Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union | MLS Match Preview

TORONTO FC vs PHILADELPHIA UNION

BMO FIELD, Toronto, Ont.

June 1, 2013 (WEEK 14, MLS Game #122)
6 p.m. ET (TSN2; TCN-Phi)

Looking to snap a 10-game winless run, Toronto FC return home to BMO Field to take on Philadelphia Union on Saturday evening. TFC lost for the fifth game on the trot last weekend, a 2-0 loss at the New England Revolution. Union are also coming off a loss in the first leg on their Canadian adventure, falling 5-3 at the Montréal Impact, though they advanced in the U.S. Open Cup at midweek.

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REFEREE: Geoff Gamble. AR1 (bench): Joe Fletcher; AR2 (opposite): Philippe Briere; 4th: Drew Fischer
MLS Career: 21 games; FC/gm: 23.3; Y/gm: 3.2; R: 3; pens: 10

DISABLED LIST: TOR: Danny Koevermans
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:
SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: PHI: Conor Casey
SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Matias Laba, Darren O’Dea … PHI: Raymon Gaddis
INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: TOR: Kyle Bekker; Doneil Henry; Ashtone Morgan; Jonathan Osorio (all Canada); Darren O’Dea (Ireland) … PHI: Keon Daniel (Trinidad & Tobago)

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (8 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 9 goals … Union 3 wins, 15 goals … Ties 3
AT TORONTO (4 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 6 goals … Union 1 win, 8 goals … Ties 1
RETURN MATCH: 10/5: Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • The teams are meeting for the second time this season. McInerney’s goal in second-half stoppage time answered a Robert Earnshaw goal and gave Union a share of the points in a 1-1 draw April 13 at PPL Park.
  • The only road victory in the all-time series came at BMO Field on May 28, 2011, when Union claimed their biggest-ever victory, a 6-2 defeat of TFC.
  • Union have two wins and two draws in four meetings all-time vs. TFC at PPL Park following the first meeting this season.
  • Coaches record: Ryan Nelsen vs. PHI: P1 W0 L0 T1 … John Hackworth vs. TOR: P3 W1 L0 T2

LAST MEETING (MLS)
4/13: PHI 1, TOR 1 (McInerney 91+ -- Earnshaw 71)

  • Toronto FC took the lead in the 71st minute. Robert Earnshaw got behind the Union defense on a long ball from Ashtone Morgan and chipped it over Philly goalkeeper Zac MacMath for his fifth goal of the season, tying for the league lead.
  • TFC then went a man down in the 88th minute when fullback Ashtone Morgan was sent off for a second yellow card. Union made them pay in stoppage time when a loose ball was kept alive in the penalty area, Conor Casey pulling a half-chance wide from close range, but Jack McInerney was well-placed beyond the back post to turn it into the goal.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-3-1-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis (Jose Kleberson 79) - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Michael Farfan 65), Keon Daniel, Sebastien Le Toux (Antoine Hoppenot 73) - Jack McInerney, Conor Casey.
  • TORONTO FC (4-3-1-2): Joseph Bendik - Darel Russell (Ryan Richter 7), Darren O'Dea, Gale Agbossoumonde, Ashtone Morgan (sent off 88) - Jeremy Hall - Hogan Ephraim, Luis Silva (Jonathan Osorio 73), Reggie Lambe - Robert Earnshaw (John Bostock 86), Justin Braun.

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC lost their fifth consecutive match and had their winless streak extended to 10 games, dropping a 2-0 decision to the New England Revolution on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. TFC sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 12 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Revolution took the lead after 23 minutes. Chris Tierney sent in a curling service from the left hand side that froze the Reds back line and located Diego Fagundez at the far post, and he gleefully lashed home his third goal in as many matches from the volley.
  • The home side finished off the match in second-half stoppage time. This time it was from a Saër Sène cross as Juan Agudelo moved into the right spot to divert the ball into the net from close range.
  • TFC boss Ryan Nelsen made one change to the team that fell 1-0 to the Columbus Crew at BMO Field. Jeremy Brockie came into the team in place of Justin Braun.
  • TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Joseph Bendik - Ryan Richter, Doneil Henry, Steven Caldwell, Darren O'Dea - Jeremy Brockie, Matias Laba, Jeremy Hall, Reggie Lambe (Jonathan Osorio 46) - Luis Silva, Robert Earnshaw (Hogan Ephraim 68).

TEAM NEWS

  • Despite having won just once in league play over nearly a calendar year, TFC are still not in last place in the Eastern Conference, still two points clear of D.C. United. Toronto are now 1-17-8 in its last 26 MLS games, dating back to last July 28.
  • “As I said, what is frustrating about this team is, we out-possess the team, we outshot New England, and I don’t think we truly believe in ourselves that we can be a good team. It is frustrating. If you think it is frustrating for the fans, think of the players and the coaching staff,” said TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen. “But it will take time and we’ll bring in players of quality that mentally and physically will be very good players in this league. … Once they start believing in themselves, we’ll be a very good team.”
  • TFC were held without a goal for the third time in four games. They have not allowed more than two goals in any MLS game this season; the loss to New England was the first loss by more than two goals in league play.
  • “What is frustrating that we are not getting beaten for three or four, we’re not getting opened up, we are not getting smashed. That is the frustrating part,” said Nelsen.
  • Jeremy Brockie made his first MLS start, playing the full 90 minutes wide on the right of midfield. Another newcomer, Steven Caldwell, played his second full match in central defense.
  • “In the second half we started getting Matias (Laba) and Jeremy (Hall) on the ball a lot more. We’re looking to be a passing team and when we go through those channels, we need to keep the ball on the ground a bit more at times, pass through the thirds and get the ball wide to get an opportunity in the box,” said Brockie. “… I don’t think my standards in the first half were not up to scratch.”
  • Jonathan Osorio played 45 minutes after coming on as a halftime substitute, matching his longest shift in a league game. He played 45 minutes in his only start, April 6 vs. FC Dallas.
  • (Jonathan Osorio) was fantastic when he came on, changed the game for us. Personality, from the start he has been brilliant,” Nelsen said. “John in 45 minutes did more than the majority of guys do in 90 minutes.”
  • After playing 45 minutes the weekend before in his TFC debut, Bobby Convey did not figure in the New England match.
  • “We had nine players out with injury today and that was big for us. We missed nine players which could have helped,” said Nelsen. “But when we come back, Danny Koevemans, Bobby Convey and a few guys are back for next Saturday. We are always looking to make the squad better and improve it.”

