Seeing PPL Park previously on television was one thing, but being there on Saturday to broadcast the game on 6abc was an even better experience. While HD is spectacular, nothing brings it all home as much as being there in the stadium.
Looking down from the television press box, the view is amazing. Seeing the Commodore Barry Bridge behind the goal with the Delaware River below gives PPL Park a very unique look.
The game itself was a good one. I was sure that Michael Orozco Fiscal’s strong header was going to be enough and that Chris Seitz would finally get that elusive first shutout.
Toronto’s Chad Barrett had other ideas, however, and for a while it looked like the same old story. One big mistake or letdown, one big goal allowed.
As it turned out, the way the game went was better for television and for the fans. Nothing more dramatic than a penalty kick goal moments before the final whistle to seal the deal and give the Union three much needed and certainly deserved points.
And who else would step up to score the goal? It had to be Sebastien Le Toux who is making purple shoes look more like gold. Forget about the goal and assist that he scored in this game. How about his work rate for 90 minutes plus stoppage time in incredible heat? Some may work as hard as he does (Alejandro Moreno), but no one outworks Le Toux.
Good to see him recognized again as the MLS Player of the Week, which he wins for the second time this season.
Le Toux also received more recognition when he was named to the MLS All Star team on Monday. You could surely argue that he could have made the first XI that was announced last week, but let’s not quibble. Bottom line is that he is an All Star. So Le Toux gets to see Manchester United twice in a short period of time. He will see them Wednesday at the Linc when the Union take on this storied side and again next week at Reliant Stadium in Houston, as Manchester United is the opponent for the MLS All Stars.
This is a good break for Philadelphia with just the Manchester United game mid-week and nothing else until July 31st at home vs New England. Injured players like Moreno, Roger Torres, Shea Salinas and others will have some time to heal.
They will need everyone healthy and contributing as they try to climb into the playoff race.