Chester, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Philadelphia Union and Toronto FC will
meet for the first time in four days when the two sides face one another at
PPL Park on Wednesday.
Catch all the action on TSN2 and TSN 1050 at 7pm et.
The two clubs are heading in opposite directions as the Union have suffered
just one loss in their last seven league outings while Toronto is winless in
its last three.
The poor run of form has cost Ryan Nelsen his job as Toronto parted ways with
the head coach on Sunday.
Expectations for Nelsen were sky-high given the sizable investment made in the
squad during the offseason, but Toronto has only managed a .500 record (9-9-6)
to this point in the campaign.
Greg Vanney was named Toronto's new coach, and the former MLS veteran is eager
to put his stamp on the club.
"I'm very honored to be named head coach of Toronto FC and I am looking
forward to working with an exceptional group of players," Vanney said. "This
is a time for all of us to come together and achieve our goal of making the
playoffs for the first time in club history. We're in a good position in the
standings. I know the players in our room believe in each other and we are
looking forward to a positive response on Wednesday."
The Union, who are coming off of a bye week, will be hoping to capitalize on
Toronto's transitional period.
Philadelphia trails Toronto in the table by three points, meaning that maximum
return from its home-and-home series with the Reds would see the Union erase
the gap and go three points clear of the Canadian club.
"It's huge," Union interim manager Jim Curtin told the club's official
website. "The fortunate thing is they (played last) Saturday against New
England, so you hope they beat each other up. You don't know how Toronto's
going to handle it all. Are they going to bank on being at home? Take it and
put everything into the home game and rest a few guys here and be ready there.
Either way, we'll be prepared for them. We have the rest and advantage and we
have the home-field advantage in the Wednesday game.
"We can dictate things. That's a playoff type game with them. We're right
around the same spot and having it in our home field, we'll have to get a win.
Then you can go to their place and play with house money. It starts with our
home match and we know we have to take care of business at home."
The two clubs have yet to meet this season, though Philadelphia has held the
edge in head-to-head battles in recent years. The Union are 2-0-3 against
Toronto in the last five meetings between the two sides, most recently edging
the Reds in a 1-0 victory on Oct. 5, 2013.