Live Thread:

FT – Philadelphia Union 4-2 Toronto FC.

90+3 – GOAL TORONTO FC. Richie Laryea is on the scoresheet for the second week in a row. Quite the finish from the CanMNT star.

90′ – Four minutes of added time coming up.

85′ – Kosi Thompson replaces Insigne for TFC’s final change.

80′ – Blake denies Insigne yet again. The highest-paid player in MLS history is looking quite lively despite the score.

76′ – Another curled strike from Insigne. This time, Blake makes the save.

72′ – Solid hit by Quinn Sullivan, but Johnson’s equal to it.

66′ – GOAL TORONTO FC. A beauty of a goal from Insigne for his first of the season. What a curler.

58′ – Two more substitutions as Brandon Servania and Raoul Petretta make way for Alonso Coello and Kobe Franklin.

57′ – GOAL PHILADELPHIA UNION. Uhre gets his hat-trick and this game is more than likely over for TFC.

53′ – In space, Perruzza curls one wide from the top of the box. Seems like he just didn’t wrap his foot around it enough.

46′ – Double change for the Reds as Shane O’Neill and Jordan Perruzza replace Lukas MacNaughton and Federico Bernardeschi.

46′ – Something truly special is needed if Toronto FC are to mount a comeback for the ages. Let’s see what the second half brings.

HT – Philadelphia Union 3-0 Toronto FC.

45+4′ – And there’s TFC’s first shot on target, and it comes from Insigne, whose shot from inside the box is parried away by Andre Blake.

45+1′ – Yellow card for Insigne.

43′ – GOAL PHILADELPHIA UNION. It’s just too easy for the Union as Uhre slots home his second of the game on a breakaway.

40′ – Carranza, Uhre, and Gazdag are causing all kinds of problems for TFC’s backline. A mismatch indeed given what we have seen in this first half.

37′ – Gazdag has the ball in the back of the net, but the offside flag comes to TFC’s rescue.

30′ – Only one shot for the Reds at the half-hour mark. No rhythm, no tempo.

26′ – The Union almost score a third as Jack McGlynn rattles one off the crossbar.

22′ – Following a VAR review, the hosts’ second goal stands.

20′ – GOAL PHILADELPHIA UNION. Things go from bad to worse for TFC as Mikael Uhre’s deflected shot finds a way past a helpless Johnson.

16′ – GOAL PHILADELPHIA UNION. That will go down as a Lukas MacNaughton own goal after Sigurd Rosted cleared the ball right off of his defensive partner. An incredible save from Sean Johnson initially, making that one quite unfortunate for the Reds to concede.

9′ – TFC are still struggling to get the ball out of their own half as José Martínez’s long-range effort flies just off target.

8′ – Julián Carranza’s header drifts wide of Sean Johnson’s goal as Philadelphia are on the front foot early on.

1′ – And we’re off on a rainy night in Chester.

7:25 pm ET – Some fans will still have last season’s 4-0 defeat to the Union on Decision Day in their minds, but it’s safe to say that the mentality of the club has drastically changed ever since. Away days are far from TFC’s forte, but as the players and Bob Bradley will know, the wins need to come sooner rather than later.

7:00 pm ET – Lorenzo Insigne returns to the Toronto FC lineup for the first time since Matchday 1 and it seems as though he will be playing as a False 9, with Federico Bernardeschi and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty on the flanks. This could be a lot of fun to watch.

6:55 pm ET – The shelter-in-place mandate has now been lifted. Players will take to the field for warmups momentarily and we remain set for a 7:30 pm ET kickoff time.

6:30 pm ET – There is currently a shelter-in-place mandate at Subaru Park due to severe weather in the area. We will provide updates as soon as they are made available with regards to a delayed kickoff time or a potential postponement of the game.

6:25 pm ET – Toronto FC have not lost in MLS since Matchday 1, but are currently winless in four following four straight draws against the San Jose Earthquakes, Charlotte FC, Nashville SC, and Atlanta United. Can Bob Bradley’s return to the win column against last season’s Eastern Conference champions?

Starting XIs:

He may have been questionable ahead of matchday, but Federico Bernardeschi is indeed in the starting XI, alongside his compatriot, Lorenzo Insigne, who makes his first start for the Reds since their opening day defeat to D.C. United. Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty’s impressive performance off the bench against Atlanta United has earned him the nod in attack alongside the Italians.

A full strength Philadelphia XI in spite of their mid-week CONCACAF Champions League semi-final first leg clash with LAFC. Dániel Gazdag will look to torment in attack once again after he bagged a hat-trick in the Union’s 4-0 victory over TFC on Decision Day in 2022.

Match Preview via Adam Palermo:

There wasn’t much Brotherly Love the last time Toronto FC visited Philadelphia on the final matchday of the 2022 regular season. A Dániel Gazdag hat trick and 4-0 Union win sent TFC licking their wounds into the offseason after a total collapse during the final weeks of the year.

TFC head coach Bob Bradley will expect a much different result in his team’s return to the city. Currently riding a four-match draw streak, the Reds will desperately want to get an elusive second win of the season at Subaru Park.

Looking to aid in that quest will be Lorenzo Insigne, with the Italian winger set to return to the starting lineup for the first time since suffering a groin injury during the season opener in D.C. Insigne should help boost an attacking unit which has been shutout twice in the last four matches.

Thought Insigne’s return to the fold Toronto FC is a positive, the club can’t seem to keep their key pieces healthy at the same time. Federico Bernardeschi, who leads the team in scoring with three goals, is a new injury concern heading into Saturday’s skirmish. The right winger was given a ‘questionable’ tag in the player availability report due to a lower body issue.

Also of note, captain Michael Bradley will play no part in Pennsylvania after making the bench during the 2-2 draw with Atlanta United. His father will look for answers elsewhere in the middle of the pitch, with Brandon Servania and Alonso Coello Camarero eyeing starts next to Mark-Anthony Kaye in a midfield three. Toronto’s head coach has seen his squad depth tested early and often during the beginning of the 2023 season, and the showdown with the Union will be no different.

It has been a middling season through eight matches for the Reds, but last year’s Eastern Conference basement dwellers are actually above last year’s conference champions in the standings. Entering the weekend Philadelphia occupy 10th place in the East, one point behind Toronto who sit in the final playoff spot.

Last year’s MLS Cup finalists haven’t started the season as they would’ve hoped. Though Jim Curtin’s side are through to the Champions League semis, his team are winless in their last five league matches and have dropped points to some of the league’s bottom teams in CF Montréal and Sporting KC.

Like TFC, the Union haven’t been poor but haven’t been great either. It’s a step in the wrong direction for Philly though, after a stellar 2022 campaign. The Union were an impenetrable fortress last season, only conceding 26 times through 34 matches. The team has so far been unable to maintain that solidity at the back in 2023, allowing 11 goals already through their eight MLS matches.

Even though he has his key players available to him, Curtin may opt to rest some of his stars, keeping one eye on a huge semi-final tie with Los Angeles FC this coming Wednesday. Philly’s head coach has already openly prioritized the continental competition. He rested the likes of Gazdag, Mikael Uhre and Alejandro Bedoya in a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati prior to their 2-2 draw in Guadalajara, a second leg result which saw them advance to the final four of the tournament.

Match Details:

Opponent: Philadelphia Union

Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET

Watch: TSN, MLS Season Pass

Stadium: Subaru Park, Philadelphia, Penn.