READ: Struggling TFC feeling the grind: "There has definitely got to be some improvement"

PHILADELPHIA UNION
Philadelphia Union suffered a second loss in three matches, falling 5-3 to the Montréal Impact in a wild game Saturday evening at Stade Saputo. Union sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 18 points from 13 matches.

LAST MATCH

  • The Impact opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest after Andrew Wenger cut the ball back for Marco Di Vaio, who put it past Zac MacMath first-time with his left foot.
  • But three minutes later, Union equalized when Jeb Brovsky only half-cleared a cross and it fell for Michael Farfan, who found Jack McInerney unmarked for the equalizer.
  • Yet before the match was much more than a half-hour old, Di Vaio had a hat trick. In the 28th minute, on a quick transition, Justin Mapp cut inside from the right and lobbed a through ball for Di Vaio, who adroitly lifted his finish past the ‘keeper.
  • It was 3-1 four minutes later thanks when Andres Romero broke down Sheanon Williams on the left flank and sent in a low cross for Di Vaio, who coolly sidefooted the ball in at the back post to complete his triple.
  • Union pulled a goal back in the 65th minute when Antoine Hoppenot dribbled his way down the right touchline and sent in a cross that sailed past goalkeeper Troy Perkins into the goal.
  • The Impact restored their lead in the 74th minute when Wenger redirected Felipe’s corner past MacMath with a glancing header. But Union were back within in one in the 85th minute as Sebastien Le Toux latched onto a bouncing ball at the edge of the box and unleashed a left-footed attempt that went through a maze of legs and past a diving Perkins.
  • Blake Smith sealed the result on a breakaway in stoppage time, slotting home from inside the box after he was set free by a ball from Patrice Bernier.
  • Union team manager John Hackworth made one change to the team that defeated the Chicago Fire 1-0 at PPL Park. Jeff Parke returned to the back four in place of the departed Bakary Soumare.
  • PHILADELPHIA UNION (4-1-3-2): Zac MacMath - Sheanon Williams, Jeff Parke, Amobi Okugo, Raymon Gaddis - Brian Carroll - Danny Cruz (Conor Casey 60), Jose Kleberson (Antoine Hoppenot 65), Michael Farfan (Keon Daniel 78) - Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney.

READ: Union leave Montreal with one lesson: "It's not good enough"

TEAM NEWS

  • The five goals allowed by Union were a club record, having allowed four goals previously on three occasions – including just 10 days earlier. Union have allowed 23 goals – second-most in MLS – nine in the last three games.
  • “Our defensive play wasn’t good. It’s as bad as it’s ever been, it’s not any one individual’s fault, we’re a team so if one guy is having a bad night, it really affects the center in a bad way and tonight too many guys on our team had bad nights,” said Union team manager John Hackworth. “Certainly tonight was not acceptable.”
  • Union have lost all three meetings with teams in the top half of the Eastern Conference – to Kansas City (1-3), New York (1-2) and Montréal (3-5). They have allowed 23 goals in 13 matches, most of any club in the East.
  • “We've got to start beating the better teams,” defender Amobi Okugo said. “We're taking care of business against the teams behind us, but if we want to stay in contention we need to beat the teams that we're trying to catch up to, in terms of points.”
  • Jack McInerney scored his ninth goal of the season, his second in as many games – but left Montréal with only a share of the MLS Golden Boot lead along with the Impact’s Marco Di Vaio.
  • “Obviously you need goals to win the game and I think three goals on the road is good for our confidence, it’s a good sign,” said McInerney. “But we’re giving up too many chances in the back, we’re not going to get any results, so it’s about locking it down and keeping the offense going.”
  • Sebastien Le Toux made his third consecutive start, partnering McInerney in attack, and scored his first goal since the season-opening 3-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City.
  • Michael Farfan recorded his first assist of the season, setting up McInerney’s equalizer early in the first half.
  • Following the trade of Bakary Soumare to the Chicago Fire, Jeff Parke returned to central defense after missing the last three matches through injury.
  • “I think our starting unit is our starting unit and we’re pretty happy there,” said Hackworth. “But certainly we have been looking and any team anywhere has always continually looked to upgrade their team and we will certainly continue to do that and nights like tonight just put it that much closer.”
  • On Tuesday, Union advanced to the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup following a 2-1 win against the Ocean City Nor’easters of the PDL at PPL Park. Jack McInerney gave Union a 49th minute lead, and after the PDL side leveled the score in the 90th minute, Brian Carroll scored in stoppage time for the dramatic victory.
  • Here’s the Union team: Zac MacMath; Sheanon Williams, Amobi Okugo, Jeff Parke, Raymon Gaddis, Brian Carroll, Keon Daniel, Leo Fernandes (Michael Farfan 89’), Conor Casey (Danny Cruz 65’), Sebastien Le Toux, Jack McInerney (Antoine Hoppenot 81’)