Jim Curtin and the Union will travel to Canada this weekend to take on the current first place team in the East, Toronto FC. Still sitting in 4th place in the standings, the Union will try and pick up any points that they can. Montreal sit hot on their heels for 4th, they are just 3 points behind Philly with a game in hand. A Philadelphia loss could also allow DC United, New England and Orlando to make up some ground on the Union in the standings if those three teams win their competitions this week. United and Orlando both have an extra game than the Union. While Toronto sits comfortably up top in the Eastern Conference, currently 2 points clear of both New York teams and also having an extra game in their pockets. A win against Toronto would be awesome but last time the Union played Toronto the end result was not a good one.
August 20th was the last time, Toronto and Union met. The game took place at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester. By halftime, the Union were trailing 3-0 after goals by Sebastian Giovinco, Drew Moor, and Jozy Altidore. Ken Tribbett had such a poor defensive performance, having a role to play in each of Toronto’s three goals, resulting in him being pulled at half time in favor of Joshua Yaro. Tribbett however made up for one of his mistakes by scoring a goal for the Union during the game. While this game was a disappointment for Tribbett, last week’s game against Portland was a disappointment for two other Union defenders.
Last week’s game ended in a lost against the Portland Timbers. Both goals came off mistakes by rookie rightback, Keegan Rosenberry. While rookie centerback Josh Yaro also having a bad game after getting a red card for receiving a second yellow card. One of the few bright spots from the game was Chris Pontius scoring his 11th goal of the season.
With Yaro out due to suspension, Ken Tribbett is probably the next guy up for the Union at centerback. Maurice Edu, Anderson Conceicao and Auston Trusty could all play centerback for the Union this week. The likeliness that Anderson or Trusty plays is very small due to the fact that Anderson hasn’t seen action for the Union since the first game of the season and Auston Trusty is still being developed by the Union. And Maurice Edu is still coming back from injury and may not be fully fit for a 90 minute mls game. Look for Tribbett to get the nod for the Union and hopefully to have a bounce back game against Toronto.
Predictions and other key games for this week’s MLS action:
-Predicted Score line: 3-0 Toronto FC
-Predicted Union Lineup: Blake, Fabinho, Marquez, Tribbett, Rosenberry, Carroll, Bedoya, Pontius, Barnetta, Herbers, Sapong.
-NYCFC take on Chicago Fire on Friday. (Best possible result for Union playoff chances: Chicago beats NYCFC).
-NY Red Bulls take on Montreal on Saturday. (Best possible result: Red Bulls win)
-DC United take on Orland City SC on Saturday. (Best possible result: A draw)
-New England Revolution take on Columbus Crew on Sunday. (Best possible result: Columbus Crew win)
Note: There will be no match recap article this week as I will be away for a couple of days.