Osorio con­tin­ues hot play with two away goals against Philadel­phia ... Van­ney happy to get some play­ers back in their reg­u­lar spots ... Philly ‘spe­cial’ for Bono

Sunday Sports - - SPORTS -

CH­ESTER, Pa. — He might not have the name recog­ni­tion or the big salary of some

Jonathan of his team­mates, but Osorio

has been an in­te­gral part of Toronto FC’s suc­cess for some time now.

Osorio was a piv­otal starter on last year’s all-time great Ma­jor League Soc­cer cham­pion TFC side and re­cently won the Golden Boot as top goal scorer in the CONCACAF Cham­pi­ons League tour­na­ment, which the Reds nearly won. He also took cen­tre stage in Fri­day night’s big road win against the Philadel­phia Union, scor­ing both goals.

“He’s been on fire this en­tire sea­son. He’s been a spe­cial player for us this year, a real spark­plug,” Toronto

Alex Bono goal­keeper told re­porters after the win.

“I think he had a re­ally good per­for­mance and he keeps ty­ing it to­gether and I’m re­ally happy for him.”

Osorio now leads the club with four league tal­lies and also has an as­sist. After scor­ing his first brace, he has a new goal: “I wanted a hat trick badly, but it didn’t come,” said a smil­ing Osorio. “It’s a nice lit­tle mile­stone, it’s good. Hope­fully one game I’ll have a hat trick.”

The 25-year-old Bramp­ton na­tive holds the club record for most ap­pear­ances and is ea­ger to help spear­head this year’s turn­around, after a dis­mal start to the cam­paign for the club.

“More than any­thing, I’m just happy we got the win, hope­fully we can get mo­men­tum,” Osorio said. “We set a goal for these last three games (be­fore the 11-day World Cup break) so (Wed­nes­day against D.C. United is) the last game, we get the win we think we’ll put our­selves in a po­si­tion to be suc­cess­ful for the rest of the year. This game on Wed­nes­day is so im­por­tant it’s a game we re­ally need three points from.”

NOT GET­TING EX­CITED

Greg Reds head coach Van­ney

was pleased with the vic­tory, but didn’t see a fan­tas­tic per­for­mance out of his side by any means. Still, he wasn’t about to com­plain about an away shutout.

“To go on the road and get three points is im­por­tant, es­pe­cially given where we are, so we’ll take it,” Van­ney said be­fore adding, “I think there are some good things in there and some things we have to work on; that’s what the mid­dle of the sea­son is about.”

For Van­ney, it ap­peared that get­ting some play­ers back in their reg­u­lar po­si­tions

Michael (such as Bradley

in the mid­field) and let­ting them get fa­mil­iar with each other again was the key take­away from the Philadel­phia match.

“We’re start­ing to get guys into their nat­u­ral po­si­tions, which is im­por­tant for our team. Ob­vi­ously, we’ve got some guys out who haven’t played much in a while so get­ting them sharper and get­ting them min­utes is im­por­tant,” Van­ney said.

Ni­co­las Mid­fielder Hasler,

who had missed five games, had a few no­tice­able is­sues with his tim­ing early on, but set­tled in as the night went on. More play­ers are near­ing re­turns.

“Right now it’s all about get­ting as many guys back, get­ting back to what is sort of our orig­i­nal look and try­ing to get sharper as we go,” Van­ney said.

THE MID­FIELD GEN­ERAL

Osorio was thrilled to have Bradley back with him in the mid­field.

“It’s just his most com­fort­able po­si­tion. He’s done a great job for us. He’s stepped up in a way most play­ers couldn’t do. He played well, played a con­ti­nen­tal fi­nal for us (out of po­si­tion on de­fence). But ob­vi­ously we want him back in the mid­field. He’s our en­gine and it showed to­day,” Osorio said.

Van­ney echoed those thoughts.

“His pres­ence is enor­mous for us, his ca­pac­ity to read things and close things down, his abil­ity to drive other peo­ple around him and com­mu­ni­cate and get guys go­ing, all of that is im­por­tant.”

FA­MIL­IAR PLACE

Bono clearly en­joys play­ing in Penn­syl­va­nia. The Syra­cuse na­tive played at nearby Read­ing when he was younger, re­cently earned a shutout here in his first ap­pear­ance for the U.S. na­tional team and has han­dled the Union well over the years in Ch­ester, sit­u­ated close to the Philadel­phia air­port.

“This place will al­ways have a lit­tle spe­cial place in my heart … I like play­ing here in Philly, it’s a cool sta­dium a cool at­mos­phere with the brick be­hind every­thing,” Bono said. “Fans are al­ways pretty ruth­less here, so for me that’s al­ways kind of fun to play in front of.”

To that last point, the bois­ter­ous crowd was all over Se­bas­tian Giovinco

after the striker writhed in pain and held his face for a while after tak­ing a swipe to the head. He was ser­e­naded with a 30-se­cond “assh---” chant.

Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio (right) re­acts after scor­ing dur­ing the first half against the Philadel­phia Union on Fri­day.

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