Union II

Blistering first half sees Union II defeat Toronto FC II


Philadelphia Union II racked up four goals in the first half to take down Toronto FC II by a 4-0 margin in Canada on Sunday afternoon.

After missing a significant amount of starters in their midweek contest against rivals Red Bulls II, Head Coach Marlon LeBlanc’s squad was back to full strength for the second showdown against Toronto. Goalkeeper Mike Sheridan started between the sticks with the defensive pairing of Neil Pierre and Olwethu Makhanya as center back anchors. Sanders Ngabo, CJ Olney and David Vazquez returned to the lineup as well in the midfield to provide some sparks which was noticeable from the jump.

Union II came out flying in the first half as they broke into the scorebook in the eighth minute on a finish from captain Kyle Tucker. Going direct in the attack, Ngabo sprayed a diagonal pass to the left side for Frankie Westfield who took a touch forward before threading the ball to the feet of Olney. The midfield turned and whipped in a cross for Eddy Davis III that beat the keeper but crashed off the post but right to Tucker for the tap in finish.

Four minutes later Davis III would get on the board with defensive pressure giving Toronto FC II issues. Pressing high up the pitch, a poor pass was intercepted by Vazquez in the offensive third. He shot a pass to the boots of Olney at the top of the box and took the full attention of the scrambling Canadian backline. Seeing space open up, Olney flicked an inside out pass to Davis for the one-timer and he converted for his seventh goal of the 2024 campaign.

The Boys in Blue weren’t nearly done as Westfield added to the scoring for Union II in the 20th minute of play. Again it was a tremendous display of passing into open space with the left back pressed up the field and hitting a centering pass to forward Leandro Soria as he dropped into the midfield. Westfield continued his run forward and got the ball back and turned on all the skill stick moves to beat a pair of Young Red defenders and then getting around the keeper to make it a 3-0 advantage.

Philly kept on pushing and added a fourth just as the clock went past the half hour mark. Pierre won possession and punted it forward to Westfield just past the center stripe. Sensing a counter attacking opportunity was on the cards, the left back flicked a pass over the Canadian back line and into the path of Davis III. Watching it bounce twice over his shoulder, the 18-year-old forward converted with a clinical finish from a tight angle to collect the first brace of his MLS NEXT Pro career.

With the damage done in the first 45 minutes, Union II knew it they'd get the best effort from the homeside in the second half. After being held without a single shot on target in the first half, Toronto FC II would finally test Sheridan in the 76th minute when Marko Stojadinovic attempted a long range shot that skipped off the pitch but right into the gloves of the 22-year-old.

The Eastern Conference leading Union II continues its road trip to start off July as they head back to New Hampshire for another battle with New England Revolution II on Saturday, July 6th. Kick off from Mark. A Oulette Stadium is set for 7PM with the match free to all on MLSNEXTPro.com.