MLS Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, April 13, 2013
(All times Eastern)
Toronto FC (1-2-2) at Philadelphia (2-2-1), 4 p.m.
Chester, PA (Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Union will welcome Toronto FC
to PPL Park for a vital Eastern Conference contest on Saturday.
The Union are coming off of a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, their first-
ever point at Crew Stadium.
Jack McInerney scored Philadelphia's lone goal of the match to bring his
season tally to three on the season. His fine start to the season may be
surprising to some, but not to his head coach.
"I've said this many times before but Jack can be better," John Hackworth told
MLSsoccer.com. "He knows he could have scored a couple of goals vs. Columbus,
at a minimum. He knows he can improve and he knows what his strengths and
weaknesses are. Putting the ball in the back of the net has to be something he
does on a consistent basis."
While it is still early in the season, the Union find themselves occupying a
playoff position with seven points through their first five matches.
Following closely is Toronto, which has managed five points in as many games.
All five of TFC's points have come at home this season, meaning that the
Canadian club will be searching for its first road point of the season at PPL
Toronto has drawn two straight 2-2 matches, throwing away a win over the Los
Angeles Galaxy by conceding late to Jose Villarreal while scoring two late
goals to salvage a point against FC Dallas last time out.
Darel Russell has been a key figure over Toronto's last two outings. He was at
fault for Villarreal's equalizer, but made amends by leveling the score
against Dallas with little time to spare.
"I made a mistake last week and we ended up drawing," Russell told reporters
after Saturday's 2-2 draw. "This week, I redeemed myself and it almost feels
like a win after being 2-0 down. There was only one thought in my mind when I
saw the ball coming over and that was to control the ball and have a go at it
late in the game."
Toronto could be without Richard Eckersley for Union tilt after the defender
tweaked his hamstring in slightly comical fashion.
"Ecks said he felt his hamstring when he celebrated the second goal, which is
an interesting one," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen told reporters on Tuesday. "He
might have been sprinting to celebrate with [Darel Russell] rather than
sprinting during the other 90 minutes. He is just cautionary at the moment and
we are just keeping him out of training as he has a tight hamstring."
04/12 13:34:01 ET