April 13th, 2010 MLS Toronto FC vs Philadelphia Union preview (from MLSsoccer.com)

Toronto, Philly face off in primetime midweek battle

Keys to the Game
Toronto FC 
- Score early to keep the home crowd in the game
- Limit Alejandro Moreno's involvement in the game in any way possible 
- Ride the momentum of Saturday's big into a city reeling from a horrendous start
- Exploit Toronto's unsettled and inexperienced defense early and often 

InjuriesToronto FC 
DF Emmanuel Gomez (R knee osteochondral injury); PROBABLE: MF Jacob Peterson (R knee ACL) 
PROBABLE: MF Danny Mwanga (L calf strain); MF Toni Stahl (R knee contusion); DF Danny Califf (R ankle sprain); MF Shea Salinas 
(L quad strain); FW Sebastien Le Toux (L ankle sprain) 

What's at Stake?

Toronto, which has traditionally opened the season with multiple road games, is looking to bounce back from a bad 4-1 loss at New England last Saturday with a win in its home opener to avoid starting the season 0-3 for the second time in franchise history (Toronto started 0-4 in its inaugural 2007 season). This will be the club's first game on BMO Field’s new grass pitch, and it will be interesting to see how the team responds to it after playing on synthetic grass in its first three years.

The expansion Philadelphia Union are coming off an impressive 3-2 win over D.C. United before 34,000-plus at "The Linc" in their first home match. Philadelphia has already scored five goals in its first two games and hopes to build on Sebastien Le Toux's hat trick last week.

Last Meeting

This match marks the first meeting between the two teams.

Remember when ...

Union striker Alejandro Moreno, then with the Columbus Crew, struck the killer blow when the Crew defeated Toronto 2-0 in the first edition of the Trillium Cup at Columbus. To make things worse for Toronto, he did it in front of 2,500 red-clad traveling fans.

Heroes and Villains

Sebastien Le Toux vs. Toronto FC's defense: Le Toux's hat trick earned MLS Player of the Week honors and the former Sounders forward, along with attacking midfielder Alejandro Moreno, will be licking their chops to exploit a porous and disorganized Toronto defense that committed numerous mistakes against the Revolution in a second half breakdown. Toronto added three defenders over the last week in Latvian Raivis Hscanovics, Russian Maxim Usanov and Canadian Adrian Cann, but it will take time for them to blend into the defense and come together as a cohesive unit.

Dwayne De Rosario vs. Philadelphia's midfield and defense: Toronto has had trouble scoring with only one goal in two games and will be in tough against a Union backline that played well against D.C. United. Former U.S. international Danny Califf and Michael Orozco will hope to repeat their strong defense in the middle in shutting down Toronto's captain and offensive engine, who led the club with 11 goals last season. De Rosario scored the lone goal in Toronto's loss last Saturday at New England and will look to find strikers O'Brian White and Chad Barrett to break "The Reds" out of their offensive doldrums.

Stats that make you go "Hmm ..."

Despite the rabid atmosphere at BMO Field, Toronto is only 1-2-0 in home openers and 19-12-14 at home overall since entering the league in 2007.

Toronto lost 2-0 to Seattle on April 4, 2009 in its first match up against an expansion club.

He said it

"It's not frustrating. I'm not frustrated. I'm being very patient and I'm being very realistic. I've always said from the day one that this is not a project that is going to happen overnight. This is the thing that is going to take some time for us to build and we want to build something that stays good for a long time, not good for a couple games here and there, so it's a process." -- Toronto head coach Preki on the team's 0-2 start to the season.

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