The Challengers: Toronto FC (13-13-4) vs. Philadelphia Union (9-15-7)
When: Satyrday October 3, 5:00 PM ET. TV: Sportsnet 360
Weather: Mostly cloudy and 12 degrees
Two years in a row and the same result. The beautiful game can be beautifully cruel. Curtin made a major coaching decision before penalties, opting to go with John McCarthy in goal. He was the one that helped the Union make it to the final in what is one of the more difficult competitions in the Americas. The game shouldn’t have gotten that far, with Philly playing at a higher level than SKC for large stretches. “I say this very professionally: we kicked their butts,” said midfielder Michael Lahoud. “On a different day, we embarrass Kansas City. But today was their day.” McCarthy was gutted following the loss. It’s hard to blame him or anyone associated with the Union for feeling that way after 120 minutes of high stakes football. Andre Blake, who was terrific for the Union in their 1-1 draw against New England, played the majority of the match.
The Reds own a 2-0-0 record against the Union this year. Sebastian Giovinco’s stunning free kick secured a 1-0 win at PPL Park in May. Giovinco added a goal and assist in the 2-1 win over the Union at BMO Field in July. Philadelphia has a busy week with the U.S. Open Cup final going down on Wednesday night at PPL Park. No matter what happens in that game Greg Vanney expects to see a side similar to the past two teams the Reds have faced at home. “Generally their team is a little bit similar to Chicago and Colorado in that they defend well, they defend in numbers and they’re quick to get out in transition,” said the head coach. “They’re a team that usually plays a bigger striker, somebody that can bounce things off of and get their wingers flying.” That big striker could be Conor Casey, the TFC boogeyman that scored Philadelphia’s lone goal back in that July encounter.
On this week's show Devang and Wheels recap a huge win over the Chicago Fire, take a look at the Eastern Conference playoff race and preview Saturday's match against the Philadelphia Union.