgan, Matt Stinson, Eric Avila, Torsten Frings (Nathan Sturgis 54), Nick Soolsma, Joao Plata (Gianluca Zavarise 59), Ryan Johnson.

Substitutes Not Used: Danny Koevermans, Peri Marosevic, Mikael Yourassowsky, Stefan Frei.

TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Ryan Johnson 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 tied with 1); FOULS: 7 (Ryan Johnson 2, Matt Stinson 2); OFFSIDES: 2 (Ryan Johnson 2); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Eric Avila 4); SAVES: 5 (Milos Kocic 5)

Philadelphia Union -- Faryd Mondragon, Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan, Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Freddy Adu (Jack McInerney 62), Justin Mapp (Roger Torres 76), Veljko Paunovic (Danny Mwanga 72), Sebastien Le Toux.

Substitutes Not Used: Stefani Miglioranzi, Kyle Nakazawa, Amobi Okugo, Zac MacMath.

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (3 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Sheanon Williams 2); FOULS: 11 (Freddy Adu 3); OFFSIDES: 5 (Sebastien Le Toux 2); CORNER KICKS: 5 (Sebastien Le Toux 2, Justin Mapp 2); SAVES: 2 (Faryd Mondragon 2)

Misconduct Summary:

TOR -- Andy Iro (caution; Reckless Tackle) 43

Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Referee's Assistants: Eric Proctor; Daniel Belleau
4th Official: Drew Fischer
Attendance: 19,178
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Sunny-and-65-degrees

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