Toronto, ON – The Philadelphia Union conclude a busy stretch of three matches in eight days with an Eastern Conference clash against Toronto FC on Saturday at BMO Field.
Philadelphia's three-match stretch got off to a poor start against Montreal at Saputo Stadium last Saturday as Marco Di Vaio burned the Union backline for a first-half hat trick en route to a 5-3 loss.
Di Vaio got started early as he scored just two minutes into the match. Philadelphia's own dynamic striker, Jack McInerney, got one back three minutes later to level the match, but Di Vaio scored in the 28th and 32nd minutes to make it 3-1 for Montreal at the half.
The Union pulled within one in the 69th minute through Antoine Hoppenot's first tally of the season, but Andrew Wenger answered off a corner kick to essentially take the wind out of the Union's comeback sail.
"We tried to come back and get ourselves in the game, we certainly did that," said Union manager John Hackworth. "Then [the match] turns and the momentum that should go in our favor [does not] and we really mismanaged parts of the game."
Three days later, the Union managed a 2-1 win over Premier Development League side Ocean City Nor'Easters in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup play and will face D.C. United in the fourth round of the tournament on June 12.
Philadelphia has conceded 23 goals this season, the highest total in the Eastern Conference, but Saturday's match against a struggling Toronto side offers an opportunity to sort out some defensive issues.
Toronto's season is quickly spiraling out of control after a promising start early on. The Reds secured a surprising 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City back on March 9. But they haven't taken three points since then -- a winless run of 10 consecutive matches.
Last time out, Toronto failed to generate any offense in a lackluster 2-0 loss at Gillette Stadium against the New England Revolution.
Diego Fagundez opened the scoring for the Revs in the 23rd minute and Juan Agudelo finished the result with a goal in stoppage time.
"They were better than us today," said TFC striker Robert Earnshaw. "They kept the ball and what they did attacking-wise was better than us. They got two goals and maybe they could have got one or two more."
In eight all-time meetings, Philadelphia holds a 3-2-3 advantage and the clubs played to a 1-1 draw at PPL Park on April 13.