Match previews

Match preview: Toronto FC vs Philadelphia Union

Photo: Stephen Speer

Who: Toronto FC (2-2-2, 8 points, 5th place in the East)Philadelphia Union (2022: 5-1-0, 16 points, 1st place in the East)

What: 2022 MLS Regular Season.

Where: BMO Field, Toronto, ON, Canada

When: Saturday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern

Watch: PHL17; PhiladelphiaUnion.com

Whistle: Referee: Not available at time of publication

The Philadelphia Union travel north of the border to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field Saturday evening.  The Union are currently riding the most successful run of results in club history, having won their last five consecutive matches, earning 15 points, and securely sitting atop the Eastern Conference–five points ahead of second place Orlando City.

After going winless through their first three matches, Toronto have strung together a solid stretch of results, with two wins and one draw in their last three games.  Toronto head coach, and arguably the best coach in U.S men’s soccer, Bob Bradley has looked to his kids early on in the season, with 19-year-old academy products Jayden Nelson and Kosi Thompson each finding the net last week to earn an impressive road point against Real Salt Lake.  Toronto currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference with eight points.

Scouting Report: Toronto FC

Toronto FC are coming off a hard-fought road point on Saturday, having gone down twice and battling back to earn a 2-2 draw against a strong Real Salt Lake side.  Bradley deployed a 3-4-2-1 formation, which has been his go-to thus far this and year and which the Union should expect to see on Saturday.

Although it’s been the youth helping earn points early on in the season, fans watching on Saturday will certainly recognize some familiar faces.

Michael Bradley, at 34 years old, is still putting in meaningful shifts week after week and remains locked in as a No. 6 for his dad’s starting eleven.

Canadian international midfielder Jonathan Osorio’s 2022 has gotten off to a pleasant start, having helped his Canadian Men’s National Team qualify for the World Cup in Qatar a few weeks ago, as well as getting on the score sheet with two goals and two assists in the league.

Rounding out the veteran midfield is 30 year old Alejandro Pozuelo, who is off to a strong start in 2022 with one goal and two assists in six games played.

Jozy Altidore departed in the offseason to join the New England Revolution, but has been replaced with 28 year old Jesus Jimenez, who has been on fire thus far this year, scoring three goals on just four shots on target.

Injury Report: Jahkeeler Marshall-Rutty (Out – Lower Body), Kadin Chung (Questionable – Lower Body), Ayo Akinola (Questionable – ACL)

Suspension Report: Carlos Salcedo (red card)

Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union

Union fans have had little if anything to complain out so far in 2022, as their team is off to the best start in club history and currently sitting top of the MLS table.

The Union are coming off a strong 1-0 home victory against the Columbus Crew on Saturday.  The Union players themselves were unable to find the back of the night, but benefitted from an absolute biff by Columbus’ goalkeeper Eloy Room, who bounced the ball into his own net while trying to handle a cross into the box from Jose Martinez.  Regardless, the Union defense pitched another shut-out (their fourth of the season) and continue to look like one of the best defensive units in MLS.

The defensive success so far this year is unquestioned. Center backs Jack Elliot and Jakob Glesnes have started off right where they left off in 2021.  If they can sustain the defensive dominance they’ve displayed early on this season, it would not be a surprise to see either them in the MLS Best XI at the end of year.

The forwards on the other hand are still looking to get clicking.  Of the Union’s ten goals scored this season, only three have come from their forwards (two from Cory Burke and one from Julian Carranza).  Although it’s newcomer DP forward Mikael Uhre that Union fans are waiting to get hot, it may be Sergio Santos that Union fans can expect to find the back of the net this weekend.  Head coach Jim Curtin has confirmed he will be available this weekend, which is good news considering that one-third of Santos’ 18 MLS goals have come against Toronto FC

Injury Report: None

Suspension Report: None

Key Match-Up: Union Forwards 

Toronto center back Carlos Saucedo picked up a red card against RSL which is a big blow to Toronto FC’s defense.  Whoever starts up-top from the Union  should look to take advantage

Player To Watch: Sergio Santos

This is his fixture.

Prediction: Toronto 1-3 Union

Toronto has allowed a goal in 18 straight home matched (fourth longest streak in league history) and will be without on of their best defenders.  The Union have had created great chances the last few games and haven’t been able to convert them to goals.  This game should be a great opportunity to change that.

8 Comments

  1. Santos has to start, right? I mean, neither Julian Carranza nor Mikael Uhre has ever scored against Toronto (I looked it up). So it must be Santos.

  2. Great breakdown of the teams, Ben. Thanks for all of the pregame information
    .
    I was originally thinking it was going to be a 0-0 draw but now I hope to see a 1-0 Union win. My hope is that Carranza gets his second goal of the season on an assist from Gazdag. Uhre will likely pin back the Toronto defense and give Carranza and Gazdag room to work. I’m also betting that the Union defense continues their shutout streak.
    .
    C’mon, the U!

  3. OneManWolfpack says:

    I like 2-1 Union. They get out to a 2-0 lead. Toronto pulls one back late. Union defend beautifully as they have been all year and see it out. Stay unbeaten.

  4. 1-3… away win again.
    Gazdag, Uhre and Santos.
    Still unbeaten.
    Doop

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