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Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Wednesday’s Major League Soccer clash between Philadelphia Union and Toronto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Union will begin a three-match MLS homestand when they host Toronto at Subaru Park in Chester.

The Union went undefeated on their recent two-game road trip, earning a 0-0 draw versus Charlotte FC last Saturday, moving them to within four points of TFC, who were narrowly beaten 4-3 at home to FC Cincinnati.

Match preview

© Reuters

Over the past couple of matches, Philly have been much more compact defensively, failing to concede in two successive MLS affairs after allowing multiple strikes in each of their previous six regular-season contests before that.

Jim Curtin‘s men are eighth in the Eastern Conference table, just two points above the playoff line, claiming 18 points after 14 domestic fixtures, the fewest for them at this stage of a league campaign since 2018 (18).

So far in 2024, they have claimed just one triumph at Subaru Park in the regular season while losing four successive league contests in Chester, their longest-ever run without a point at home in MLS play.

Those four defeats are as many as this side had suffered at Subaru Park in their previous three regular-season campaigns combined.

Half of their points in MLS this year (9/18) have come when the Boys in Blue were behind at some point in the second half of a domestic fixture.

They have won their last four matches played against Toronto at Subaru Park, finding the back of the net three or more times on each occasion.

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman yells on February 24, 2024© Reuters

In what was perhaps the craziest MLS fixture that we saw this past weekend, the Reds lost a back-and-forth affair versus the 2023 Supporters’ Shield winners.

That encounter did not go their way, but many things have gone right for John Herdman‘s side in 2024, as Toronto currently sit sixth in the Eastern Conference with 22 points, matching their entire total from the previous campaign.

Wednesday will be the first match of a two-game road trip for them in MLS, with this side claiming two domestic victories away from home in this competition, as many as they had managed in their previous two regular seasons combined.

After posting a clean sheet in their first two away matches in MLS this year, Toronto have not been quite as solid defensively, conceding in five consecutive league matches as the visitors.

On the positive side, though, the Reds have not suffered consecutive losses on the road in MLS all year after losing their final nine domestic encounters away from home last season.

TFC have not come away with maximum points versus Philadelphia at Subaru Park since defeating them by a 3-1 score in 2019.

Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer form:

Toronto Major League Soccer form:

Toronto form (all competitions):

Team News

Philadelphia Union forward Mikael Uhre (7) celebrates with defender Kai Wagner (27) after scoring a goal on October 29, 2023© Reuters

Jose Martinez missed the previous Philly encounter with a knock, Damion Lowe is back training but sat out of their match with Charlotte because of a minor back issue and Markus Anderson has a sore quad.

A lingering knee problem kept Andre Blake on the sidelines for the Union last weekend, Isiah LeFlore is still dealing with a sore right knee, while Holden Trent has a finger injury.

Oliver Semmle has started the last five matches in goal for Philly, stopping four Charlotte efforts for his second successive domestic clean sheet.

The Reds were once again without Shane O’Neill in their previous encounter due to a quad issue, Richie Laryea is nearly recovered from his hamstring surgery, while Brandon Servania is out with a ruptured ACL.

Federico Bernardeschi is eligible to return from his yellow card suspension, Jonathan Osorio was back in the starting lineup last Saturday after missing several matches with a sore thigh and Kevin Long returned to the field for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain.

Deybi Flores netted his first of the regular season over the weekend, with the other Toronto strikes coming courtesy of an own-goal by Ian Murphy and a late second-half penalty converted by Lorenzo Insigne.

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Semmle; Harriel, Glesnes, Lowe, Wagner; Martinez, Flach, McGlynn; Gazdag; Uhre, Carranza

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Rosted, Gomis, Long; Bernardeschi, Longstaff, Coello, Marshall-Rutty; Osorio, Insigne; Owusu

SM words green background

We say: Philadelphia Union 3-2 Toronto

While the Union have been unusually poor at home this year, they will face a Toronto side yet to prove they can be consistently solid defensively, an area that Philly have improved upon in recent outings.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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