TORONTO – Toronto FC should not need any incentive when they face the Philadelphia Union on Saturday (4:30 pm ET; watch LIVE online) other than a look at the league standings, seeing themselves rooted to the bottom at 0-9-0.
But the Union bring an unpleasant memory on their visit to BMO Field. They beat TFC 6-2 on May 28 of last season, their last visit to Toronto.
There have been several changes to the Reds roster since but midfielder Julian de Guzman played in that game and remembers it not so fondly.
“That’s something we can’t allow to happen,” de Guzman said Friday after training at BMO Field. “That’s something you definitely remember. You know that’s something to deal with in getting the result tomorrow. But most important just for the team, for ourselves, the three points will be big.”
Philadelphia (2-6-2) are also desperately seeking points.
“Not as desperate as us, because they already have eight points,” TFC forward Danny Koevermans said. “They need the points too, so it’s going to be a tough one.”
The Union are winless in their past four but did draw 1-1 at FC Dallas last Saturday.
Toronto enter the game on a high after winning the Amway Canadian Championship with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday.
“Everyone’s buzzing and training was lively,” defender Richard Eckersley said. “We want to make [winning] more consistent now, not every month or so.”
That said, Toronto entered last Saturday’s 3-1 loss to D.C. United on a good note after a 2-0 home victory against the Montreal Impact and a 1-1 draw at Vancouver in the ACC. But in Washington, they were hurt by lapses all over the field.
“It’s all about focus,” Eckersley said. “I think against D.C., we had moments where we played well and we had good possession of the ball. If we can just limit the chances we give to the other team, we’ll give ourselves a massive chance.”
Head coach and technical director Aron Winter said Eric Avila has a contusion on his ankle from Wednesday’s game and will not play on Saturday. Defender Miguel Aceval remains out with a hamstring injury.
Winter is hoping his team can carry their ACC success into the league starting against Philadelphia.
“They are a very physical team and they lost a key player in defender [Danny] Califf [to a trade],” Winter said. “Still they have good quality but I don’t watch Philadelphia. We know how we have to prepare ourselves to get a good result and we’re going to go for it.”
After Saturday, TFC’s next game is June 16 at Kansas City.