Union-Toronto FC Preview
It's hard to know who angry Toronto FC coach Ryan Nelsen will have on the field this weekend.
It's not too difficult, meanwhile, to know that Jack McInerney will be starting for the Philadelphia Union.
McInerney is tied for the MLS lead in goals and has scored nearly as many times as Toronto heading into Saturday night's matchup for the visiting Union.
This is the second meeting between these teams after McInerney scored in the second minute of stoppage time to give Philadelphia (5-5-3) a 1-1 home draw on April 13.
Only five players who started that match for Toronto FC (1-7-4) also started in a 2-0 loss at New England last Saturday.
Four players - defenders Doneil Henry and Ashtone Morgan and midfielders Jonathan Osorio and Kyle Bekker - have been away from the team since they took part in Canada's 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica in Edmonton on Tuesday.
Captain Darren O'Dea left Boston after last weekend's match to travel to Ireland's 1-1 draw with England in London on Wednesday, although the defender did not play. O'Dea has returned to Toronto for this contest.
It's unclear whether Dutch forward Danny Koevermans will make his season debut after being out due to knee surgery.
"It's a different team a little bit for Toronto, I think that makes this a little interesting," Union coach John Hackworth said.
Hackworth can count on McInerney, whose nine goals match Montreal's Marco Di Vaio for the MLS lead and are two fewer than Toronto's total. McInerney also scored Tuesday as Philadelphia won 2-1 at home over Ocean City in the U.S. Open Cup, bouncing back from last Saturday's 5-3 road loss to the Impact.
"I think it was good for us to get that win against Ocean City," defender Raymon Gaddis said. "It kept us in good form, Jack scored another goal, he's in great form right now."
Toronto has dropped five straight and is 0-6-4 since its lone victory, 2-1 over Sporting Kansas City on March 9. Nelsen grew testy with reporters this week.
"In every game, (we) can potentially have gotten points out of," the first-year coach said. "You guys don't see it because you only take a look at the results ... you're not really educated in how a game could be. When we start winning and when (we do) win, you guys will have a go at us because we're only winning by one goal."
Toronto has scored twice over its last five games. Robert Earnshaw has scored a team-high five goals, with none in his last six games.
Bobby Convey will return after missing the New England contest in order to keep him off artificial turf. Acquired May 16 from Kansas City, Convey played the entire second half in his club debut two days later in a 1-0 defeat to Columbus.
"I'm excited about getting out there and playing, playing regularly again and getting as fit as I can be in helping the team," Convey said.
TFC is 2-1-1 at home against Philadelphia.