Match preview: Union looking to make win streak two in a row against Toronto FC
Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Where: PPL Park, Chester
TV: The Comcast Network with play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera and color analyst Alejandro Moreno
Radio: None; Online: Streaming webcast via MLS Live
Game information and notes: Click here
Records are irrelevant.
Toronto FC has won just five matches all season.
The Philadelphia Union have more than doubled that figure with 11 victories.
What does it all mean when these two clubs meet for a huge late-season match Saturday night at PPL Park? Not much, to be honest.
Toronto FC (5-15-11, 26 points) will be trying to play spoiler while the Union (11-10-9, 42 points) are looking for their second playoff berth in four seasons.
Nothing will come easy and the Union know it.
“Their roster has been shuffled a bit but (Bright) Dike coming in and scoring a goal last week was important for them,” Union manager John Hackworth said. “They are coming off a good win against D.C. and they will be confident coming in here.”
Following a 1-0 clean sheet at Sporting Kansas City, the Union are confident as well.
“They’ve got a lot of unique little players that a lot of teams probably haven’t heard of but are guys that are good players and can make things happen,” said Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who has recorded 11 shutouts this season. “And they proved that against D.C. last weekend. We obviously have to pay attention to each player and just play our game.”
Toronto FC can frustrate any club with its style of play.
It will be important for the Union to focus for 90 minutes.
“We understand the urgency, but we also understand we have to stay within ourselves,” captain Brian Carroll told philadelphiaunion.com. “We have to execute our plan and concentrate on our side. We can’t get caught up in other things. We have had god training sessions and we’re coming off a big win at Kansas City. We are back in the playoff picture and this game Saturday in front of our home fans is very big. We’re confident that if we stick to what we need to do, we’ll be successful.”
Previous matches against Toronto FC have been feisty. This one promises to be the same – especially with the playoff implications for the Union.
“We’ve had two tough games with them already and we were lucky to get a draw up there in Toronto,” Hackworth said. “This one is a tough game for us in all ways. Ryan Nelsen will have his team prepared and playing with a lot of pride and they will be organized. Those players have a lot to prove. It’ll be tough for us.”
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Contact Union writer Andy Jasner at firstname.lastname@example.org