The boys in blue travel to the Great White North to face the defending MLS Champs in the first of three road matches.
The Union (2-2-3, 8 pts, 8th in East) face conference foe and reigning MLS champions Toronto FC (1-1-4, 4 pts, 11th in East) under the lights in Toronto on Friday night. The Union are coming off just their second win of the season, a 3-2 home result against D.C. United, while Toronto drew Chicago 2-2 in Canada last weekend.
Last week saw the Union offense finally get going as Borek Dockal scored the game-winner, putting a shot from in close over an outstretched Steve Clark’s head and into the top of the goal for the deciding tally. Ilsinho (who started on the right wing instead of Fafa Picault) and C.J. Sapong also scored.
If the Union are going to beat the Reds this year, the time is now. TFC is coming off of a loss in the CONCACAF Champions League final, then a disheartening draw at home where they scored the first two goals only to cough up the equalizer late. Moreso, Toronto is banged up to the point where Michael Bradley will most likely play center back; defenders Nick Hagglund and Drew Moor are out, while defenders Chris Mavinga, Eriq Zavaleta, and Justin Morrow are all question marks. Joining the list on offense is Jozy Altidore, who is also out.
To win the match, however, the boys in blue will have to take a lead, and that’s been a bit of a problem this year. Despite having more of the ball much of the year, the Union have had a lead in exactly two of their first seven matches (and one of them was against ten-man New England). Fortunately for the U, both of those leads have resulted in wins, but they’ll have to do much more if they want this season to be anything to remember.
After facing Toronto, the U will go to Columbus on Wednesday, and then back into Canada to visit Montreal three days later on Saturday.
What happens on this first leg of the road trip? Do the Union take advantage of an injured Toronto side? I say no; the boys in blue will have to show me more consistent offense and better defense before I’m ready to give them road points.
Toronto 2, Union 0.