Some streaks were meant to be broken.
Toronto FC defeated the Union for the first time since 2012 and for the first time ever the Reds won in Philadelphia. The Reds also kept a clean sheet in back-to-back victories on the road in MLS play for the first time.
It was also a special moment for Chris Konopka, who recorded his first MLS win in style with a clean sheet against his former club.
The Reds emerge from their seven game road trip to start the season with nine points after a 1-0 win at PPL Park. For comparisons sake, Sporting Kansas City managed six points during a 10 game road trip to begin their 2011 campaign. That team ended up winning the east by two points.
Before we start making horrible plan the parade route jokes, obviously there is a lot to be done. But for now we can savour a spectacular goal by Sebastian Giovinco and another clean sheet on the road.
Here are three takeaways from the match
Who Needs The Ball?
For the second game in a row TFC lost the possession battle, but won the game and that is not by accident.
Last week Orlando had 64.9 percent of the possession. This week the Union had 66 percent, but the Reds were composed at the back. Once again Greg Vanney employed two lines of four behind Giovinco and Jozy Altidore and aside from shaky moments, TFC played good defensive football as Philadelphia registered just one shot on goal.
Damien Perquis led the charge, clearing the ball from danger areas on multiple occasions. Ashtone Morgan continues to thrive at left back. Konopka got his fingertips to a swerving Cristian Maidana strike that struck the crossbar towards the end of the first half but that, along with a free header by Fernando Aristeguieta that went over the bar, was about it in terms of legitimate chances for the home side.
For Toronto, a team that struggled to keep the ball out of the net through five games until the Orlando match , that’s big.
Giovinco The Great
Moments of genius.
That’s why Sebastian Giovinco was brought into the fold and he continues to deliver. Four goals and three assists through seven games is just about as good as it gets.
The Atomic Ant’s incredible knuckler of a free kick in the 34th minute was worth the price of admission alone.
It wasn’t just the goal. His touch on the ball is superb and his vision, knowing where his teammates are and where they’re going to go, may be even better.
Following the game Vanney indicated Seba is rounding into form. The fact he’s not at the zenith of his powers should scare goalkeepers across the league.
Nasty Left Back Gets 100
Ashtone Morgan made history on Saturday, becoming the first Toronto FC player to reach 100 appearances.
Last season he was buried on the bench. Injuries forced him into a starting role this year and Morgan has seized the opportunity.
"I'm extremely proud of Ashtone,” said Vanney after the match. The Toronto native has battled through adversity, emerging as one of the mainstays on a defensive unit that is finding their footing three months into the season.
“Every footballer goes through their tough times and it’s about how you rebound and how you get back out of that place,” said Morgan at the end of March.
The nasty left back has found the light.