MLS

Philadelphia Union v Toronto FC: Reds keep growing under Herdman

By Sports Desk May 28, 2024

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman admits his team still have some growing to do as they travel to Philadelphia Union on Wednesday.

Despite losing three of their last four MLS games – winning the other 5-1 at home to CF Montreal – Toronto sit sixth in the Eastern Conference on 22 points with a very balanced record.

They have won seven and lost seven of their league games, drawing the other one, and have both scored and conceded 24 goals.

After conceding late in their 4-3 loss to Cincinnati, Herdman says his team need to put more work into their defensive side of the game.

"It's that level of concentration, that level of discipline that championship teams are able to bring to games," Herdman said.

"Knowing your job and delivering your job in high-pressure moments where you stay concentrated for long periods of time, that was the message [this week].

"I think collectively as a group they recognized it. And they welcomed it. They know we're growing. They know we’re on a bit of a journey."

Philadelphia are four points off a final series place in eighth with 18 points and are unbeaten in their last two matches after failing to win any of the previous six.

Asked about the test his side will face against Toronto, the Union head coach Jim Curtin said they are a "much-improved team.

"Really well organized, really well coached. A dangerous team."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Philadelphia Union – Daniel Gazdag

Gazdag has been involved in eight goals (four goals, four assists) in three home matches against Toronto FC, recording multiple goal contributions in each match.

Toronto FC – Lorenzo Insigne

After recording two assists against Montreal last week, Insigne had a goal and an assist on Saturday, the second player, along with Federico Bernardeschi, to contribute to multiple goals in consecutive matches for Toronto this season.

MATCH PREDICTION: PHILADELPHIA UNION WIN

The Union have won each of their last four home matches against Toronto by a combined score of 16-2. Philadelphia had won just four of their first 11 home matches against the Reds (D3 L4).

However, the Union have lost four consecutive home matches for the first time in club history. Philadelphia had suffered three defeats in their previous 59 matches at Subaru Park before this run.

Meanwhile, Toronto nearly drew with FC Cincinnati on Saturday, losing 4-3 to a goal in the third minute of stoppage time. Toronto have drawn only one of their last 36 matches in all competitions dating back to last June (W11 L24).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Philadelphia Union – 67.7%

Draw – 18.9%

Toronto FC – 13.4%

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