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Pre-Match Notes – Toronto FC at Philadelphia Union

All the last-minute details - Lineup Notes, Referees, Videos, and Links - one needs to prepare for the upcoming match, with Toronto FC Philadelphia Bound

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Beautiful Chester, Pennsylvania - home of PPL Park and the Union. Nice Bridge!
Beautiful Chester, Pennsylvania - home of PPL Park and the Union. Nice Bridge!

As an extension to Know Your Enemy, Waking the Red brings all the latest news, videos, and external reading one requires in the hours before the match.

It should be noted Toronto faced some travel complications, a disruption of their scheduled plans due to inclement weather, as they departed for Philadelphia.

Lineup Concerns

In the updated injury report, Matt Kassel is still listed as OUT with a left knee sprain, while Aaron Wheeler is QUESTIONABLE with illness.

The fit again Michael Farfan could replace either Danny Cruz on the right-side of midfield or his brother Gabriel on the left.

The striker conundrum – who should pair with Jack McInerney in attack – appears to be leaning towards Conor Casey, with Sebastien Le Toux held in reserve, but neither would be shocking to see once the official lineups are released.

Danny Califf’s return to Philly - the side he captained through their first two-plus seasons - after his fractious trade to Chivas USA by former boss Piotr Nowak at the start of 2012, is the headline story heading into the match; whether he returns to the starting eleven following absence due to illness is unknown, given how well Gale Agbossoumonde performed against Dallas in his absence, but probable.

Ashtone Morgan should return to the side at left-back for Richard Eckersley who is DOUBTFUL having suffered a hamstring injury at the end of the Dallas match.

Danny Koevermans, Terry Dunfield, and Emery Welshman are listed as OUT; with Dunfield possibly facing some extended time on the sidelines with a knee sprain.


Another young MLS referee takes the reigns as Sorin Stoica will be the lead official this afternoon.

His stat line (10 Games; Fouls Called/game: 27.1; Yellows Shown/game: 4.1; Red Cards: 1; Penalties: 4) indicates a fondness – if one can call it that – for pointing to the spot; it may be worthwhile to be extra cautious inside the eighteen-yard box.

Stoica has taken charge of one previous TFC match, last season’s rescheduled fixture in Columbus (22nd of August). The Reds would lose 2-1 that afternoon on goals from Eddie Gaven – a harsh deflection off Dicoy Williams that handcuffed Freddy Hall – and Federico Higuain – from a deft Jairo Arrieta layoff inside the box – with Luis Silva grabbing some late consolation after an incisive bit of passing from Quincy Amarikwa and Eric Hassli following a throw-in.

Twice as many fouls were called on TFC that afternoon (16 to Columbus’ 8); that trend continued as TFC received two yellow cards to the Crew’s one.

That was the match that saw Richard Eckersley’s face take a beating as Higuain was booked for a dangerously high boot. Ashtone Morgan and Darren O’Dea saw cards as well, with O’Dea somewhat fortunate to only see yellow for chopping down Emilio Renteria from behind.

Video's Scouting Report

John Hackworth

Ryan Nelsen - Opposition Preview with Asif Hossain and Dan Dunleavy


Don’t forget to enter your prediction in Are You Smarter than Winter? – WTR’s score prediction contest – and check out the rest of the Game Hub for today’s match.

The Yorkies – The Matchup: "Breaking You" Since 2007

CBC - Toronto FC praised by Philadelphia coach ahead of match

Canadian Soccer News – Looking for Answers

The Toronto Sun – Kurt Larson breaks down Saturday’s game against the Union

Red Nation Online – Countdown

Philly Soccer Page – Preview: Union vs Toronto FC – Inside the Union: Ex-Union star Danny Califf will return to PPL Park – John Hackworth Faces Challenge in Creating a Balanced Midfield – Silva Sees Opportunities – Califf Excited to Face Former Team – TFC’s Danny Califf Returns to Face Philadelphia Union & Familiar Adversary in Conor Casey

The Globe and Mail – More on the Califf Return to Philly – What to Expect from Toronto FC – Kleberson debut? And a Crowded Midfield – The Word, their long-form piece, on Amobi Okugo

The Guardian – MLS Previews: Week Seven

Enjoy the Match!