Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union
|Date & Time||Friday June 8, 2018, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Philadelphia +152 / Draw +210 / Toronto +176 -- Over/Under: 2.5
TSN 1/3/4/5, ESPN+, PHL17
We have some MLS action on tap Friday as the Philadelphia Union host Toronto FC from Talen Energy Stadium.
Philadelphia will look to rebound in this one after having their 4 match unbeaten run snapped thanks to a 3-1 loss on the road to Atlanta United last weekend. It didn’t help that the Union found themselves down to 9 men 19 minutes into the match, as Alejandro Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin each found their 2nd yellow card en route to a sending off. Atlanta went up 1-0 from the penalty spot and doubled their lead just after halftime before Fabrice Picault cut Atlanta’s lead in half but the Union would concede once more on their way to the loss. Borek Dockal and Ilsinho are tied for the team lead with 3 goals apiece this season, with Dockal also leading the Union with 3 assists and 10 shots on target this season, while C.J. Sapong leads the Union with 23 total shots this season.
Toronto FC are in dire need of a road win after failing to capitalize on a 3-0 lead over Columbus, allowing the Crew to score 3 times in the final 23 minutes to lead to a 3-3 draw in their last outing. Victor Vazquez put TFC up 17 minutes in after making it 1-0 from the penalty spot, followed my a 2nd goal from substitute Tossaint Ricketts in the 38th. Sebastian Giovinco made it 3-0 in the 57th before the wheels fell off for the Reds, making it look like a playoff berth, let alone defending their MLS championship, is out of reach at the moment. Giovinco and Vazquez are tied for the team lead with 3 goals this season, while Giovinco leads the Reds with 2 assists and 61 total shots this season, 20 on target, the 2nd most in all of MLS behind Miguel Almiron of Atlanta.
Toronto FC have dominated matchups with the Union over the last few years, going unbeaten in the last nine meetings with 7 wins and 2 draws. TFC have also won back-to-back meetings by a final score of 3-0, but it’s also worth noting that the previous six meetings before that had seen both teams on the scoresheet.
I’ve been one of the first to rag on TFC and their struggles this year, as I think they clearly put all of their eggs in one basket, focusing on trying to win the CONCACAF Champions League. However, it almost feels like it’s a matter of time before TFC turn things around as this team is way too talented to struggle like this. And I’m sure coach Greg Vanney tore a strip off of his guys after blowing a game they should’ve run away with against Columbus. On the other hand, winning on the road is hard, so I’ll take a shot on the double chance with a draw or away win as my top pick here.