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Union II earns extra point in shootout after thrilling 3-3 draw with Toronto FC II



Philadelphia Union II celebrate after a kick from the penalty spot gets converted.
Photo by Jack Verdeur

Six goals between Philadelphia Union II and Toronto FC II provided fans an entertaining MLS NEXT Pro match at Subaru Park. Union II would come away with the extra point after scoring all five of their penalties and getting a big save from Holden Trent in the final round of the shootout.

Union II would start off the better side, and their hard work would quickly pay off. After great buildup play in the midfield, Jeremy Rafanello pounced on a loose ball in the box, beating Tomas Romero at his near post. This was Rafanello’s first goal of the season. Just moments later, Rafanello lofted a ball down the far side for Chris Donovan. The striker found Jose Riasco with a low cross, making it 2-0 Union II. Riasco would stay down injured but ended up staying in the match.

Former Philadelphia Union Academy product and Bethlehem Steel goalkeeper Tomas Romero started in net for Toronto FC II. The Cherry Hill, NJ native would exit the game in the 21st minute with an apparent shoulder injury. Substitute goalie Luka Gavran would take his place. 

Philadelphia would go into the halftime interval up two thanks to a quick spurt of goals. Despite being out-possessed by Toronto, Union II outshot the visitors 10 to 2, with five of them being on target. 

Head coach Marlon LeBlanc made a change at the half, bringing Nelson Pierre on for Chris Donovan in a like-for-like substitution. Donovan was lively for Union II, collecting an assist on Jose Riasco’s goal and playing a facilitator role for the Union’s attack.

Toronto’s strong possession and passing numbers would finally get them back into the game. In the 56th minute, Antony Curic beat David Vazquez on a Toronto corner kick and squeezed a header past Holden Trent. Just over 10 minutes later, Hugo Mbongue fired a low-driven shot on goal, beating Trent at the far post. 

Union II would see their lead completely evaporate in the 74th minute. Substitute Anton Sorenson took down Themi Antonolglou in the penalty area, conceding a spot kick and receiving a yellow card. Jesus Batiz just got it past the fingertips of the diving Trent.

However, there was another twist to the tale at Subaru Park. Almost out of nothing, Union II equalized the game at three. Stefan Stojanovic beat Gavran to a Brandan Craig through ball, calmly placing it into the empty net from 30 yards away. The goalie miscue helped the home side earn a point and send the match to kicks from the penalty spot. 

Both sides found the back of the net in the first four rounds of the shootout. In the fifth round, it was Holden Trent who played hero for Union II. The Philadelphia Union draft pick dove to his right, punching Kosi Thompson’s penalty kick away. Richard Odada stepped up to win it for Union II, nonchalantly chipping it down the middle. Union II collected the extra point after kicks from the penalty spot, leaving Subaru Park with two out of three possible points.  

Union II will travel to Atlanta next Sunday to play Atlanta United II at Fifth Third Bank Stadium.



PHI – Jeremy Rafanello 13’
PHI – Jose Riasco (Donovan) 14’
TFC – Antony Curic (Faria) 56’
TFC – Hugo Mbongue (Batiz) 68’
TFC – Jesus Batiz (PK) 74’
PHI – Stefan Stojanovic (Craig) 82’


Round 1:
TFC – Curic (Goal)
PHI – Craig (Goal)

Round 2:
TFC – Altobelli (Goal)
PHI – Pierre (Goal)

Round 3:
TFC – Antonoglou (Goal)
PHI – Stojanovic (Goal)

Round 4:
TFC – Batiz (Goal)
PHI – Perez (Goal)

Round 5:
TFC – Thompson (Save)
PHI – Odada (Goal)


PHI – Daniel Krueger 22’
PHI – Anton Sorenson 73’

Philadelphia Union II Lineup
Holden Trent; Juan Castillo (Anton Sorenson 61’), Brandan Craig, Daniel Krueger, Francis Westfield, Richard Odada, Pedro Alvarez (Alex Perez 81’), David Vazquez, Jeremy Rafanello (Stefan Stojanovic 69’), Chris Donovan (Nelson Pierre 46’), Jose Riasco (Luciano Sanchez 81’)

Substitutes not used: Brooks Thompson, Boubacar Diallo, Gino Portella, Nathan Nkanji 

Toronto FC II Lineup
Tomas Romero (Luka Gavran 21’); Jalen Watson (Markus Cimermancic 46’), Lazar Stefanovic, Adam Pearlman (Matthew Medeiros 46’), Themi Antonoglou, Antony Curic, Lucas Olguin, Kosi Thompson, Jordan Faria, Hugo Mbongue (Julian Altobelli 88’), Jesus Batiz

Substitutes not used: Alec Diaz, Ethan Kang, Adamo Pantaleo, Dekwon Barrow, Jovan Ivanisevic

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