Mon, 29 Nov 2021

The Philadelphia Union will be looking to strengthen their playoff position when they visit struggling Toronto FC on Wednesday.

Following a disappointing 3-2 loss on the road at Minnesota United FC, the Union responded with a 1-0 defeat of Nashville SC last Saturday.

The three points propelled the Union (13-8-10, 49 points) into second place in the Eastern Conference thanks to an overall wins tiebreaker with Nashville. They've compiled only three wins away from home all season.

Now with three regular season games remaining, the Union can further solidify the possibility of a No. 2 seed and a home playoff game.

Not that long ago, the Union were mired in ninth place.

"I think tiredness and pain is not an excuse," said Kacper Przybylko, who scored the lone goal on a penalty kick against Nashville. "If you're on the field, you have to commit to the entire 90 minutes plus additional time. That's what we're doing.

"I'm always running my (tail) off for the team and the other guys are doing that for me and for everyone on the field."

Toronto FC (6-17-8, 26 points) have struggled all season, but performed admirably in their most recent game, a 1-1 draw against CF Montreal last Saturday.

Jozy Altidore scored in the 95th minute to preserve the point.

"I think we deserved more," Toronto interim head coach Javier Perez said. "I think the numbers say that we deserved more and it's a little bit unbelievable that we were 10 seconds away from going empty-handed. Everything was on our side except for one thing, which is the scoreboard. So I think in the end, we are happy with that point.

"I think tonight that extra effort that was needed, they put in on the field -- the energy -- and in the end we got a point that I think was well deserved," Perez added.

While the season has been virtually lost, Altidore has battled back from injuries to compete down the stretch. That says a lot about the standout player, who's used to winning.

"I'll be the first guy to tell you it's disappointing," Altidore said. "But nobody's running away from anything. We take all the criticism on the chin and rightly so. But there's more here, I'm a firm believer in that. People will come up with the pitchforks, but that's part of the business. I just feel better, man. To run and move around without pain, it feels amazing. Because it's been a while."

--Field Level Media

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