Back to BMO Field
Nobody wanted to be on the team that gave Toronto their first win of the season.
Flashback to May 26th, - a date that may have been the ultimate lowpoint in the Union's 2012 season.
Eighth place Philadelphia traveled to BMO Field to take on ninth place TFC in a matchup of struggling and desperate teams.
Toronto had not won a single game all year long.
But sure enough, after 90 uninspired and insipid minutes of football, Aron Winter's team came out on top, 1-0.
That win ended Toronto's nine game losing streak.
"Nobody likes that, the feeling we had on that day," explained Union manager John Hackworth, who was still an assistant under Peter Nowak in May. "Those are the kinds of feelings that you have as an athlete or a coach that you save and pick out when you need them. If that's a little extra motivation, then we can use that to our advantage."
Philadelphia did get revenge on Toronto after that loss. The Union hammered TFC 3-0 at PPL Park on July 8th.
Hackworth was at the controls as interim head coach.
"I think we have to recognize that Toronto is probably doing the same thing," Hackworth continued. "They came here, and obviously didn't get the result they wanted. So it's probably pretty evened out as far as both teams coming out Saturday (and wanting to win). Toronto is playing at home. I think they're an excellent team at home, and their crowd is behind them. Its been a tough place for us to get results. Thats our challenge, and I'm certain that we'll use every piece of motivation to go out and perform and try to get a good result."
Toronto FC also has a new man in charge. Paul Mariner took over for Aron Winter shortly after that 1-0 win back in May. But with his team eliminated from the playoffs and sitting in last place in MLS, his job is now similar to Hackworth's – finish 2012 on a positive note.
"I think Paul is a great coach," said Hackworth. "He's a good friend of mine, too. I have a lot of respect for him. I think he's trying to do all of the right things for that team and that club, that organization, in a very similar way to what we're trying to do here (in Philadelphia). There are a lot of similarities. I think we're both in a place where we want to make sure that we finish strong and build toward the future and try to figure out who those players are that are hopfully going to give us that bright future."
Philadelphia is 1-2-0 in three matches at BMO Field.
The Union dropped a 2-1 result to TFC in 2010, but followed up in 2011 with a dominating 6-2 win.