By JOSE M. ROMERO
Those who high-tailed it out of BMO Field at halftime for their favorite pub to watch the UEFA Champions League final might have wished they'd stuck around. Or not.
Had those fans stayed, they would have seen the most goals for a single team in MLS this season to date, and the most combined goals for two teams in MLS in 2011. They would have seen Toronto FC trim a three-goal deficit to one, only to see the visiting Philadelphia Union regain control in a wild second half.
Unfortunately for the Red Patch Boys and other Toronto FC fans, the home team was on the bad end of the scoring outburst, as the Union toyed with a shoddy Toronto backline and thumped the Reds 6-2.
Danny Mwanga had two goals and an assist and Justin Mapp added a brace of his own to lead the Eastern Conference-leading Union to their second road win in MLS play. The Union (6-3-2) entered the game with eight total goals in MLS games; now it is at 14 with the most wins among all teams in the East.
Toronto FC (2-5-6) is winless in its past four MLS games. This was a performance that drew several rounds of loud boos from the home crowd, and possibly landed coach Aron Winter on the hot seat.
The Union scored the first of three consecutive goals in the second minute of the match. Gabriel Farfan one-timed a cross from Jordan Harvey and had plenty of space to fire away for his first career MLS goal.
In the 11th minute, Kyle Nakazawa tapped the ball to Mapp, who found open space to take a touch and dribble before shooting the ball past a helpless Stefan Frei, who got virtually no help from his defenders all afternoon.
TFC not only missed chances early, it missed connecting passes. In the 35th minute, Richard Eckersley and Joao Plata almost connected for a goal in transition but Plata's shot was just over the goal.
Nakazawa was the beneficiary of a giveaway by TFC in the the 44th minute. A quick restart was stolen by Mapp, who passed to Sebastien Le Toux, who passed to Mwanga, who found Nakazawa for the Union's third goal.
Winter made a couple of halftime substitutions, one that paid immediate dividends in midfielder Danleigh Borman. After Frei stopped a breakaway shot by Mwanga in the 49th minute, Maicon Santos broke free to take a long pass from Borman. Santos dribbled past Philly goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who was too far out in the goal box, and scored into an empty net in the 50th minute.
For about 15 minutes of the second half, Toronto FC was the better team, and it looked to be on the way to a big comeback when TFC took advantage of a giveaway by Le Toux. Borman passed to Santos for a goal to make the score 3-2.
Mapp's second goal made it 4-2 in the 62nd minute. How good a day was it for the Union? Mondragon came very close to a goal kick goal when Frei misjudged the long kick.
In truth, Philadelphia could have scored a couple of more goals beyond the six it tallied. Mwanga got his brace with goals in the 72nd minute and the 89th, the shots coming against out-of-position Toronto defenders.