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Matchady 16: Union Look to Keep Momentum Going

Jul 8, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

Philadelphia Union host Toronto FC in Major League Soccer action at PPL Park.
marfan

The Union, fresh off of their stunning 2-1 road win over LA Galaxy, host Toronto FC this afternoon at PPL Park (4PM/6ABC). If you watched the game midweek against LA you saw what was undoubtedly a shift in the fortunes of the Union. The Galaxy thoroughly outplayed the Union for long stretches of the game. Robbie Keane could have had a hat trick in the opening 25 minutes, but it was not to be.

Finally, the Union had some luck on their side. Yes, their two goals were incredibly well-taken, but if you’re being fair you’d have to say that the Union were fortunate to take the three points. Now, they return home following a cross country flight, and face a Toronto FC team who is unbeaten in their last five.

It will be interesting to see how interim Union boss John Hackworth juggles his lineup. As mentioned, they just came off a cross country flight. On top of that they will host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday in a US Open Cup semifinal. I would imagine we’ll see a few new faces out there today in light of the looming semifinal match.

Ray Gaddis is back from suspension, so he could give either Gabe Farfan or Sheanon Williams a rest. Also, Lionard Pajoy, who came off of the bench to set up Michael Farfan’s game winner may get the starting nod today. One player who should be field no matter what is Jack McInereny who is in incredible form right now – form highlighted by his stunning back-heel goal against LA.

These two teams are vastly different than the ones who met in Toronto on March 26th. Both teams are rejuvenated after going through coaching changes. Paul Mariner has injected new life into the TFC team since taking over from Aron Winter. The Union have experienced a similar renaissance under Hackworth.

First kick is set for 4PM.