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Match preview: Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC

Photo: Marjorie Elzey

Who: Philadelphia Union vs Toronto FC

What: MLS Regular Season

Where: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario

When: Wednesday August 30th, 7:30 p.m.

Watch: Apple TV – MLS Season Pass

Whistle: REF: Mark Allatin; AR1: Lyes Arfa; AR2: Gianni Facchini; 4TH: Filip Dujic; VAR: Michael Radchuk;         AVAR: Jozef Batko

The matchup between Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC on Wednesday night will feature two sides who have taken very different paths on the road of fate.

In the beginning of the year Toronto had championship ambitions, boosted by their Italian stars Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi. To lead the team, veteran coach Bob Bradley was brought in. Fast forward five months, Bradley had been relieved of his duties, partly due to a mutiny led by his star players. Toronto now sits last in the Eastern Conference with just three wins in the league.

Philadelphia started the season with a MLS Cup defeat hangover, and lost some key depth pieces. Since then however, they have soared back to second in the Eastern Conference and recently claimed a Champions Cup spot due to their third place finish in Leagues Cup.

Scouting Report: Toronto FC

Currently sitting last in the Eastern Conference, Toronto will be looking show some fight after a tremendously disappointing season. Newly appointed manager John Herdman won’t be taking charge until October, so the roster will be looking to impress him from afar.

The aforementioned Bernardeschi has been leading the team in scoring, he’s the team leader in goals with five and second in assists with four. Insigne, who has been dealing with injuries throughout the year, has tallied three goals and four assists himself. Also up top is a former prolific striker for Philadelphia, CJ Sapong will likely be the tip of the spear Wednesday night.

Jonathan Osorio and Brandon Servania have been two bright spots in the Toronto midifield. Osorio leads the team in assits with five, while the new-comer Servania has been an effective box to box midfielder for the reds. Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is an exciting younger player to watch out for off the bench.

In defense, Toronto fields dangerous left back Raoul Petretta , who is a threat to get into the attack. The centerback pairing will most likely see Shane O’Neill and Aime Mabika. Michael Bradley is also an option off the bench. In goal will be former Union Academy member Tomas Romero, who is in for the injured Sean Johnson.

Injury Report: OUT: Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Sean Johnson, Cristian Gutierrez, Greg Ranjitsingh.

Scouting Report: Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia will be looking to build off their recent run in Leagues Cup and a 3-1 win on the road against D.C. United last time out. Mikael Uhre and Daniel Gazdag both found the back of the net, while Julian Carranza returned from injury. New striker Tai Baribo has yet to feature for Philadelphia but could be an option off the bench.

The midfield will see some turnover as it is not clear if Jose Martinez will be fit to start following a hamstring injury against D.C. Philadelphia has seen some increased depth in midifield though, as Jesus Bueno, Leon Flach and Jack McGlynn are all fighting for minutes. Captain Alejandro Bedoya has also recently returned from injury.

In defense Kai Wagner is expected to return to his left back position, with Olivier Mbaizo taking up the right. The centerback pairing will feature Jakob Glesnes and Jack Elliott, with Damian Lowe a possible option on the bench. Andre Blake will be in net for Philadelphia.

Injury Report: Questionable: Jose Martinez.

Key Match-Up: Transition Battles

Philadelphia likes to find most of its attacking opportunities turning over the opponent and running at them, which they should be able to do against this Toronto side. Toronto also posses a threat in transition, and with two clinical European finishers up top those chances could end in goals.

Player to Watch: Julian Carranza 

Carranza was getting into good spots on Saturday night, but it will be interesting to see how long he can go off his injury.

Prediction: Philadelphia 2-1 Toronto 

Philadelphia get goals from both Uhre and Carranza to cancel out an Insigne strike and take all 3 points.


Philadelphia: +100

Toronto: +230

Draw: +265


  1. Hopefully Sapong will have a nice view of Gazdag knocking him down to third on the Union’s all time goal scoring list.
    Would really like to see the Union open for 4 or 5 goals against a team who is down in the standings.

  2. Murphthesurf says:

    Stay away from the pouting, and have a North of the border DOOPFEST !!!

    Bring home the 3 points men, Cincinnati is running out of gas.

  3. Andy Muenz says:

    Martinez is in the starting 11, as are Flach, Bedoya, and Mbaizo. Before everyone starts screaming, I think the squad rotation makes sense given that McGlynn went 90 on Saturday and will hopefully start on Sunday.

  4. Trap game in the Union’s House of Horrors. Philly has always been Toronto’s Slumpbuster…..

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