Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union | 2016 MLS East Knockout Round Preview

Jozy Altidore - Toronto FC - header vs. Philadelphia

2016 Eastern Conference Knockout Round
BMO Field | Toronto, Ontario
Wednesday, Oct. 26 
7:30 pm ET (ESPN2, UniMás | TSN2 in Canada)

The Lowdown:

Toronto FC couldn't hold onto a first-round bye down the stretch, but the Reds will get to make some club history on Wednesday when they host their first postseason match since entering the league in 2007. TFC enter the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference, facing off against the sixth-seeded Philadelphia Union.

The Union epitomize "limping in," having gone winless in their last seven matches of the regular season since beating Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on Aug. 27. Still they're in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 -- and in a one-match elimination scenario, anything can happen.


Toronto FC Snapshot

  • 2016 Regular Season Finish: East No. 3 seed (14-9-11 record, 53 pts / 8-3-6 home record)
  • Current Form: D-D-L-D-W
  • Strengths: Talented roster featuring Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley
  • Weaknesses: All three stars have battled injuries this season, and one win in five matches down the stretch is not a model of consistency.
  • Injuries/Suspensions: QUESTIONABLE: D - Ashtone Morgan (stress fracture in foot), M - Will Johnson (knee injury); no suspensions.
  • Player to Watch: Sebastian Giovinco. The Atomic Ant can change a game in a heartbeat, either scoring a goal or setting one up.
  • Probable Starting XI: Clint Irwin; Nick Hagglund, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta; Justin Morrow, Jonathan Osorio, Michael Bradley, Armando Cooper, Steven Beitashour; Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore

Philadelphia Union Snapshot

  • 2016 Regular Season Finish: East No. 6 seed (11-14-9 record, 42 pts / 3-9-5 home record)
  • Current Form: L-D-L-L-L
  • Strengths: Alejandro Bedoya and Roland Alberg make the Union midfield a challenge, and Andre Blake is solid in goal.
  • Weaknesses: The Union carry zero momentum into the playoffs after going winless in their last seven, largely due to defensive lapses.
  • Injuries/Suspensions: OUT: D - Josh Yaro (concussion/left knee MCL sprain) D/M Maurice Edu (left fibula fracture); QUESTIONABLE: M - Tranquillo Barnetta (right knee arthritis), M - Chris Pontius (left hamstring strain), F - C.J. Sapong (concussion); no suspensions.
  • Player to Watch: Roland Alberg. He can be infuriatingly theatrical, but he can also break open a game.
  • Probable Starting XI: Andre Blake; Fabinho, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett, Keegan Rosenberry; Warren Creavalle, Alejandro Bedoya; Eric Ayuk, Roland Alberg, Ilsinho; Fabian Herbers

Match Essentials:

Download the Game Guide (PDF)

Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: C.J. Morgante (AR1-bench); Ian Anderson (AR2-opposite)
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu

Toronto vs. Philadelphia Head-to-Head
All-Time (17 meetings):
Toronto FC 6 wins, 20 goals • Philadelphia 6 wins, 24 goals • Ties 5
All-Time Playoff Meetings:
First meeting
All-Time in Toronto (9 meetings):
Toronto FC 4 wins, 13 goals • Philadelphia 2 wins, 14 goals • Ties 3
2016 Meetings (2 meetings):
PHI 1, TOR 3 (Aug. 20); TOR 1, PHI 1 (Sept. 24)