It has been a very long time coming - season after season of apparently futile striving has left TFC on the outside looking in. No longer.
There's very little that will deny TFC a place in the playoffs at this point. Even a single point from their remaining games could see them back in to the 6th spot. A handful of wins and a few lucky breaks could see a playoff match at BMO field at the end of October.
Match Talking Points
There's one very obvious reason why TFC have got their post-season future in their hands - Sebastian Giovinco is the best player MLS has ever seen. You might argue that Thierry Henry or David Beckham are bigger players (which obviously is not in dispute - Gio is barely 5'5) but the form Giovinco has produced is record-setting. 20 Goals. 15 Assists. A Toronto FC player taking the league by storm. I never thought I'd see it happen.
For Philadelphia, its been a difficult week. For a second year running, they've suffered a U.S. Open Cup Final loss - this time after 8 long rounds of penalties. It caps off a difficult season for the Union - who followed up the loss with a parting of the ways, not with coach Jim Curtin, but polarizing CEO Nick Sakiewicz. There's not much left of Philly's season, but they've enjoyed trips to Toronto before and they'll be looking to rebound from a game that would've seen them take home silverware.
Here's hoping we see Jackson back at Right Back. TFC will look to stay the course, keeping with the Diamond 4 in midfield.
Keys to the Game
You heard it here first, folks. Sebastian Giovinco is good at soccer. So good, in fact, that he's TFC's key to the match. Everything goes through him, everything that happens will involve him in some way. Philadelphia's defense has been suspect at many points this season. Expect him to be in the goals.
At the other end of the park, another monster game from Damien Perquis is important. Every game the Reds play sets the tone for the games to come - and the games to come are important. Strong defensive work - both in shape and in one-to-one defending - will be a must over the coming matches.
The game kicks off at 5pm - you can catch it on Sportsnet 360.