Know Your Enemy

Preview | Union head north for midweek contest at Toronto FC


Philadelphia Union wraps up August north of the border with an Eastern Conference clash at Toronto FC. Kick off for the Wednesday night match is set for 7:30PM ET with the match free on MLS Season on Apple TV!

The Boys in Blue marked their return to league play with a resounding first-half performance against rivals D.C. United on Saturday night, putting three goals on the board before the break to leave the hosts stunned in their own building. Mikael Uhre opened the scoring in the fifth minute, capping off a play that started with the Union's counter press forcing a mistake in the back for the early goal. Defense led to the second goal as well which homegrown Jack McGlynn put home in the 13th minute to double the Union's advantage. Daniel Gazdag concluded the scoring when he notched his 36th career goal with a finish from the penalty spot to tie C.J. Sapong for second place in the club history.

Wednesday's tilt is the second and final regular season meeting between Philly and Toronto with the Boys in Blue seeking the season sweep after a 4-2 win in April. Playing in a heavy spring shower, Uhre had a breakout performance with a hat trick to pace the Union offense. The Union jumped out to the early lead on an own goal from Lukas MacNaughton in the 16th minute to which Uhre doubled the lead four minutes later with a one-timer with his right that flicked off a defender and into the net for a 2-0 lead in just 20 minutes. Just before the halftime break, the Union made it 3-0 with Gazdag threading a perfectly placed pass to send the forward wide open on net. With just the keeper to beat, Uhre’s blast was right on the mark to get the first-half brace. In the second half Uhre completed the hat trick on the counter attack, the Union attacking trio went to work with Gazdag sending a pass up the right side to Carranza. Picking his head up and seeing Uhre’s run to the six, the forward hit a pass on the ground where Uhre was able to flip it over the keeper with a sliding shot.

Uhre's hat trick marked the second straight time a Union player bagged a trio of goals against the Canadian side with Gazdag accomplishing the feat in the regular season finale in 2022. Overall the Union have won five of the last eight matches against TFC.

While the Union sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC finds itself looking up at the rest of the league with just 19 points through 26 matches. Gone is Bob Bradley along with MacNaughton and Mark-Anthony Kaye and so far the club is on a historic pace but well from one they'd want. After falling to the Columbus Crew, 2-0, on Saturday, Toronto became the fourth team in MLS history to lose 10 straight matches across all competitions. Even more worrying for the side was that it allowed 31 shots to the Crew and didn't have a player sent off. Bigger changes are on the horizon with the club announcing that Canadian Men's National Team Coach John Herdman will formally take over on October 1st. Despite their run of form, the Union cannot overlook the roster that is sure to play for pride with the likes of CJ Sapong, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio and the Italian duo of Federico Bernardeschi and Lorenzo Insigne all starting last time out for Toronto.