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Late Kleberson winner lifts Union past TFC, into playoff position

Jose Kleberson, Daniel Cruz

The Philadelphia Union looked destined to settle for a disappointing draw that would have put a major dent in their playoff hopes, but an unlikely hero stepped up to deliver a goal that just might ultimately decide whether the Union reach the post-season.

Brazilian midfielder Kleberson scored a perfect free kick goal in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to help give the Union a 1-0 victory over Toronto FC at PPL Park on Saturday night.

The Brazilian World Cup winner had endured a largely disappointing season since joining the Union from Brazilian club Bahia in an exchange deal that sent Freddy Adu to Bahia, but Kleberson earned himself a ton of good will when he sent his free kick over the wall and past Joe Bendik to secure the Union’s second straight victory.

The Union struggled to put quality chances together, and looked like they might drop a decision when Fabinho was issued a red card in the 77th minute. TFC couldn’t capitalize on the man advantage though, as Philadelphia continued to press for an equalizer.

The win moved Philadelphia back into fifth place in the East, two points clear of the Chicago Fire, with three matches remaining.

Zac MacMath recorded four saves for his league-leading 12th shutout of the season.

Here are the match highlights:


  1. Went to last night’s game and the crowd went absolutely nuts when Kleberson scored. He was loving it, running around the field with a huge smile and hands raised in the air. It was a fantastic moment.

  2. Kleberson needs to play more. Hackworth claims he is washed up and too slow. He seems to play well when he gets the chance and the Union are desperate for a creative mid. Marfan and Daniel are clearly not good enough.

  3. Kleberson has only been disappointing in that he’s barely gotten a look on the field since he arrived. When he has played, he’s looked good, but has inexplicably been chained to the bench (when he’s even been honored with a spot in the 18). Most observers agree that Kleberson’s sole raison d’etre was to unload Freddy Adu and his gigantic salary (Kleberson, unlike Adu, is only a one-year loan). Sending him in last night was obviously a desperation move from Hackwork that happened to pay off. I hope he gets some more playing time.

    • Yeah, the powers that be are just afraid that the fans might get attached to someone who is being paid over 100k… Cheapest team. The day Philly sign a quality DP will be the day they finally contend and not just hang around

  4. Who was that clown of a ref. Cruz Is a goon. Should have been three reds for Union. And if TFC could finish Klebersons wicked free kick would have been irrelevant. Nothing to be proud of Philly.

    • Hey a win is a win and I’m proud of three points that keep us in the playoff race. I wouldn’t say Cruz deserved reds, maybe a yellow, but that’s just because he goes hard the entire 90, which is what I love about him.

    • Not sure I agree. Adu clearly has technical ability that’s head and shoulders above other folks, but it was pretty clear he was not working out. I think that if he were still here he’d be buried on the bench right next to Torres. I’m just happy that Kleberson paid off. Any luck we’ll start seeing him as a late game sub.


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