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TFC snaps 13-game winless streak with emphatic victory over Union

Alonso Coello Toronto FC Alonso Coello - The Canadian Press

TORONTO — Terry Dunfield walked into the press conference room at BMO Field beaming and full of energy.

The Toronto FC interim head coach just picked up his first win in nine games since taking over at the helm in late June and it came in convincing fashion.

Lorenzo Insigne got things rolling and Jonathan Osorio put the bow on a 3-1 TFC win over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

"It was incredible," Dunfield said. "How much fun was it watching our boys play?

"With all due respect to Philly, I just thought it was amazing for our guys to show their quality … really proud of the team."

Deandre Kerr scored the second of the three goals for Toronto (4-13-10), which snapped a 13-game winless streak (0-10-3) and sits last in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference.

TFC's last win came on May 27, a 2-1 victory over D.C. United.

Kerr said there was nothing buy joy in the locker room post-game.

"Just happiness, smiles everywhere," he said. "Feelings we haven't had in a long time."

TFC entered Wednesday having scored just two goals in its last eight games across all competitions — all losses — with both coming in a 3-2 defeat against CF Montreal on Aug. 20.

It was also the first time Toronto has scored more than two goals in a game all season.

"It was nothing from me, it was the guys," Dunfield said when asked what turned things in their favour. "Just before we went out, we just spoke about bringing some intensity.

"We knew at any moment (that) we weren't safe, that they could hurt us in the second (half) … at halftime we showed a bit of resilience and just added a little bit of intensity to our play.

"I think it was the last 10 weeks of work that the guys have put in … it was just really, really amazing to see it come together."

Julian Carranza scored for Philadelphia (13-6-7), which sits fourth in the East.

The victory came in TFC's first game since announcing the hiring of head coach John Herdman on Monday.

The 48-year-old, who had coached the Canadian senior men's national team since 2018, will take over for Dunfield on Oct. 1.

Dunfield, who Herdman said would be on his staff, has led the team since the firing of former head coach/sporting director Bob Bradley on June 26.

Insigne opened the scoring in the 23rd minute with his fourth of the season to the delight of the Toronto faithful.

He took a pass from Kerr from inside the box and sent in a low shot rolling left and out of reach from Union goalkeeper Andre Blake.

Carranza tied the game in the 45th minute. Mikael Uhre received a throw-in ball and sent in a cross that was headed by Alejandro Bedoya.

Toronto goalkeeper Tomas Romero couldn't get enough on the ball for a diving save and it went straight to Carranza who slotted it into the empty net.

Kerr restored Toronto's lead in the 58th minute. Kobe Franklin sent a long through ball to Federico Bernardeschi down the right side of the field.

Bernardeschi's pass inside was then tipped, forcing Kerr to turn the other way to corral the ball before firing it past Blake for his fourth of the year.

Osorio made it 3-1 just five minutes later on a beautiful sequence. Franklin displayed a great touch with a short cross into the box and Osorio followed through with a diving header that beat Blake for his second of the season.

Kerr almost scored his second of the game to make it 4-1 in the 67th minute but hit the left post from the right side after Bernardeschi found him open in the box.

"After a couple of tough initial plays, I thought his performance was excellent," Dunfield said of Kerr. "It's just too bad that one off the post just doesn't go in."


TFC signed defender Adam Pearlman to a short-term agreement from Toronto FC II for Wednesday's match. The 18-year-old was recently called up to TFC and made his first team debut against St. Louis City SC on July 8.


Toronto next hosts the Vancouver Whitecaps at BMO Field on Sept. 16. Philadelphia welcomes the New York Red Bulls to Subaru Park on Sept. 3.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 30, 2023.