It’s official. Major League Soccer is back this weekend and it’s poised to be the biggest season yet in the American soccer revolution. First up, we will be taking a look at Toronto’s visit to Philly!
Last season ended in major disappointment for Toronto as they failed to make the playoffs. Their season was totally plagued by injury and they finished a lowly ninth in the Eastern conference. On the other hand, Philadelphia Union did make it to the playoffs but fell 3-1 to New York City FC in the first knockout stage. With new Mexican International signing Marco Fabian in the side this year, Union will be expecting to go a lot deeper into the Playoffs this time out.
These two last faced each other in June of last year when Toronto walked away from the Talen Energy stadium 2-0 victors. Both goals came from Jonathan Osorio that day who will be hoping to better last seasons 10 goal haul in the coming year.
Toronto have not been fun opponents for Philly over the last few years as the Pennsylvania side haven’t beaten them in the last 10 outings – losing eight of them. Union haven’t even managed to pick up a goal in any of the last three clashes between the sides.
In terms of pre-season preparation for the game, Toronto have been in CONCACAF Champions League action against Argentinian side Independiente. The two-legged fixture saw them lose by a hefty 4-0 margin in the first game but pick up a 1-1 draw in the return leg two nights back. On the other side of the ball, Union have played six games in preparation for the new season with five club friendlies and a match in the SunCoast invitational. They won all five of their friendlies – most recently beating Ottawa Fury 2-1 last Saturday. It’s worth noting they crashed out of the SunCoast invitational after falling 1-0 to Montreal Impact.
To team news, Philadelphia Union will be pretty much fully fit for their first MLS game of the new season with only Mark Mckenzie set to sit the game out. Meanwhile, Toronto will be without veteran forward Jozy Altidore as well as Victor Vazquez, Drew Moore and Eric Zavaleta.
Prediction: Should be a tight one but I’m going to go predict Philly break their poor streak against Toronto and pick up a 2-1 win.